Item - 2020.PH19.6

Tracking Status

  • City Council adopted this item on December 16, 2020 with amendments.
  • This item was considered by Planning and Housing Committee on December 8, 2020 and was adopted with amendments. It will be considered by City Council on December 16, 2020.
  • See also By-law 59-2021

PH19.6 - RentSafeTO (Apartment Building Standards): Colour-coded Rating System, By-law Amendments, and Program Updates

Decision Type:
ACTION
Status:
Amended
Wards:
All

City Council Decision

City Council on December 16, 17 and 18, 2020, adopted the following:

 

Apartment Building Rating System

 

1.  City Council amend Toronto Municipal Code Chapter 354, Apartment Buildings, to require apartment building owners and operators to inform all current and prospective tenants of the rating of their apartment buildings and the evaluation used to create the rating. 

 

Fees

 

2.  City Council establish a fee to be applied when an application to re-evaluate an apartment building is submitted, as detailed in Table 1 below, and amend the Toronto Municipal Code, Chapter 441, Fees and Charges accordingly:

 

Table 1: Chapter 441 Apartment Building Re-evaluation Application Fee

 

REF. NO.

SERVICE

FEE DESCRIPTION

CATEGORY

FEE BASIS

FEE

ANNUAL ADJ.

NEW

Private Properties

Apartment building

re-evaluation

Full cost recovery

Per application

$316.06

Yes

 

3.  City Council waive the fees in Part 2 above for the following social housing providers:

 

a.  the Toronto Community Housing Corporation;

 

b.  non-profit providers of assisted or social housing under a program administered by the City of Toronto; and

 

c.  dedicated supportive housing providers funded by the Province of Ontario.

 

Additional Amendments

 

4.  City Council amend Toronto Municipal Code Chapter 354, Apartment Buildings by:


a.  amending Section 354-3.2 to require apartment building owners/operators to post their waste management plan on the tenant notification board;

 

b.  amending Section 354-3.7 to clarify that the state of good repair plan for each apartment building must be developed and maintained in a form and manner satisfactory to the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards;

 

c.  adding a provision that the mailing address, email address and phone number provided to Municipal Licensing and Standards through the registration and renewal process is up to date at all times, and that any written communication to an apartment building owner/operator from Municipal Licensing and Standards shall be deemed received by the owner/operator when delivered to the mailing address or email address on file; and

 

d.  adding a provision that in addition to services required by statutory authority, notice may also be given by email as it relates to the property of a registered apartment building owner/operator.

 

Technical Amendments

 

5.  City Council amend Section 442-6 of Toronto Municipal Code, Chapter 442, Fees and Charges, Administration of, to state that a service set out in Appendix C, Schedule 12 of Chapter 441, Fees and Charges that has been provided by the City or on the City's behalf shall be paid for by the person or persons receiving the service whether or not they requested the service.

 

6.  City Council amend Toronto Municipal Code Chapter 354, Apartment Buildings by:

 

a.  amending Section 354-2.1 to require that building owners and operators provide an email address as part of the apartment building registration and renewal processes; and

 

b.  deleting Section 354-7-1F and replacing it with the following:

 

When a corporation fails to comply with an order or other direction made under this Chapter, every director or officer who concurs in such contravention is guilty of an offence and on conviction is liable to a fine of no more than $100,000. 

 

Effective Dates for By-law Changes

 

7. City Council direct that the changes to Toronto Municipal Code Chapter 354, Apartment Buildings, and Toronto Municipal Code Chapter 441, Fees and Charges come into effect as follows:

 

a.  Parts 1 to 3 above on December 1, 2021; and

 

b.  Parts 4 and 5 above on April 1, 2021.

 

8.  City Council direct that the changes to the Toronto Municipal Chapter 442, Fees and Charges, Administration of, come into effect once adopted by City Council.

