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If you have questions about your rights as a renter or are having problems with your landlord, then there are several terrific sources of reliable information available:
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  • You can also speak with a layer at your local Community Legal Clinic (CLC) office. Your local CLC can provide you with legal advice or connect you with legal representation. Each CLC office services a specific area of the city; check their webpage for more information. It is usually best to visit during one of their “Drop In” times, if they have them. You can try telephoning, but these are busy offices, so it is usually faster to drop in than to call. You can find the CLC office that services your area by following this link.


Author Topic: Renovations While In Unit  (Read 921 times)

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dennyroo

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Renovations While In Unit
« on: September 26, 2022, 11:28:46 am »
I have a history with my landlord either not giving notice for repairs, not being reactive and just a general lack of communication. Due to the history I am worried about an upcoming kitchen remodeling they mentioned while a handyman was repairing a sink.

It seems they want to rip out the entire flooring, wall tiling, re do the counter tops etc. it seems like a lot of work they just dropped in passing with no information. They haven't informed when this is going to be done (although they made it seem like it was soon), what it will entail so I am concerned what I should do. Some questions I have below:

If a landlord is planning a large remodeling while the tenant is in the unit how much notice do they need to give? What details do they have to provide with the notice?
Is there a reasonable timeliness things need to be completed example what if this is going to take 3 weeks?
Being my kitchen is there any protection or things that are vital i.e I am without a fridge or stove for x days? 

I have tried finding information this but I feel like I can't find exactly what I need to provide a clear communication with my landlord - THANK YOU!!

Andy

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Re: Renovations While In Unit
« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2022, 12:05:49 pm »

Hi DennyRoo,

Your landlord is required to give you 24 hours before entering your unit (unless it's an emergency, which this isn't), and they are supposed to make accommodations if they remove "essential services", which may apply in your case if the kitchen renovations affect your ability to access drinking water, or your fridge or stove for cooking.

I would strongly suggest contacting the FMTA Tenant Hotline.  The Federation of Metro Tenant Associations (FMTA) is a renter advocacy organisation here in Toronto that has many experts who can answer your questions either by telephone (416-921-9494), postal-mail, or e-mail (hotline@torontotenants.org).  The FMTA's experts can provide helpful advice, and will know details of the law that may be applicable.

Let us know what they say (sop others wit similar problems can learn from your experience).

- Andy




Creepella

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Re: Renovations While In Unit
« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2022, 04:03:51 pm »
I went through almost the exact same situation in 2020. My landlord had to replace the plumbing pipes (risers) in the walls, ceilings and cupboards in my kitchen and bathroom. They ripped out walls, ceilings and cupboards. There was dust and debris all over the place. I had no use of water or the toilet from 9-5 each day. I had to stack all of my things from the kitchen and bathroom in my living room, plus I had to build a temporary cage for my small dogs. Everything had to be covered to keep the dust out. The work took almost three weeks.

It was a fiasco because the landlord took the opportunity while the plumbers were working to sneak into my apartment without my knowledge, snoop through my personal belongings including lifting covers on pet cages, then they threatened me with eviction because my apartment was a mess (ya think?). They also made a malicious cruelty call to Ontario Animal Services in an attempt to have my pets forcibly removed. I sued them at the housing tribunal but lost because the biased adjudicator decided that I needed video of the landlord snooping to prove my case, so she dismissed my case.

My landlord did a few things right, and this is what you should expect from your landlord. First of all, Right of Entry notices have to be REASONABLE. Serving you with 24 hours notice for a major renovation is not reasonable. They should be giving you 60 days notice for the repair. You have to be given enough notice to prepare for the renovation, like moving belongings, covering belongings, etc.

Their notice must contain a DETAILED description of the work being done, including what, when, and where in your apartment. They have to tell you who will be doing the work. In my case the plumbing contractor provided a blueprint of my unit with the work areas marked, and a page of details about what they were going to do and what I needed to do to prepare the work areas. They told me how long it would take for the work, what time they'd show up each day and what time they'd finish for the day. They even gave me the foreman's phone number in case I had questions.

During the work, the landlord MUST give you separate 24 hour notices for each day, especially if the landlord and/or his agents (super, handymen) are planning to enter. It's normal for the landlord and/or their handymen to enter more than once during the work, to inspect the work. They have to state the time and reason for each day's entry. A blanket entry notice for the entire work period is NOT acceptable. My landlord gave me notices for each day - except for the day they snooped through my stuff without my knowledge.

Most landlords will hire a professional contractor for large jobs, but some use their own handymen. Based on your description it will probably be a pro contractor. They know how to do this type of repair while the tenant stays in the apartment, like by doing one area at a time. If they don't give enough detail about the work, make sure to ask.

With this type of work there will probably be all kinds of people going in and out of your apartment. I can't stress this enough - GET VIDEO CAMERAS if you don't have them. Set them up in the work areas and inside your front door where you can film anyone who enters. They're not too expensive and if anyone does anything wrong, you will have time stamped video evidence when you sue the landlord. If it's a problem with the contractor's behaviour, you still sue the landlord because their contractor is considered an "agent" of the landlord under the RTA.

I'm not sure how familiar you are with the rental housing tribunal website, but for more information on the rules about renovations the two Interpretation Guidelines you want are "Tenant's Rights" (section entitled "Interference due to work performed by the landlord") and "The Landlord's Right of Entry into a Rental Unit". Link: https://tribunalsontario.ca/ltb/rules-practice-directions-guidelines/

I hope this is helpful.

dennyroo

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Re: Renovations While In Unit
« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2022, 11:31:27 am »
Thank you so much for sharing you experience!

 

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