Stay Warm, Stay Safe

With the unpleasant weather we have received in the city, the HPTA thought it was a good time to remind our members of their rights. Below you will find excerpts from the City of Toronto website.

If you are encountering violations of the bylaws below and your building management in unresponsive to your concerns, we advice you to call 311 and submit a complaint to the HPTA by following the process posted on our website (please do not reply directly to this e-mail to report issues).

Heating/Staying Warm

Bylaw enforcement – low heat – no heat – air conditioning – air conditioner units – residential properties

No or low heat

Additional details on low or no heat/other vital services in rental units are available on the City of Toronto website.

Heating (Minimum temperatures) 
A landlord is responsible for providing heat to a residential dwelling at a minimum of 21 degrees Celsius between September 15 and June 1 of each year.

If the heating/ventilation system is out of service and currently being repaired/maintained, this is NOT a violation and no investigation is required.

If you have concerns about the heating or cooling in your rental unit, you should inform the superintendent, the property and/or the proper owner in writing.

If the issue is not addressed within a reasonable amount of time, you can contact 311 to file a complaint. A service request will be submitted for investigation by Municipal Licensing & Standards.

Note: The Heating By-law does not apply to common areas (hallways, stairwells, building entrances, etc). The By-law only applies to the dwelling unit. If there is heating equipment in common areas, so long as the equipment is in good working order (Property Standards By-law requirement), there is no minimum temperature that applies to these areas.

Complaints about no/low heat for commercial properties should be referred to the Ministry of Labour under the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

Bylaw information
Chapter 629 – 38 Heating and air conditioning (full details are available on the City of Toronto website: http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/municode/1184_629.pdf )

A. Every heating and air-conditioning system or unit shall be kept in good repair and maintained in good working condition at all times relevant to the operation of that system.

G. All air conditioners and other water-cooled equipment shall be equipped with proper devices for the prevention of condensation drainage or discharge onto sidewalks, walkways, driveways and entrance areas or other areas used for pedestrian or vehicular traffic.

H. The devices provided under Subsection G shall be configured so as not to cause damage to the walls or foundations or other parts of a building.

Clear/Safe Sidewalks

Bylaw enforcement – snow and ice removal – snow clearing from sidewalks

For areas of the City that DO NOT receive sidewalk snow clearing service (ie. in Toronto & East York, York, and parts of the Etobicoke and North York districts) property owners are required to clear their sidewalks of snow within 12 hours after a storm has taken place.

If you have a concern about a property owner (in an area that does not receive City snow clearing service) that is not clearing the snow from their sidewalks, please contact 311 to submit a service request for investigation by Right-of-Way Management.

Enforcement

Given the vast area of the districts and limited enforcement staff, it is very difficult to pro-actively monitor compliance. Therefore the program, except for high profile problem areas, is largely complaint-driven.

If a problem is identified, the owner is given a notice seeking their co-operation in clearing the walk. If compliance is not achieved in this manner, the City will clear the walk and charge the cost to the owner.

In areas that DO receive sidewalk snow clearing service from the City, it is hoped that all property owners will remove minor accumulations of less than (8 cm during Nov, Dec, March & 2 cm during Jan and Feb) where sidewalk ploughs may not be called out and/or icy conditions that may develop as a result of freeze/thaw cycles, after the City sidewalk ploughing has been completed. But individuals are NOT required to clear the snow from their sidewalks. (as per Toronto Municipal Code, Chapter 719-2 (C) of the bylaw)

TMC Chapter 719 – Snow and Ice Removal

Section; 719-2. B. After the removal of snow and ice, if any portion of the sidewalk becomes slippery
from any cause, the owner or occupant must immediately and as often as necessary apply to the sidewalk ashes, sand, salt or some other suitable material so as to completely cover the slippery surface.

TMC Chapter 548 – Section 3 (A) – Littering and depositing refuse prohibited

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