No justice for tenants of 1083 Main St E at Property Standards Committee
Posted April 6, 2023
Hamilton, Ontario – Today at the Property Standards Committee the city and representatives for 1083 Main St Inc. entered into a joint submission for compliance of the water to be fully restored by tomorrow April 6th. The joint submission stated that cold water was restored in and around March 24th and that as of yesterday (April 4th) contractors completed work to restore hot water with full pressure. As part of the agreement the city would be doing an inspection today to confirm compliance and the landlord representative stated they hoped this would be the last inspection.
At the time of the committee meeting, some tenants are still reporting insufficient hot water. Four tenants from 1083 Main St E attended the committee meeting to observe it. Tenants report that they could see contractors on site late yesterday rushing to fix the water by the time of the hearing today.
Water to the building was shut off in late December due to a burst pipe and the landlord made no effort to restore water to the building until the week of March 20th. Tenants expected the landlord to be motivated to restore water after being forced to withdraw two N13 renoviction cases due to breach of the landlord’s responsibility to provide a vital service (subsection 83.3).
At the property standards committee there was no acknowledgement of the previous February 21st joint submission where the city accepted the landlord’s position that water could not be restored with tenants in their units and to wait for March 8-9th Landlord and Tenant Board hearings. The repair work that occurred between March 20 and April 4 did not require tenants to leave their homes.
Moving forward ACORN and tenants are urging the city to:
• Evaluate the city’s enforcement efforts that resulted in zero action taken by the landlord to restore a vital service and left tenants without water for almost 3 months
• Apply the maximum amount of fines allowed to 1083 Main Street St Inc for withholding a vital service
• Develop improvements to the city’s vital services bylaw and property standards bylaws to ensure tenants are properly supported when loss of vital services occurs and strengthen bylaws to hold landlords accountable
• Pass a city-wide landlord licensing program to ensure healthy housing conditions and restrict renoviction (Based on the RentSafe program from Toronto, Ontario and anti-renoviction policy based from New Westminster, BC).