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December 04, 2022, 04:23:01 am

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Common Tenant Problems - Above Guideline Rent Increases...

This section is for discussing Above Guideline Rent Increases (AGIs).

Above Guideline Rent Increases are a legal process by which landlords can apply to the Landlord and Tenant Board to increase the rent more than the legislated annual rent increase amount.

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Above Guideline Rent Increases are a complicated subject; for more information see our Quick Guide to Above Guideline Rent Increases

Author Topic: "Necessary" repairs?  (Read 579 times)

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Jojo

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"Necessary" repairs?
« on: October 02, 2021, 09:28:08 am »
Our landlord is currently completing unnecessary capital expenditures on our building. The LTB indicates that in order for landlords to be granted their AGIs, the capital expenditures must be NECESSARY. Howwver, we believe the current work is merely an upgrade.  How do we prove that? Any ideas?


William

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Re: "Necessary" repairs?
« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2021, 08:35:03 am »
Hi Jojo,

According to the Residential Tenancies Act, Section 126, subsection 8:
   http://www.ontariotenants.ca/law/act07.phtml#RTA126

... a landlord basically gets a "free pass" if the renovation improves
access for persons with disabilities, conservation of water or energy, or
improves the security of the building.  So those few items are very hard
to argue against.

Other items, however, you must document, probably ideally through
photography - take pictures before the work has begun to document the
original state of repair.

A strategy that the landlord will use is "engineering reports".  The idea
is that a certified building inspector will tour the grounds and write up
a report stating that certain things needed to be repaired.  This kind of
documentation is very difficult to refute - you'd basically have to have
had your own engineer who inspected the same parts of the building before
the work was done, and concluded that the work didn't need to be done,
and was willing to sign an official document stating that fact.  Tricky
to obtain.

But if the landlord doesn't have an engineering report, and you have
photographs showing that things weren't in a state of disrepair, then you
could mount an argument using Section 126, point 8.

Additionally, you should always argue about superficial things like
paint, carpet, tiles, and lighting fixtures.  And argument can be made
that these items do not satisfy Section 126, point 7 "necessary to
protect or restore the physical integrity of the residential complex".

Lastly, you may be able to file a complaint that your "reasonable
enjoyment of the premises" was impaired during the renovation.  This is
not an easy argument to make - O.Reg 516/06 provides a list of things
that limit your ability to pursue the landlord for reasonable enjoyment,
but one thing that does stick out is Building Permits.  Check out O.Reg
516/06, Section 8, subsection 4, point 7.  Here's a link to Section 8
subsection 4:

   https://www.canlii.org/en/on/laws/regu/o-reg-516-06/latest/o-reg-516-06.html#sec8subsec4

which states...

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
(4) If the Board finds that the landlord [...] substantially interfered
with the reasonable enjoyment [...] the Board shall NOT order an
abatement of rent if all of the following conditions are satisfied:

[...]

  7. If required under the Building Code Act, 1992, a permit was issued
in respect of the work.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

So, if your landlord didn't obtain the necessary building permits, then
although you can't directly fight the AGI, you can file your own separate
appeals:  a "T2" for loss of reasonable enjoyment, and a "T3" asking for
a reduction or abatement of rent, which may hopefully reduce the sting of
the AGI a bit.

Jojo

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Re: "Necessary" repairs?
« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2021, 01:58:29 am »
The landlord can do whatever work they want to the buildling, but we shouldn't have to pay for it if it's not necessary!  The building permit says "masonry work and sealant replacement", and I don't think that any of that is necessary.  How can I prove the work isn't necessary?  If I can't get an engineer to help me, then can I hire a building inspector or something?


William

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Re: "Necessary" repairs?
« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2021, 11:09:37 am »

There's a clause in the O. Reg. that defines repairs of the "physical
integrity" of the building as including repairs to maintain the "weather
envelope":

   https://www.canlii.org/en/on/laws/regu/o-reg-516-06/latest/o-reg-516-06.html#sec18subsec1

See 18 (1):

Quote
“physical integrity” means the integrity of all parts of a structure,
including the foundation, that support loads or THAT PROVIDE A WEATHER
ENVELOPE and includes, without restricting the generality of the
foregoing, the integrity of,

(a) the roof, EXTERIOR WALLS, exterior doors and exterior windows,

(b) elements contiguous with the structure THAT CONTRIBUTE TO THE WEATHER
ENVELOPE OF THE STRUCTURE, and [...]

I'm guessing that this is the reason the work is described as including
"sealant replacement" so that later, at your AGI hearing, they can
describe the work a necessary to the physical integrity of the building.

These sorts of repairs are very difficult to argue against during an AGI
proceeding because of the aforementioned clauses, that basically state
that these sorts of repairs are always to be approved.



 

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