 

9. City Council direct the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards to undertake a review of the current process and criteria used to evaluate buildings by developing a new tool, in consultation with stakeholders and tenant groups, that includes:

 

a. updated evaluation categories including introducing categories for in-suite property standards requirements and open / outstanding enforcement activities;

 

b. revised weighting of evaluation categories to prioritize issues that have greater impact on tenants; and

 

c. a process to ensure evaluation scores are responsive to ongoing violations and orders between scheduled evaluations / audits.

 

10. City Council direct the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards to review potential resource impacts to RentSafeTO program fees based on the implementation of the revised evaluation tool described in Part 9 above, and to report back as needed.

 

11. City Council direct the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards to review potential budget impacts resulting from the implementation and enforcement of the revised evaluation tool described in Part 9 above, and to report through the 2022 budget process, as needed.

 

12. City Council request the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards to make publicly available, information on the enforcement process associated with the new rating system and service standards, including, but not limited to:

 

a. how specific property standards violations will affect an apartment building’s rating;

 

b. the process by which a landlord is brought into conformity in regards to specific property standards violations;

 

c. how fines are levied; and

 

d. how remedial actions are taken.

 

13. City Council request the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards to consider developing a downloadable building-specific RentSafeTO report, using available data, that would provide prospective new tenants and existing tenants comprehensive information about a building, and requiring that the report be provided to all prospective new tenants by the landlord before they sign a lease or rental agreement.

 

14. City Council request the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards to provide annual reporting with available data on RentSafeTO, broken down by year and category of request (heat, pests, etc.), including but not limited to:

 

a.  number of service requests by category;

 

b.  average and median initial investigation response time;

 

c.  average and median total investigation time;

 

d.  number of remedial actions taken;

 

e.  number of times fines were imposed and the amounts;

 

f.  number of service requests outstanding;

 

g.  number of service requests closed;

 

h.  number of building audits performed;

 

i.  number of orders to comply issued as a result of service requests;

 

j.  number of orders to comply issued as a result of audits;

 

k.  number of orders submitted to the courts; and

 

l.  number of orders resolved by the courts.

Public Notice Given

Background Information (Committee)

(November 24, 2020) Report from the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards on RentSafeTO (Apartment Building Standards): Colour-coded Rating System, By-law Amendments, and Program Updates
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2020/ph/bgrd/backgroundfile-158863.pdf
Attachment 1 - Draft Rating Sign Designs
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2020/ph/bgrd/backgroundfile-158864.pdf
Attachment 2 - Survey Results: Proposed Colour-Coded Rating System
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2020/ph/bgrd/backgroundfile-158865.pdf
Attachment 3 - RentSafeTO Online Rating System: User Research and Usability Testing Report
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2020/ph/bgrd/backgroundfile-158866.pdf
(December 1, 2020) Public Notice
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2020/ph/bgrd/backgroundfile-158867.pdf
Presentation from Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2020/ph/bgrd/backgroundfile-159224.pdf

Background Information (City Council)

(December 15, 2020) Supplementary report from the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards on RentSafeTO (Apartment Building Standards): Colour-coded Rating System, By-law Amendments, and Program Updates (PH19.6a)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2020/cc/bgrd/backgroundfile-159452.pdf

Communications (Committee)

