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East York people, places, events & insights

Rental laws reforms a hot topic on EY political agenda

Peter Tabuns 170324 -STAFFwThe rules are changing for some landlords in Toronto after City Council approved reforms of bylaws governing multiple-dwelling apartments at its March meeting. And if Toronto-Danforth MPP Peter Tabuns of the NDP has his way, they will change even more drastically for owners of units built in the past 28 years.

Mr. Tabuns on March 20 introduced a private member’s bill to the provincial legislature that would remove a current exemption from Residential Tenancies Act rent control guidelines for several categories of units, most notably buildings constructed since 1991.

At a prior press conference Tabuns said the bill is putting many people in a very difficult position because there are effectively no controls in place over rent increases in so many buildings.

Skyrocketing real estate prices in Toronto and the GTA are having a ripple impact on rental rates and East York is no exception.

In fact rates hikes may even be more jarring here, because the area has traditionally been modestly priced.  But that very affordability, making it attractive in recent years to young families and self-employed people, has exacerbated the situation, since property values have risen even more as the area has “gentrified.”

Ontario’s Minister of Housing, Chris Ballard, has been quoted as acknowledging there is a problem but said his staff is already reviewing the act and working on a solution.

At city hall, meanwhile, in addition to endorsing Tabuns’s proposal, the council at its March meeting endorsed tougher regulations governing buildings of three or more storeys containing at least ten rental units.

Under the new rules, which go into effect July 1, landlords will have to respond more quickly to complaints, address pest infestations more vigorously and have a plan to keep buildings in good repair among other regulations. For more details contact your local councillor or visit www.toronto.ca.

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