City Of Toronto Issues New Obligations for Apartment Buildings and Managers
The City of Toronto has begun regulating the management, operation and maintenance of apartment buildings in Toronto. This includes new maintenance and communication obligations imposed upon owners and operators/managers of rental buildings, as well as penalties for their contravention.
The City’s new obligations and standards, found in Chapter 354 of the City of Toronto Municipal Code (the “Apartment Standards By-law”) came into effect on July 1, 2017.
The requirements apply to all owners and operators of purpose-built rental buildings that are:
- 3 or more storeys in height; and
- Contain 10 or more rental units;
Every person convicted of a violation under the new Apartment Standards By-law, is guilty of an offence and can be fined up to $100,000 and up to $10,000 for each day the offence continues. The City can also apply special fines to every person who obtains an economic advantage by contravening these new obligations.
As the fines for contravening the new Apartment Standards By-law are significant, owners and operators should educate themselves on the new obligations, which include:
- Yearly registration and payment of associated registration and inspection fees;
- Instituting a tracking system to document tenant requests and owner/operator responses;
- Creation of a tenant notification bulletin board to notify tenants of upcoming service disruptions, certain City-issued orders, City scheduled audits, pest treatment activities and other items;
- Adherence to a pest management inspection schedule and daily common area cleaning inspections;
- Preparation of a waste management plan, cleaning plan, and a “state of good repair capital plan”; and,
- Requirements for the owner/operator to maintain records demonstrating compliance.
The deadline for registration and payment of registration and inspection fees has been extended for this year only to September 30, 2017. Going forward, applicable purpose-built rental buildings must be registered between July 1 – 31 of each year.
The Apartment Standards By-law also authorizes City staff to conduct routine site visits and pre-audits of all apartment buildings to determine whether the apartment building complies.
The City can also prohibit renting a unit to a new tenant if that unit is, or has been, subject to a Property Standards order. The City will also be empowered to prohibit renting a unit to a new tenant if pests are presently an issue in the unit.
For additional information about the new Apartment Standards By-law and how it may impact your interest in a rental building, do not hesitate to contact Davies Howe LLP.