(December 1, 2020) E-mail from Louise Fletcher (PH.New.PH19.6.1)
(December 1, 2020) E-mail from William Chepesiuk (PH.New.PH19.6.2)
(December 2, 2020) Letter from Lauren Hele, Manager, Clintwood Non-Profit Housing Co-operative (PH.New.PH19.6.3)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2020/ph/comm/communicationfile-124589.pdf
(December 2, 2020) E-mail from Deborah Baumgarten (PH.New.PH19.6.4)
(December 5, 2020) E-mail from Daniel Caine (PH.New.PH19.6.5)
(December 5, 2020) E-mail from Johnnie Vella (PH.New.PH19.6.6)
(December 7, 2020) Letter from Elliot Platt, Vice-President, PHC Inc. (PH.New.PH19.6.7)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2020/ph/comm/communicationfile-124781.pdf
(December 7, 2020) Letter from Aaron Caplan, St. Paul's Tenants Association Network (PH.New.PH19.6.8)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2020/ph/comm/communicationfile-124784.pdf
(December 8, 2020) Letter from Jonathan Robart, Centre for Equality Rights in Accommodation (PH.New.PH19.6.9)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2020/ph/comm/communicationfile-124838.pdf
(December 8, 2020) Letter from Jonathan Robart, Senior Advisor, Right to Housing in Toronto (R2HTO) (PH.New.PH19.6.10)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2020/ph/comm/communicationfile-124841.pdf
(December 8, 2020) Letter from Dhruv Sheth, Vice President, LYVE Properties (PH.New.PH19.6.11)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2020/ph/comm/communicationfile-124842.pdf
(December 8, 2020) Letter from Kenn Hale, Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario (PH.New.PH19.6.12)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2020/ph/comm/communicationfile-124807.pdf
(December 8, 2020) E-mail from Alejandro Gonzales Rendon (PH.New.PH19.6.13)
(December 8, 2020) Submission from Daryl Chong, Greater Toronto Apartment Association (PH.New.PH19.6.14)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2020/ph/comm/communicationfile-124849.pdf

Communications (City Council)

(December 15, 2020) Letter from Tony Irwin, President and Chief Executive Officer, Federation of Rental-housing Providers of Ontario (CC.New.PH19.6.15)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2020/cc/comm/communicationfile-125000.pdf
(December 15, 2020) Presentation from Jane Rowan, Secretary, Toronto Seniors Forum (CC.New.PH19.6.16)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2020/cc/comm/communicationfile-124987.pdf
(December 15, 2020) Letter from Marva Burnett, President, ACORN Canada (CC.New.PH19.6.17)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2020/cc/comm/communicationfile-125021.pdf
(December 17, 2020) E-mail from Nicole Zereneh (CC.New.PH19.6.18)

Motions (City Council)

1 - Motion to Amend Item (Additional) moved by Councillor Stephen Holyday (Carried)

That City Council request the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards to consider developing a downloadable building-specific RentSafeTO report, using available data, that would provide prospective new tenants and existing tenants comprehensive information about a building, and requiring that the report be provided to all prospective new tenants by the landlord before they sign a lease or rental agreement.


2a - Motion to Amend Item moved by Councillor Josh Matlow (Amended)

That

 

1. City Council amend Planning and Housing Committee Recommendation 2 as follows:

 

2. City Council direct the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards to develop colour-coded rating signs to include red, orange, yellow, and green based on the evaluation score of the building and with identifiers for each category as follows: red -“Unsatisfactory”, orange - “Needs Improvement”, yellow – "Needs Some Improvement", and green - “Pass”.

 

2. City Council delete Planning and Housing Committee Recommendation 9

 

Recommendation to be deleted

 

9.  City Council direct that the changes to the Toronto Municipal Code Chapter 354, Apartment Buildings, and Toronto Municipal Code Chapter 441, Fees and Charges come into effect on June 1, 2021.

 

and adopt instead the following new recommendation:

 

City Council direct that the changes to the Toronto Municipal Code Chapter 354, Apartment Buildings, and Toronto Municipal Code Chapter 441, Fees and Charges come into effect as follows:

 

q.  Recommendations 1 to 5 on December 1, 2021; and

 

b.  Recommendation 6 to 7 on April 1, 2021.

 

As a result of City Council's adoption of motion 3 by Councillor Perks, Part 1 of motion 2a by Councillor Matlow was ruled redundant and Part 2 was amended.

