While that talk has focussed on things like more neighbourhood businesses, parks, and amenities, this week the city has turned its focus on another pertinent issue: slumlords.
Slumlords are like bronchitis: ain’t nobody got time for that. Deputy Mayor Ron Ellsworth agrees. He says that property owners with a history of not complying with city regulations, who allow tenants to live in unsafe or substandard conditions “are a drain on the system and a drain on public resources.”
He says “our new enforcement strategy will improve our ability to manage these challenging and often complex cases more collaboratively and efficiently.”
A select group of experienced inspectors have been chosen to manage challenging slumlord files, and this new approach should ensure that issues are identified sooner, and that chronic offenders are given a harsher reprimand, and more frequent ticketing, to better protect the public from shoddy landlords.
“Ultimately,” Ellsworth says, “we want to have greater compliance from all property owners, but we are particularly interested in increasing compliance from chronic offenders.”
The goal is to “mitigate the impact that repeated building deficiencies have on tenants, particularly those who have life skill challenges and complex needs. Where life safety is a factor, our teams will work swiftly to have individuals vacate these properties, always being sensitive to individual needs and concerns.”
One of the challenges with managing cases against questionable landlords is that issues are often not reported as quickly they should be. Therefore, members of the public, particularly tenants, are encouraged to report their concerns.