RentSafeTO tightens measures on non-compliant landlords

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Toronto recently approved updates to the RentSafeTO program, imposing harsher penalties on non-compliant apartment owners.

RentSafeTO is “a bylaw enforcement program that ensures apartment building owners and operators comply with building maintenance standards.” The program is only applicable to apartment buildings with three or more storeys and 10 or more units.

Key updates include:

  • More frequent inspections – evaluations will now take place every two years instead of three.
  • Targeted enforcement – after two months of non-compliance, city staff will go door-to-door and set up kiosks at the building to address tenant complaints. Owners will be charged a $2,900 fee for the outreach.
  • More transparent reporting – a new interactive map will allow renters to access building violation details since January 1, 2024.
  • City intervention – in some cases, the city itself can hire contractors to make repairs, with costs added to the owner’s property tax bills. According to city staff, this could include cutting long grass or cleaning graffiti.

The updates have drawn criticism from some apartment building owners, who say the increase in costs is far above inflation and fees will just be passed on to tenants. But the primary focus of RentSafeTO – ensuring tenant safety – will be shared by the vast majority of landlords and property managers.

As the program evolves, feedback from all parties will help refine its effectiveness and achieve mutually beneficial outcomes.

For any property manager, regardless of whether they are subject to RentSafeTO, tools like PayProp’s built-in maintenance hub can help address tenant concerns promptly and uphold building standards.

More compliance headlines

Judge rules against landlord group in Windsor rental licensing dispute – Windsor Star

Ontario's rental housing enforcement unit investigates a fraction of cases – CBC

Preventing & treating mould in your rental properties – PayProp

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