Did you know that property owners are required to repair and maintain their property in accordance with the standards contained in the Property Standards By-law? This includes owners of residential rental properties, unless there is a specific agreement between the owner and tenants.
Some things that fall under the Property Standards By-law include:
- Ensuring structures, such as exterior walls, roofs and foundations are sound and free of water leaks Proper lighting for all buildings
- Ensuring that heating and plumbing are in good working order
- Proper maintenance of driveways, walkways, ramps and parking areas by ensuring they are free from potholes, and ice and snow in the winter
- Ensuring that tall weeds and grass are properly maintained
- Proper maintenance of yards ensuring they are kept in a reasonable condition and they are kept free of inoperative vehicles
If a neighbour is not maintaining their property, residents can register a confidential complaint with By-law Enforcement by calling 3-1-1 from your home phone. Once a complaint is received, a Property Standards Officer investigates the complaint to determine if a violation of the By-law exists.
If a violation is found, the officer will issue a Property Standards Order advising the owner of the violation and requiring it be fixed within the time period specified in the order.
The owner has the right to appeal to the City’s Property Standards Committee if they are not satisfied with the terms of the order. The committee can uphold the order, rescind it, or modify the length of time the owner has to comply.
If an owner fails to comply with a Property Standards Order, City staff has the authority to take action to have the necessary repairs done. Any costs associated with the repairs will be applied to the tax rolls for the subject property.
The maximum fine for failing to comply with a Property Standards Order is $25,000 for an individual and $50,000 for a corporation.