Vote (Amend Item) Dec-18-2020 11:16 AM

Result: Carried Majority Required - PH19.6 - Matlow - motion 2a Part 2 as amended
Total members that voted Yes: 19 Members that voted Yes are Paul Ainslie, Ana Bail„o, Brad Bradford, Shelley Carroll, Mike Colle, Joe Cressy, John Filion, Paula Fletcher, Michael Ford, Mark Grimes, Cynthia Lai, Mike Layton, Josh Matlow, Jennifer McKelvie, Frances Nunziata (Chair), Gord Perks, Jaye Robinson, Michael Thompson, John Tory
Total members that voted No: 2 Members that voted No are Stephen Holyday, Denzil Minnan-Wong
Total members that were Absent: 4 Members that were absent are Gary Crawford, James Pasternak, Anthony Perruzza, Kristyn Wong-Tam
Ruling by Speaker Frances Nunziata
Speaker Nunziata ruled Part 1 of motion 2a by Councillor Matlow redundant due to Council's adoption of motion 3 by Councillor Perks.


2b - Motion to Amend Item (Additional) moved by Councillor Josh Matlow (Carried)

That:

 

1. City Council direct the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards to undertake a review of the current process and criteria used to evaluate buildings by developing a new tool, in consultation with stakeholders and tenant groups, that includes:

 

a. updated evaluation categories including introducing categories for in-suite property standards requirements and open / outstanding enforcement activities;

 

b. revised weighting of evaluation categories to prioritize issues that have greater impact on tenants; and

 

c. process to ensure evaluation scores are responsive to ongoing violations and orders between

scheduled evaluations / audits.

 

2. City Council direct the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards to review potential resource impacts to RentSafeTO program fees based on the implementation of the revised evaluation tool described in Part 1 above, and to report back as needed.

 

3. City Council direct the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards to review potential budget impacts resulting from the implementation and enforcement of the revised evaluation tool described in Part 1 above, and report through the 2022 budget process, as needed.

 

4. City Council request the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards to make publicly available, information on the enforcement process associated with the new rating system and service standards, including, but not limited to:

 

a. how specific property standards violations will affect an apartment building’s colour-coded rating;

 

b. the process by which a landlord is brought into conformity in regards to specific property standards violations;

 

c. how fines are levied; and

 

d. how remedial actions are taken.


3 - Motion to Amend Item moved by Councillor Gord Perks (Carried)

That City Council delete Planning and Housing Committee Recommendations 1, 2, and 4:

 

Recommendations to be deleted

 

Apartment Building Rating System

1.  City Council amend Toronto Municipal Code Chapter 354, Apartment Buildings, as follows:

 

a.  Require apartment building owners and operators to post a rating sign in a form satisfactory to the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards, displaying the evaluation score of the apartment building near the entrance and in a prominent location visible from the outside the apartment building to those entering or passing by the apartment building.

 

b.  Require apartment building owners and operators to ensure the rating sign is well-maintained, secured, and posted at all times.

 

2.  City Council direct the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards to develop colour-coded rating signs to include red, yellow, light green, and dark green based on the evaluation score of the building.

 

4.  City Council establish a fee for the replacement of an apartment building rating sign, as detailed in Table 2 and amend the Toronto Municipal Code, Chapter 441, Fees and Charges accordingly.

 

Table 2: Chapter 441 Apartment Building Rating Sign Re-issuance Fee

 

REF. NO.

SERVICE

FEE DESCRIPTION

CATEGORY

FEE BASIS

FEE

ANNUAL ADJ.

NEW

Private Properties

Apartment building rating sign re-issuance

Full cost recovery

Per application

$26.88

Yes

 

and adopt instead the following new recommendation:

 

Apartment Building Rating System

 

1.  City Council amend Toronto Municipal Code Chapter 354, Apartment Buildings, to require apartment building owners and operators to inform all current and prospective tenants of the rating of their apartment buildings and the evaluation used to create the rating. 

Vote (Amend Item) Dec-18-2020 11:03 AM

Result: Carried Majority Required - PH19.6 - Perks - motion 3
Total members that voted Yes: 16 Members that voted Yes are Ana Bail„o, Brad Bradford, Joe Cressy, John Filion, Paula Fletcher, Michael Ford, Mark Grimes, Stephen Holyday, Cynthia Lai, Mike Layton, Jennifer McKelvie, Denzil Minnan-Wong, Frances Nunziata (Chair), Gord Perks, Michael Thompson, John Tory
Total members that voted No: 4 Members that voted No are Paul Ainslie, Shelley Carroll, Josh Matlow, Jaye Robinson
Total members that were Absent: 5 Members that were absent are Mike Colle, Gary Crawford, James Pasternak, Anthony Perruzza, Kristyn Wong-Tam

Motion to Adopt Item as Amended (Carried)

PH19.6 - RentSafeTO (Apartment Building Standards): Colour-coded Rating System, By-law Amendments, and Program Updates

Decision Type:
ACTION
Status:
Amended
Wards:
All

Public Notice Given

Committee Recommendations

The Planning and Housing Committee recommends that:

 

Apartment Building Rating System

1.  City Council amend Toronto Municipal Code Chapter 354, Apartment Buildings, as follows:

 

a.  Require apartment building owners and operators to post a rating sign in a form satisfactory to the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards, displaying the evaluation score of the apartment building near the entrance and in a prominent location visible from the outside the apartment building to those entering or passing by the apartment building.

 

b.  Require apartment building owners and operators to ensure the rating sign is well-maintained, secured, and posted at all times.

 

2.  City Council direct the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards to develop colour-coded rating signs to include red, yellow, light green, and dark green based on the evaluation score of the building.

 

Fees

3.  City Council establish a fee to be applied when an application to re-evaluate an apartment building is submitted as detailed in Table 1 and amend the Toronto Municipal Code, Chapter 441, Fees and Charges accordingly.

 

Table 1: Chapter 441 Apartment Building Re-evaluation Application Fee

 

REF. NO.

SERVICE

FEE DESCRIPTION

CATEGORY

FEE BASIS

FEE

ANNUAL ADJ.

NEW

Private Properties

Apartment building

re-evaluation

Full cost recovery

Per application

$316.06

Yes

 

4.  City Council establish a fee for the replacement of an apartment building rating sign, as detailed in Table 2 and amend the Toronto Municipal Code, Chapter 441, Fees and Charges accordingly.

 

Table 2: Chapter 441 Apartment Building Rating Sign Re-issuance Fee

 

REF. NO.

SERVICE

FEE DESCRIPTION

CATEGORY

FEE BASIS

FEE

ANNUAL ADJ.

NEW

Private Properties

Apartment building rating sign re-issuance

Full cost recovery

Per application

$26.88

Yes

 

5.  City Council waive the fees in Recommendations 3 and 4 above for the following social housing providers:

 

a.  Toronto Community Housing Corporation;

 

b.  Non-profit providers of assisted or social housing under a program administered by the City of Toronto; and

 

c.  Dedicated supportive housing providers funded by the Province of Ontario.

 

Additional Amendments

6.  City Council direct that the following changes be made to the Toronto Municipal Code Chapter 354, Apartment Buildings:


a.  Amend Section 354-3.2 to require apartment building owners/operators to post their waste management plan on the tenant notification board.

 

b.  Amend Section 354-3.7 to clarify that the state of good repair plan for each apartment building must be developed and maintained in a form and manner satisfactory to the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards.

 

c.  Add a provision that the mailing address, email address, and phone number provided to Municipal Licensing and Standards through the registration and renewal process is up to date at all times, and that any written communication to an apartment building owner/operator from Municipal Licensing and Standards shall be deemed received by the owner/operator when delivered to the mailing address or email address on file.

 

d.  Add a provision that in addition to services required by statutory authority, notice may also be given by email as it relates to the property of a registered apartment building owner/operator.

