New interactive map lets you see how safe and clean Toronto apartment buildings really are
Moving into a new Toronto apartment is always a bit of a gamble, especially when you're not quite sure about the upkeep of the building or you're wondering how clean and safe it really is.
Fortunately, the city just launched a new tool to help renters view and download evaluation results for apartment buildings registered with RentSafeTO, the bylaw enforcement program that ensures owners and operators meet building maintenance standards, so you can be sure a particular building is the right one for you.
Tenants should be able to know the condition of a building before making it their home. If already there, they should be able to expect a safe & healthy place to live. I’m proud to have helped initiate RentSafeTO. Check out our new interactive webpage at: https://t.co/uQg8JKlpFw.— Josh Matlow (@JoshMatlow) October 6, 2021
Building owners and operators of rental properties who have three or more storeys and 10 or more units are required to register with RentSafeTO and comply with the Apartment Standards Bylaw, and the city evaluates RentSafeTO buildings at least once every three years.
Staff inspects the condition of common areas, mechanical and security systems, and parking and exterior grounds during these evaluations, and buildings are then given a total score out of 100.
The city's new interactive map allows you to look up the address of any building in the city and view the details of its most recent evaluation, including when it was evaluated, the breakdown of the evaluation and its overall score.
And if the building you're looking up has a score of 50 per cent or less, the city is likely on top of it.
Buildings that receive an overall evaluation score of 50 per cent or less must undergo a comprehensive inspection and audit of all common areas, during which staff also engage with tenants to educate them on RentSafeTO and document concerns they may have regarding property standards issues within their unit or the common areas of the building.
The city says this new tool is meant to help both current and prospective tenants access important information about their current or future home.
"Making evaluation results more accessible increases transparency on the quality of apartment buildings across Toronto and makes building owners and operators more accountable to current and prospective tenants," reads a city new release about the new map.
The RentSafeTO: Apartment Building Standards program, which was established in 2017, requires apartment building owners and operators to register their buildings with the city and renew that registration annually; have a process for tracking and responding to tenant service requests; conduct regular inspections in common areas for cleanliness and pests; have plans for maintenance, waste, cleaning, and disruptions to vital service such as water, heat and electricity; notify tenants of service disruptions; undergo routine building evaluations and comply with all applicable city bylaws.
"This new interactive webpage is another step in the right direction to help protect tenant rights," said Mayor John Tory in a statement. "It will hold apartment building owners and management accountable and help prospective tenants make more informed decisions when looking for a new home."
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