Understanding the Landlord Licensing Program
Earlier this summer, Toronto city council voted in favour of moving forward with the Landlord Licensing Program. This is a plan that has been in the works for years, with the aim towards helping to keep landlords accountable, and to keep buildings in good condition by enforcing a set of standards. This is being hailed as a major victory for tenants throughout the city in an effort to ensure a better quality of living. If you’re a tenant or a landlord, here’s an overview of what this means for you.
Who will it affect?
The licensing program so far is proposed to apply to buildings three storeys or higher, with ten units or more. There are approximately 3,300 buildings of this classification in Toronto. Enforcing building standards throughout each apartment complex and requiring landlords to develop appropriate management and maintenance plans are also on the table for City Staff to review. Tenants will be made aware of any associated information in a proactive measure to maintain these standards.
Will this hike up my rent?
The Executive Director of Municipal Licensing and Standards, Tracey Cook, assured council that there would not be an “apartment tax” as a result of landlords seeking extra compensation for licensing and development plans. With current rules set in place, landlords do have the option of applying for a rent increase, but it would be very difficult to get approval at this point in time.
Considering almost half of Toronto’s residents reside in apartments, this will help to improve the adherence to maintenance standards and help to improve the quality of living for many. However, this is just the beginning. The next steps will be rolling out the details of the program and clarifying what it will entail for both landlords and tenants.
As plans develop and standards are created, the hope from advocates of the program is that they are actually adhered to, and severe and efficient punishments are handed out when they are not. But there is a strong fear that this plan will not house the repercussions needed to incentivize landlords to comply quickly and completely. Either way, for tenants, it appears to be a move in the right direction.
Would you like to learn more about Toronto’s landlord licensing program and how it affects you as a property owner or tenant? Contact Simplified Rentals and we’d be happy to answer your questions.