Mississauga rental building owners could face $100,000 fines for not taking part in property upkeep program


Published July 4, 2022 at 10:50 am

affordable housing Mississauga and Brampton

Rental building landlords/owners in Mississauga could be fined as much as $100,000 if they fail to participate in a new pilot program that seeks to ensure apartments across the city are properly maintained.

Under the Mississauga Apartment Rental Compliance (MARC) pilot study, a five-year City of Mississauga initiative, rental apartment building owners and landlords must comply with maintenance standards and take steps to make sure the needs of tens of thousands of tenants in the city are being addressed.

“You can now rent with greater confidence knowing your apartment and building will be properly maintained,” City officials said in a news release.

Key elements of the MARC pilot include:

  • a requirement for building owners and landlords to register each year for the program (2022 registration fee is $18.25 per rental unit)
  • proactive apartment building inspections conducted by a dedicated team of City bylaw enforcement staff
  • a streamlined complaints process for tenants
  • potential fines for owners and landlords who fail to comply

The pilot study marks a dramatic change in how the City deals with rental properties that aren’t properly maintained.

City officials say it’s time they became more aggressive in tackling the issue.

“The City is strengthening its response,” said Michael Foley, Mississauga’s acting director of enforcement. “We are moving from a complaints-based process to conducting proactive building inspections. This could result in stepped-up enforcement that includes issuing charges and/or fines. We continue to encourage anyone who has told their landlord about a repair issue, but the problem has not been fixed, to submit a complaint for action by the City’s Enforcement Division. The goal is to make tenants feel comfortable bringing issues forward, knowing they will be resolved to their satisfaction.”

Owners and landlords must register with the program if their rental building has two or more storeys and six or more residential units that share a common area.

Condominiums, secondary units, long-term care homes, licensed retirement homes and housing cooperatives are not included in the MARC program.

City enforcement staff is currently contacting owners and landlords to advise them of their responsibility to register. Failure to register an apartment building is an offence under the bylaw which, upon conviction, carries a maximum fine of $100,000.

Residents who have reported a repair or maintenance issue to their landlord with no response or action taken are encouraged to submit a request by calling the City’s information line at 311.

Mayor Bonnie Crombie noted that as Ontario grapples with a housing affordability crisis, it’s critical that Mississauga’s rental stock is well-maintained, safe and liveable.

“Mississauga’s competitive advantage has always been our quality of life. By working together, we will ensure rental buildings are maintained and repairs addressed in a timely manner so that people can rent with confidence in Mississauga,” she said.

The MARC program will cost the City $3.7 million over five years and is similar to Toronto’s Rent Safe program. 

Peel ACORN, an independent social and economic justice group that helps renters across Mississauga and Brampton push rental management groups to provide acceptable and appropriate living conditions, said last December that it’s been lobbying for such a proactive program for years.

Landlords must be held accountable for poor and inaccessible living conditions that are all too common, the group says. 

“While Mississauga has property standard bylaws, they are not properly enforced,” Peel ACORN said in a statement in December 2021. “Renters everywhere in the city are living through endless property standard violations and landlords are not being held accountable. That’s why members in Mississauga are fighting for a proactive bylaw system to enforce property standards so tenants can live in healthy and safe homes.”  

Residents who would otherwise be afraid to push landlords, for fear of reprisals, can simply contact the City with their concerns under the pilot.

Robin Vanderfleet, a leader of Peel ACORN, said in an earlier statement that tenants have been pushing for tougher municipal regulations governing rental buildings.  

They’re pleased with the City’s launch of the pilot project. 

“It should be against the law for apartment buildings not to have automatic door openers for tenants with disabilities,” Vanderfleet said earlier, noting that’s just one of many issues renters face.  

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