The owner of ParaLegalAdvice served on the executive of the Tenant's Association in his own complex in Toronto for about three years. During that time, he found the tenant's generally to be too lazy to help themselves or anyone else, unless they were personally facing a problem with the landlord. When the association asked for volunteers to assist with various simple tasks such as one or two hours distributing leaflets in the buildings we got NOT ONE response. This is typical of tenants everywhere. They are too damn apathetic, too lazy and self interested to help themselves. If you won't help yourselves, don't expect others to help you.
This is one of the reasons landlords and governments are able to get away with unjust treatment of tenants. You get what you deserve
Did you know that as a Toronto area tenant you are paying a much higher property tax rate then home owners? This unfair premium amounts to about $110.00 a month in apartments renting up to $1000.00 monthly. How does that make you feel?
If, as a tenant you are experiencing problems, you must stand up and be counted. Complaining to the neighbours and your partners will not accomplish anything. Take action. This page will help you find the resources and the proper legal venues to get something done about your problem. Make the effort. You will find it very satisfying and much better for you then just whining about your lot in life.
There are many tenants' organizations which have the information you need. They will also help you to organize yours fellow tenants into an effective force. These organizations also lobby for tenant rights to keep rents reasonable and for regulations to ensure safe and decent housing. They protect your rights and you should support them.
Landlords have their own powerful, well funded lobby organizations and have successfully convinced many provincial governments to reduce your tenant rights. They are able to buy support from politicians using the rent dollars you paid them to hurt you. You can fight alone, but you should also support your local tenant organizations.
Parkdale Tenants' Association: (416) 760-2149 THE BAD LANDLORD HOTLINE - For information (for tenants anywhere in the Metro Toronto area) on your rights and how to solve problems as well as to report your bad landlord for the "Cockroach of the Year Award." If you are in the Parkdale area they will help you to organize your building.
North Toronto Tenants' Network
(For what is now central Toronto, ie. the Yonge and Lawrence, Yonge and Eglinton, and Yonge and Davisville area)
GETTING REPAIRS DONE AND THE HEAT TURNED ON IN METROPOLITAN TORONTO
REMEMBER: Document everything you can. This documentation will be necessary if you take your landlord to the Tribunal, or if you want to prove neglect to prevent an "above guideline" rent increase, or to get the province to order a rent rollback.
Examples of repair problems include: no heat, no water, cockroaches, mice, noise-problems and dirty conditions.
( Outside of Metro Toronto you will have to look in the blue section/government of your
telephone directory "White Pages" to get the appropriate municipal number to call.)
- Contact your neighbours. They may have similar problems. If you act together you will be more effective.
- Call your landlord and tell them about the problem(s). Ask when they will be fixed. Keep a written diary of the
dates of telephone calls and their subject as well as copies of all letters you send or receive for future reference.
- Write a letter to the landlord asking for the repair to be done. give the date you first told the landlord about the
problem. Put in the date you expect the repair to be done by.
- If the repair is not done in reasonable time, call the local government department that looks after your problem. (eg. Buildings and Inspections Department and/or their Health Department) Make an appointment with an inspector to inspect your apartment (this is FREE).
- If you do not get the service you expect, call your alderperson/city councilor or the Mayor's office to help you.
Your local M.P.P.'s constituency office can also be of help.
- If the repair is still not done, contact a legal clinic or Paralegal. You may need to take your landlord to court, or take
other legal action to get the work done.