Toronto launches interactive webpage showing apartment building evaluation results

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Ontario Construction News staff writer

A new interactive webpage can be used to view and download evaluation results for apartment buildings registered with RentSafeTO.

“This new interactive webpage is another step in the right direction to help protect tenant rights. It will hold apartment building owners and management accountable and help prospective tenants make more informed decisions when looking for a new home,” said Mayor John Tory

Building owners and operators of rental properties that have three or more storeys and 10 or more units are required to register with RentSafeTO and comply with the Apartment Standards Bylaw.

The City evaluates buildings at least once every three years. During evaluations, staff inspect and score the condition of common areas, mechanical and security systems, parking and exterior grounds.

Buildings that receive an overall evaluation score of 50 per cent or less must then undergo a comprehensive inspection and audit of all common areas. During audits, staff also engage with tenants to educate them on RentSafeTO and document concerns they may have regarding property standards issues within their unit or the common areas of the building.

The new webpage will help improve access to information for both existing tenants and those looking for a new home. Making evaluation results more accessible increases transparency on the quality of apartment buildings across Toronto and makes building owners and operators more accountable to current and prospective tenants.

The program was established in 2017 to enforce, and ensure compliance with, the City’s bylaws to protect tenant rights and prevent the deterioration of critical housing stock. Under the program, apartment building owners and operators must:

  • register their buildings and renew that registration annually
  • have a process for tracking and responding to tenant service requests
  • conduct regular inspections in common areas for cleanliness and pests
  • have plans for maintenance, waste, cleaning, and disruptions to vital service such as water, heat and electricity
  • notify tenants of service disruptions
  • undergo routine building evaluations
  • comply with all applicable bylaws

There are more than 3,400 buildings registered with RentSafeTO. Between 2017, when the program began, and the end of 2020 the City has responded to close to 25,350 complaints, of which 24,670 (or 97 per cent) have been addressed.

Since 2017, the city has also completed more than 7,500 evaluations and 119 audits.

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