The City has launched an online survey (open until Oct. 4th) to hear public feedback on a plan to license Toronto landlords of rental apartment buildings.
Here are 3 ideas you can share to protect tenant health and protect the environment.
1) Require landlords and property managers to create a waste reduction plan, and provide clean and accessible recycling, green bin and waste services.
Often, TEA hears from residents living in highrises who are frustrated with either a lack of available services (like green bins or hazardous waste drop off spots) or by unclean and inaccessible recycling areas. For example, many residents have shared stories of their buildings having chutes for garbage but with recycling and green bin rooms in spaces that feel unsafe and unclean. By requiring waste reduction plans as a part of the licensing process, we can ensure they have clean and accessible facilities and also help Toronto reach its waste reduction goals.
2) Require landlords and property managers to create severe weather plans to help residents deal with conditions such as extreme heat, power outages and flooding.
Summer 2016 was the hottest summer on record with 14 heat warnings and 8 extended heat warnings were issued for Toronto. Many residents don’t have air conditioning and may be unable to access cool down spaces like public libraries. For example, by requiring landlords to have plans for extreme heat days and available facilities such as cool down rooms, we can better protect the health and wellbeing of Torontonians during the extreme weather events that climate change brings.
3) Require landlords and property managers to assess indoor air quality concerns that can contribute to building-related illnesses.
Sometimes referred to as ‘sick building syndrome’, tenants are concerned about indoor air quality affecting their health. Paints and industrial cleaners, black mould, asbestos, chemicals released by the building’s personal service shops (dry cleaners, salons, printers), and air filtration systems are often the responsibility of the building owner or manager. By assessing the sources of indoor air pollution and their potential risks, landlords could plan for improvements and better protect their tenants’ health.
We encourage you to share these ideas in Question 8b, where you’ll be asked what else Toronto’s licensing system could include. Overall, this proposed licensing system can go a long way to improve living conditions, protect health and ensure better maintenance and cleaning plans for renters in Toronto - all while helping us meet our zero waste goals, prepare for climate change, and improve air quality.
Everyone is invited to take the survey, including current and former renters, landlords, and concerned residents. If some questions don’t apply to you, just skip ahead to the next question.
Read more on the TEA blog about the landlord licensing system here.