Most Toronto renters have some sort of landlord horror story at the ready.
Whether it’s someone who is extremely slow to respond to any sort of maintenance request or a sketchy fellow who wants everything paid in cash, a good landlord can be hard to find.
But what if it was as easy to see your landlord’s rating as it is for the city’s restaurants? Well, the Toronto’s tenant issues committee is trying to make that happen.
They’re in talks to develop a colour-coded Toronto landlord rating system, similar to the city’s DineSafe program.
Councillor and committee member Josh Matlow says he’s heard tenant stories that make it obvious that “far too many live in states of disrepair that none of us would wish on our family or friends.”
He says that “naming and shaming” landlords through inspections would give them more of an incentive to improve the way they operate.
The committee wants the rating system to apply to all multi-residential buildings with three or more storeys and 10 units or more, and people will be able to see the ratings online as well as posted clearly in the building’s lobbies.
They also recommend fines for landlords who break the licensing bylaw.
While the proposal has its fair share of supporters, those against the proposal feel it might unfairly target lower-income tenants. After all, nobody wants to live in a building with a big red “bad” rating but many Torontonians don’t have a choice.
Regardless of which side of the debate you’re on, it’s clear that the city is long overdue for a system that keeps landlords accountable for their actions and protects tenants.