The provincial Residential Tenancies Act sets out the rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants who rent residential properties in Ontario. The City of Toronto does not have jurisdiction, however the City plays an important role in assisting tenants and dealing with property standards issues.
On September 15th, 2020 Councillor Fletcher hosted a Virtual Tenants’ Workshop with MPP Peter Tabuns and Don Valley Community Legal Services. If you missed the workshop, you can watch a recording of the meeting below. Stewart Cruikshank, lawyer from Don Valley Community Legal Services, gave a presentation on tenant rights, evictions and the new Bill 184.
If you are a tenant in need of legal assistance or guidance, here are some helpful resources:
Federation of Metro Tenants Associations (FMTA)
Free tenant hotline: 416-921-9494
Don Valley Community Legal Services
416-441-1764 ext. 36
Community Legal Education Ontario (CLEO)
Information on evictions and the process for tenants
Steps to Justice website (run by CLEO)
Government of Ontario website – Renting: changes during COVID-19
Rental Housing Enforcement Unit (RHEU)
The RHEU is part of the Ministry of Housing. Its job is to try to make sure landlords and tenants follow the law. The RHEU phone # is 416-585-7214.
For issues such as pests, low or no heat, plumbing problems, leaky ceilings or problems in the common areas of the building, tenants need to contact their landlord first and submit service requests. Landlords need to respond to urgent service requests, such as no heat or water, within 24 hours. Non-urgent service requests need to be responded to within seven (7) days. If you get no action from your landlord and problems persist, you can contact 311 for the RentSafeTO team. You can find further information online here:
ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) Canada is an independent national organization of low- and moderate-income families. They have over 130,000 members organized into neighbourhood chapters in cities across Canada. They believe that social and economic justice can best be achieved with a national active membership who are invested in their organization and focused on building power for change. Toronto ACORN was founded in 2004, with the first organized group in Canada being formed in Weston / Mt Dennis after tenants took their slum-lord to task and won $250,000 in rent abatements. In the next ten years Toronto ACORN spread to every part of the city leading the fight and winning significant victories. Learn more about ACORN and how to get involved online here: https://acorncanada.org/toronto
Subcommittee on the Protection of Affordable Rental Housing
Councillor Fletcher created the Subcommittee in 2019 to help fight the increasing number of renovictions in Toronto. Over 40 tenants signed up to speak at the November 20th, 2019 meeting where they shared their stories, concerns and ideas. You can watch the recording of the meeting online here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LotFwruoBhI&t=4673s
PH11.11 – “Promoting the Security of Residential Rental Tenancies” was adopted at the City’s Planning and Housing Committee on December 10th, 2019.
One of the items approved was the creation of an Advisory Group made up of people with lived experience, tenant advocacy groups and legal clinics.
The City’s Planning and Housing Committee has also asked City staff in different divisions to take steps to support tenants and to identify possible changes to the provincial Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) that address illegitimate N12 and N13 notices.
The next Subcommittee on the Protection of Affordable Rental Housing meeting is taking place Thursday, September 24th, 2020 starting at 7:00 pm. The agenda and further information will be posted online here: