Province shifting rental property maintenance standards to towns
|By Mark Arike - Staff Writer | August 13, 2015
As of July 1, the province will no longer enforce residential rental maintenance standards, leaving it in the hands of local municipalities.
Highlands East council recently appointed the municipality’s chief building official, Laurie Devolin, and bylaw enforcement officer, Wayne Galloway, as inspectors responsible for investigating complaints and enforcing these standards. Galloway recommended council make the temporary appointments until a property standards bylaw can be put in place. “Once that’s in place, we’ll be in compliance with the regulations,” he said.
According to the amended Residential Tenancies Act, municipalities must “monitor compliance with the prescribed maintenance standards,” investigate an alleged offence and take action if necessary. In municipalities without a standards bylaw, landlords must follow the provincial maintenance standards outlined in the act.
It covers maintenance of heating, structural elements, utilities and services, and general maintenance. The Rental Housing Enforcement Unit of the Ontario Ministry of Housing currently enforces these standards. Once a bylaw is established, the municipality will have to appoint a threemember appeals committee. Galloway suggested the municipality begin working on a bylaw and the next elected council can pass it in 2019.
MARK ARIKE is a reporter for The Highlander.