 

Technical Amendments

7.  City Council amend Section 442-6 of the Toronto Municipal Code, Chapter 442, Fees and Charges, Administration of, to state that a service set out in Appendix C, Schedule 12 of Chapter 441, Fees and Charges that has been provided by the City or on the City's behalf shall be paid for by the person or persons receiving the service whether or not they requested the service.

 

8.  City Council direct that the following changes be made to the Toronto Municipal Code Chapter 354, Apartment Buildings:

 

a.  Amend Section 354-2.1 to require that building owners and operators provide an email address as part of the apartment building registration and renewal processes.

 

b.  Delete Section 354-7-1F and replace with the following: "When a corporation fails to comply with an order or other direction made under this Chapter, every director or officer who concurs in such contravention is guilty of an offence and on conviction is liable to a fine of no more than $100,000." 

 

Effective Dates for By-law Changes

9.  City Council direct that the changes to the Toronto Municipal Code Chapter 354, Apartment Buildings, and Toronto Municipal Code Chapter 441, Fees and Charges come into effect on June 1, 2021.

 

10.  City Council direct that the changes to the Toronto Municipal Chapter 442, Fees and Charges, Administration of, come into effect once adopted by City Council.

 

11. City Council request the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards to provide annual reporting with available data on RentSafeTO, broken down by year and category of request (heat, pests, etc.), including but not limited to:

 

a.  Number of service requests by category;
b.  Average and median initial investigation response time;
c.  Average and median total investigation time;
d.  Number of remedial actions taken;
e.  Number of times fines were imposed and the amounts
f.  Number of service requests outstanding;
g.  Number of service requests closed;
h.  Number of building audits performed;
i.  Number of orders to comply issued as a result of service requests;
j.  Number of orders to comply issued as a result of audits;
k.  Number of orders submitted to the courts; and
l.  Number of orders resolved by the courts.

Decision Advice and Other Information

The Planning and Housing Committee:

 

1.  Requested the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards to report to the December 16, 2020 meeting of City Council with available data on RentSafeTO, broken down by year and category of request (heat, pests, etc.), including but not limited to:

 

a.  Number of service requests by category;

b.  Average and median initial investigation response time;
c.  Average and median total investigation time;
d.  Number of remedial actions taken;
e.  Number of times fines were imposed and the amounts
f.  Number of service requests outstanding;
g.  Number of service requests closed;
h.  Number of building audits performed;
i.  Number of orders to comply issued as a result of service requests;
j.  Number of orders to comply issued as a result of audits;
k.  Number of orders submitted to the courts; and
l.  Number of orders resolved by the courts.

 

The Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards gave a presentation on RentSafeTO: Colour-coded Rating System, By-law Amendments, and Program Updates.

Origin

(November 24, 2020) Report from the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards

Summary

As directed by City Council in November 2019, this report proposes the creation of a colour-coded rating system for apartment buildings in Toronto and responds to outstanding directives related to the RentSafeTO program. This report was initially expected at the Planning and Housing Committee in April 2020, but was delayed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

The RentSafeTO program is the first of its kind in Canada and builds on the City's previous Multi-Residential Apartment Buildings program. The objectives of the program are to strengthen enforcement of City by-laws, enhance tenant engagement and access to information, and promote proactive maintenance in apartment buildings to prevent the deterioration of critical housing stock. The program applies to all apartment buildings with 3 or more storeys and 10 or more units; this accounts for 30% of Toronto's residents who live in approximately 3,500 apartment buildings across the city.

 

The proposed apartment building rating system is modeled after the City's DineSafe program administered by Toronto Public Health, and the RentLogic program in New York City. The rating system would require apartment building owners/operators to display a colour-coded rating sign near the entrance in a prominent location visible to both tenants and the public. The rating sign would display the building's most recent evaluation score, provide information on the next evaluation or audit, and explain how to submit a service request to the City. All apartment building ratings will also be easily accessible on the City's webpage.

