London ACORN Demands for Affordable and Healthy Homes
Posted June 1, 2023
In Canada, there is a rapidly growing epidemic of predatory landlords who take advantage of low-income, disabled and/or elderly tenants to maximize profits. ACORN members all across the city of London are experiencing a host of problems, including renoviction, severe disrepair, mismanagement and harassment from financialized landlords who prioritize profits over the wellbeing of their tenants.
London ACORN is advocating for a Tenant Protection Platform that proposes legislation for landlord licensing and a renoviction bylaw – both of which have passed in other cities across Canada and successfully reduced predatory landlord issues like renovictions and building disrepair.
London’s Tenant Protection Platform Demands:
- Property owners to pay an annual, per unit fee for cost recovery and administration of licensing program, annual inspection, enforcement of non-compliance, tenant outreach and communications.
- Tenant education and engagement program that is actively promoted by the City and includes tenant stakeholder groups such as ACORN
Property owners must be given the list of minimum property standards that they are required to meet in addition to mechanisms to ensure property standards are met and maintained.
- Annual inspections and re-inspection programs for landlords who fail to comply.
- Financial penalties for property owners that are non-compliant.
City of London to have access to detailed information regarding the property owner’s contact information, property description, and building insurance.
- Require landlords to develop an indoor/outdoor maintenance plan and objectives for ensuring maintenance plan is followed.
- Creation of a mandatory program to receive and follow up with tenant requests.
- Service disruptions and cleaning schedules be posted in common areas.
- City-owned corporations (eg Middlesex-London Housing Corporation) and non-profits would not be subject to fee, however, would still need to comply with the licensing program.
- Landlords with outstanding work orders or multiple violations must be posted online and in the property’s common areas.
- If the landlord refuses to comply, the City will undertake the work at the property owner’s expense.
- The City should apply varying timelines based on the severity of the repairs required.
- The burden of tenant placement is put on the landlord (moving costs, similar unit at same rent for duration of renovations, etc. all covered by landlord.)
- Moving assistance provided by landlord.
- Mandated landlord-tenant meetings must allow for representative of city and tenant support groups like ACORN to be present.
- Written communication provided in tenant’s native language at no cost to tenant.
- Building maintenance cannot be permitted to deteriorate after delivering notice of renovations to tenants.
- Frequent communication in trackable mediums must be made available to tenants with regard to renovation progress and return timelines.
- Annual inspections to apartment buildings include proactive tenant education in tenant’s native language.
Tenant Defense Fund
- Implementation of a tenant defence fund similar to those in Toronto or Hamilton.