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Toronto could clamp down on landlords with landmark renoviction bylaw

Toronto could soon see the introduction of a landmark bylaw that would halt “bad faith renovictions” from happening and better protect vulnerable tenants in the process.

Four city councillors, namely Paula Fletcher, Mike Colle, Frances Nunziata, and Parthi Kandavel, are set to submit a joint request on Wednesday directing city staff to include an analysis of how the approach taken in Hamilton’s recent Renovation and Tenant Relocation Bylaw could be applied in Toronto. 

In January, Hamilton became the first Ontario city to unanimously pass an “anti-renoviction” bylaw, which requires landlords to get a renovation permit if issuing renoviction notices, or N13s.

Some landlords have been known to use the excuse of renovations to their advantage by forcing out existing tenants and renting out the same unit at a higher price. 

The bylaw also requires landlords to provide details on the scope of the work, including an engineer certification that the unit is inhabitable during renovations. 

If a tenant exercises their right under the Residential Tenancies Act to move back into the unit at the same rate, landlords must provide the tenant with suitable relocation assistance. 

The new by-law also requires tenants to be notified of their rights once issued an N13, including filing a right of first refusal.

“Profit-driven renovictions are reducing our already limited supply of affordable housing and impacting many tenants across the city,” said Councillor Paula Fletcher. “Hamilton’s by-law is a unique and innovative example of how the city can protect renters from this practice.” 

Toronto’s upcoming renoviction report comes just after the establishment of the Subcommittee on the Protection of Affordable Rental Housing during the 2018-2022 City Council term to specifically deal with renovictions.

Chaired by Fletcher, the subcommittee heard from many tenants around the city, who shared stories about being ousted from their homes with little to no evidence of major renovations planned for their unit. 

“I heard from many tenants who left their homes when, as it turned out, only minor, cosmetic changes took place before the unit was back on the market for double or even triple the rent,” Fletcher said.

“Many tenants have been forced out of their long-time homes and neighbourhoods when they actually had the right to stay.”

If approved on Wednesday, an analysis of Hamilton’s bylaw will be included in a staff report expected in spring. 



Toronto could clamp down on landlords with landmark renoviction bylaw

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