 

Buildings that score 50% or below would receive a red rating sign and the City would complete a full audit of the building. Buildings with a score between 51% and 65% would receive a yellow rating and be re-evaluated within a year. Buildings with a score between 66% and 85% will receive a light green rating and be re-evaluated within two years. Buildings with a score of 86% and above will receive a dark green rating and will be re-evaluated within three years. The majority of buildings currently fall into the light green rating category.

 

The proposed apartment building rating system also introduces a process to allow building owners to apply for a re-evaluation. This is intended to encourage apartment building owners/operators to make improvements, and supports the overall objective of the RentSafeTO program to ensure apartment building owners/operators comply with building maintenance standards and continuously improve the quality of rental housing stock in Toronto. This process will be new and separate from existing standard protocols (that is, where By-law Enforcement Officers follow up on Orders to Comply or Notices of Violation issued to property owners to confirm compliance). A process to address downward movement in a rating (for example, a high-scoring building develops deficiencies prior to the next scheduled evaluation) is currently being designed.

 

To support the implementation of the colour-coded rating system, this report recommends a cost-recovery fee of $316.06 for a re-evaluation application, as well as a $26.88 fee for the cost to re-issue a rating sign. These fees would be waived for social housing providers, as defined in this report.

 

In February 2020, staff undertook a public consultation process to gather feedback on a potential rating system and fees. This included an online survey that had 1,930 respondents and a public consultation meeting with approximately 100 attendees. Residents were generally supportive of the proposed rating system, with higher support among renters in apartment buildings. Owners/operators of apartment buildings were generally not supportive of the proposed rating system. Survey respondents liked the readability of the signs and commented that the proposed system may increase accountability and transparency. Respondents highlighted concerns about the evaluation criteria that informs the rating score and the potential of colour-coded signs to shame or stigmatize tenants living in low-scoring buildings.

 

This report addresses other outstanding directives related to Chapter 354, Apartment Buildings. This includes an update on changes to the criteria and approach used to evaluate apartment buildings, the feasibility of mandating insurance coverage, increased fines for non-compliance with the Apartment Buildings By-law, and an update on the Voluntary Tenant Contact List related to heat in apartment buildings.

 

This report also provides updates on divisional initiatives that will have an impact on the RentSafeTO program, such as improvements to internal processes to better undertake remedial action, standard operating procedures and service standards, and details on the planning and implementation of an administrative penalty system.

 

Last, this report outlines the City's COVID-19 pandemic emergency response efforts as they relate to the RentSafeTO program, including the enforcement of temporary health and safety measures in apartment buildings, and provides an update on recent operational improvements.

 

This report was written in consultation with Shelter, Support and Housing Administration (SSHA), Social Development, Finance and Administration (SDFA), Housing Secretariat, Legal Services, Solid Waste Management Services, and the Resilience Office.

Background Information

(November 24, 2020) Report from the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards on RentSafeTO (Apartment Building Standards): Colour-coded Rating System, By-law Amendments, and Program Updates
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2020/ph/bgrd/backgroundfile-158863.pdf
Attachment 1 - Draft Rating Sign Designs
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2020/ph/bgrd/backgroundfile-158864.pdf
Attachment 2 - Survey Results: Proposed Colour-Coded Rating System
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2020/ph/bgrd/backgroundfile-158865.pdf
Attachment 3 - RentSafeTO Online Rating System: User Research and Usability Testing Report
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2020/ph/bgrd/backgroundfile-158866.pdf
(December 1, 2020) Public Notice
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2020/ph/bgrd/backgroundfile-158867.pdf
Presentation from Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2020/ph/bgrd/backgroundfile-159224.pdf

