Chow Vows to Fight for Renters’ Right, Inspect Private Landlords

Almost a week before the city’s municipal election campaign ends, mayoral candidate Olivia Chow announced to fight for renters’ rights on Monday, saying that if elected mayor she will ramp up inspections of private rental buildings. Chow made the announcement while standing in front of a private rental building near Dawes Road and Danforth Avenue, where tenants are fighting their landlord over complaints of peeling paint, bedbugs and incomplete repairs.

In her remarks, Chow alleged that “it’s really not fair for the thousands and thousands of tenants who live in these buildings that they have to endure bad quality.” She vowed to introduce a more regular and transparent system of rental building inspections, explaining that “if the apartment owners are not making the changes and doing the repairs, charge them. Take them to court and ask for stiffer fines.” Furthermore, Chow shared that if landlords failed to carry out repairs, the city would do so and then charge the landlords by adding the costs onto their property taxes.

Whereas on the other hand, Chow said the city would pay for increased inspections by passing the inspection cost on to landlords and preventing it to be passed on to renters. Confessing that majority buildings are kept in a good state of repair, she stressed that it’s important to tighten the system so that standards are maintained across the rental market. She said that “there are many landlords that are very good,” adding that “I’m talking about bad apples. The bad apples have to be routed out so we can have better rentals in the city.”

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