Olivia Chow calls for apartment building rating system
Olivia Chow thinks Toronto should lean on the success of the DineSafe rating system when it comes to improving conditions at our many privately owned apartment buildings. The mayoral candidate called for the implementation of a simple grading system (green/pass, yellow/conditional pass, red/fail) earlier today as part of a collection of ideas to improve rental housing.
"You can go into a restaurant and see a red or a green sign and you know that restaurant is safe. Right now we do not have such a system for these buildings," Chow told the Toronto Star. "What we should have is good transparency, so people know whether their buildings are full of deficiencies or in good repair."
In addition to the rating system and the conspicuous posting of the current grades a building has received, Chow promised to create a smartphone app that would air prospective renters in acquiring information about particular buildings, something that she claims is difficult to do at present. There is the bed bug registry to go on, of course, but that won't tell you if there's mould all over the bathroom.
There are obvious differences between restaurants and apartments (you can't just ask current tenants to vacate if the building gets a failing grade), but a rating system would put pressure on landlords and management companies to be keep their buildings in good condition and renters on the hunt for apartments would be equipped with information that could prove useful in choosing where to live.
Photo by Derek Flack
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