Communications

(December 1, 2020) E-mail from Louise Fletcher (PH.New.PH19.6.1)
(December 1, 2020) E-mail from William Chepesiuk (PH.New.PH19.6.2)
(December 2, 2020) Letter from Lauren Hele, Manager, Clintwood Non-Profit Housing Co-operative (PH.New.PH19.6.3)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2020/ph/comm/communicationfile-124589.pdf
(December 2, 2020) E-mail from Deborah Baumgarten (PH.New.PH19.6.4)
(December 5, 2020) E-mail from Daniel Caine (PH.New.PH19.6.5)
(December 5, 2020) E-mail from Johnnie Vella (PH.New.PH19.6.6)
(December 7, 2020) Letter from Elliot Platt, Vice-President, PHC Inc. (PH.New.PH19.6.7)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2020/ph/comm/communicationfile-124781.pdf
(December 7, 2020) Letter from Aaron Caplan, St. Paul's Tenants Association Network (PH.New.PH19.6.8)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2020/ph/comm/communicationfile-124784.pdf
(December 8, 2020) Letter from Jonathan Robart, Centre for Equality Rights in Accommodation (PH.New.PH19.6.9)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2020/ph/comm/communicationfile-124838.pdf
(December 8, 2020) Letter from Jonathan Robart, Senior Advisor, Right to Housing in Toronto (R2HTO) (PH.New.PH19.6.10)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2020/ph/comm/communicationfile-124841.pdf
(December 8, 2020) Letter from Dhruv Sheth, Vice President, LYVE Properties (PH.New.PH19.6.11)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2020/ph/comm/communicationfile-124842.pdf
(December 8, 2020) Letter from Kenn Hale, Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario (PH.New.PH19.6.12)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2020/ph/comm/communicationfile-124807.pdf
(December 8, 2020) E-mail from Alejandro Gonzales Rendon (PH.New.PH19.6.13)
(December 8, 2020) Submission from Daryl Chong, Greater Toronto Apartment Association (PH.New.PH19.6.14)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2020/ph/comm/communicationfile-124849.pdf

Speakers

Asquith Allen, Federation of Rental Housing Providers of Ontario
Aaron Caplan, Toronto St.Paulís Tenant Associations Network
Alejandra Ruiz Vargas , Chair East York ACORN
Kemba Robinson, Chair York West ACORN
Geordie Dent, Federation of Metro Tenants Associations
Annie Hodgins, CERA - Centre for Equality Rights in Accommodation
Daniel Caine
Johnnie Vella
Daryl Chong, Greater Toronto Apartment Association
Jonathan Robart, Right to Houising in Toronto (R2HTO)
Helen Chilas, 1501 Woodbine Tenants Group
Jonathan Krehm, O'Shanter Development Company Limited

Motions

1 - Motion to Amend Item (Additional) moved by Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam (Carried)

That:

 

1. The Planning and Housing Committee request the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards to report to the December 16, 2020 meeting of City Council with available data on RentSafeTO, broken down by year and category of request (heat, pests, etc.), including but not limited to:

 

a. Number of service requests by category;

b. Average and median initial investigation response time;
c. Average and median total investigation time;
d. Number of remedial actions taken;
e. Number of times fines were imposed and the amounts
f. Number of service requests outstanding;
g. Number of service requests closed;
h. Number of building audits performed;
i. Number of orders to comply issued as a result of service requests;
j. Number of orders to comply issued as a result of audits;
k. Number of orders submitted to the courts; and
l. Number of orders resolved by the courts.

 

2. City Council request the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards to provide annual reporting with available data on RentSafeTO, broken down by year and category of request (heat, pests, etc.), including but not limited to:

 

a. Number of service requests by category;
b. Average and median initial investigation response time;
c. Average and median total investigation time;
d. Number of remedial actions taken;
e. Number of times fines were imposed and the amounts
f. Number of service requests outstanding;
g. Number of service requests closed;
h. Number of building audits performed;
i. Number of orders to comply issued as a result of service requests;
j. Number of orders to comply issued as a result of audits;
k. Number of orders submitted to the courts; and
l. Number of orders resolved by the courts.


2 - Motion to Adopt Item as Amended moved by Councillor Ana Bail„o (Carried)
Source: Toronto City Clerk at www.toronto.ca/council