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TENANT SUMMIT – MARCH 14TH

The Tenant Summit is a gathering of tenant association presidents and/or their representatives and tenant advocates, discussing an umbrella group, for the purpose of echoing one voice on important tenant issues in Toronto, like vacancy de-control, municipal and provincial government tenant legislation, above guideline (rent) increases, multi-residential property taxes. Together we are stronger!

Date: Saturday, March 14th 2020 10am – 12pm (registration 9:30 am until 10 am)
Location: Deer Park Public Library, 2nd Floor 40 St. Clair East Toronto, ON M4T 1M9 416-393-7657

Refer to this attachment: Tenant Summit March 14, 2020

NOTE: This notification was received from:

Councillor Paula Fletcher
Toronto Danforth – Ward 14
100 Queen Street West, Suite C44
Toronto, ON  M5H 2N2

Main Office Line: 416-392-4060
Direct Line: 416-338-7185


 

Join ACORN members and allies from across Ontario to demand real solutions to the housing crisis. Rents are rising out of control – we need rent control on ALL buildings and protections on the rent between tenancies, so landlords can’t evict tenants then jack up the rent.

ACORN members from Toronto, Hamilton, Ottawa, and Peel will be coming together to demand action.

Date: Thursday, March 12, 2020 – 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM

Location:
Ministry of Housing
777 Bay St
Toronto, Ontario M5G

Refer to this link for full details: https://www.torontotenants.org/toronto_acorn_rally_rent_control_2020

 Acorn Contact info: TorontoFO@ACORNCanada.org   Phone #:  416 461 9233

 

FMTA (Federation of Metro Tenants’ Association) Press Conference On Expiring Rent Increases in Ontario

Published on Dec 3, 2019

Tenants in Ontario are owed $Millions in rent reductions but are not getting their money. We call on the province to ensure tenants get their rent reductions.

FMTA official website: https://www.torontotenants.org/

 

Many high-rise apartment buildings around the GTA are currently undergoing major renovations and repairs of balconies. Most balconies tend to be made of metal with concrete slabs and are subject to wear and tear and rusting. Landlords and property owners deem these renovations and repairs are necessary to maintain the infrastructure and revitalize the appearance of the buildings. Hence these renovations are deemed ‘capital expenditure work’ under the Residential Tenancies Act.

Refer to: http://www.sjto.gov.on.ca/ltb-december-19-2016-new-approach-applications-rent-increase-guideline/

Given that the Above Guideline Increase regulations of the Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB) deem renovation of balconies as ‘capital expenditure work’, the landlord has rights to renovate their property. The landlord will incur substantial costs from these renovations and the upshot is that the landlord can apply for an Above Guideline Increase and pass these costs on to their tenants. But. are those balcony renovations necessary, essential or cosmetic?

Although elegant and attractive balconies improve the overall appearance of the building there are some downsides to the balcony renovation project:

  • Tenants have to endure excessive noise and disruption as workers dismantle the existing balcony railings. It is a noisy, dusty and disruptive process, therefore a great inconvenience for tenants, especially those who have night jobs as well as families with young children. Further, curtains and drapes on windows facing the balcony must be closed during the day for months at a time, to ensure privacy when workers pass by on scaffolding.
  • Balconies are barricaded and access to certain locations of their building is limited. Of course, the safety of tenants during the renovation work is a priority. Yet that lack of access to the balcony, including removal of window air conditioners during the hot summer months, certainly interferes with the tenants’ enjoyment of their unit. This can be seen as a ‘loss of service’ and tenants may be able to file an application for an abatement of rent at the Landlord and Tenant Board.
  • Renovating balconies is a major construction project that can take a much longer time to complete as predicted as the work can be prolonged well beyond the targeted completion date. Tenants can be inconvenienced for an extended period of time.
  • As part of the preparation for the balcony renovations tenants are instructed to remove any items stored on their balcony. Lockers are no longer made available in many high-rise buildings so tenants tend to store valued or bulky items on their balcony. Tenants are not always told that any items not removed are permanently ‘disposed of’ by the workers which is a lack of clear communication by the landlord.  Have those ‘disposed’ items been dumped in the garbage or have been set aside by someone who views those items as having value? Since there is no recourse to recover those missing items removed from balconies it would benefit tenants if landlords make arrangements/agreements with the workers on how to dispose of items, i.e. leave those items in a designated area for tenants to retrieve them.
  • Tenants in older buildings have complained that there are dealing with an infestation (or migration) of cockroaches and other pests to their unit.

Despite many inconveniences, the most important and troubling concern of tenants is what the Above Guideline Increase will be after the renovations have been completed

In recent years there has been a crisis of affordable rental housing due to low vacancy rate. It has mostly to do with ‘supply and demand’. Developers are more focussed on building condos as the condo market is thriving. That has diminished the availability of a much needed supply of affordable rental housing and also contributed to a very low vacancy rate in rental housing. The outcome has been huge increases in rental costs for tenants. Renovating apartment buildings and being able to claim those costs as ‘capital expenditures’ is of significant financial benefit to landlords as those costs are covered by the Above Guideline Increase regulations. The question remains ….. Are those balcony renovations necessary, essential or cosmetic?

Tenants are encouraged to become more informed about the Above Guideline Increase rules outlined by the Landlord and Tenant Board. Moreover, it could be in the best interest of tenants to get organized and engage in activism to address attempts by landlords to inflate rents as a result of balcony renovations.

____________________

NOTE – Refer to these links for rules and regulation of the Above Guideline increases outlined in the Residential Tenancies Act:

Residential Tenancies Act, 2006, S.O. 2006, c. 17:
https://www.ontario.ca/laws/statute/06r17

July 1, 2019 e-Laws currency date
https://www.ontario.ca/laws/about-e-laws#ccl

In the absence of tenant associations tenants should check out the Federation of Metro Tenants Association (FMTA) organization.  FMTA has produced a Guide to Renovations publication that contains extensive information on regulations related to renovations.

Refer to this link for details:
Federation of Metro Tenants Association (FMTA) document https://torontotenants.org/

 

International Tenants’ Day is celebrated on the first Monday of October each year. This year it is celebrated on October 7, 2019. The International Union of Tenants (IUT) announces a theme each year. Tenant organisations are of course free to choose their own topic/theme for this day. This year’s celebration coincides with the United Nations Special rapporteur’s launch of:

“The Shift” http://www.unhousingrapp.org/the-shift  and,

”Push the film” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k9Q4So4femM

The International Union of Tenants (IUT) has chosen these themes together with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals as the recommended themes when Tenants celebrate the International Tenants’ Day around the world. There are the themes:

Sustainable Development Goals
https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/sustainable-development-goals/

Goal 11: Make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/cities/:

Refer to the International Union of Tenants (IUT) website for more details: https://www.iut.nu/events/international-tenants-day/

NOTE – The International Union of Tenants (IUT) website is: https://www.iut.nu/

The Ontario government has set the 2020 Annual Rent Increase Guideline at  2.2%. The guideline increase of 2.2% for 2020 is the maximum a landlord can raise a tenant’s rent without approval of the Landlord and Tenant Board. This applies to most sitting tenants in private residential rental units covered by the Residential Tenancies Act.

The guideline does not apply to:

  • vacant residential units
  • social housing units
  • nursing homes
  • commercial properties

Rents charged to new tenants are at the discretion of the landlord.

The 2020 guideline increase takes effect from January 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020. This 2020 guideline increase of 2.2% is the highest increase since 2013. As noted above, landlords cannot increase rent for sitting tenants above the 2.2% guideline without seeking approval from the Landlord and Tenant Board. The increased is based on the Ontario Consumer Price Index (CPI), a measure of inflation calculated monthly by Statistics Canada.

If the landlord intends to implement an Above Guideline Increase the landlord is required to abide by the regulations of the Landlord and Tenant Board and file an application with Landlord and Tenant Board for an Above Guideline Increase. Refer to this link at the Tribunals Ontario, Landlord and Tenant Board:

http://www.sjto.gov.on.ca/documents/ltb/Brochures/2020%20Rent%20Increase%20Guideline%20(EN).html

Detailed information on the 2020 Annual Rent Increase Guideline is available at the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing link:

https://www.ontario.ca/page/rent-increase-guideline

 

The Federation of Metro Tenants’ Associations (FMTA) has released a redesigned version of their most popular guides.  These guides are:

  • A Short Guide To Property Standards
  • Looking for An Apartment: A Quick Guide
  • The Quotable Residential Tenancies Act

Feel free to download the redesigned versions of these popular guides at this link:
https://www.torontotenants.org/

 

 

Join the FMTA for the 45th Annual General Meeting on Saturday June 29th, 2019 at 10:30am.

Location: 120 Carlton St – Party Room. Corner of Jarvis and Carlton St. Closest station is College Subway.

All FMTA AGM’s include:

  • Board and Staff Reports
  • Presentation of the Audited Financial Statements
  • Appointment of the Auditor
  • Member motions
  • Board Elections

2018/19 has seen the FMTA win major victories for tenants with our partners including legislative changes to our main programs, dedicated federal funding to housing, inclusionary zoning, eviction prevention, regulation of AirBNB and other changes to the Residential Tenancies Act.

NOTE: All our Tenant Association members can come to discuss campaigns and achievements in their buildings.  The FMTA has received generous funding to be able to build Tenant Associations again and they’ve all got amazing stories.

Refer to this link for full details of the event:
https://www.torontotenants.org/

(To renew your membership in advance of the meeting, or for more information, please call 416-646-1772)

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