Dear Resident Association,
At its June 2022 meeting, Toronto City Council adopted amendments to three bylaws: Property Standards Bylaw, Vacant and Hazardous Properties Bylaw, and the Building Construction and Demolition Bylaw. We are emailing you today to provide an update on some of the key changes in the bylaws and will appreciate it if you share the information with members of your network.
1. Enforcement of the Property Standards Bylaw
The City is currently working to establish fines for violations of the Property Standards Bylaw, which will allow bylaw enforcement officers to issue tickets when required. Information about the fines will be made available on the City's Property Standards webpage.
Residents can contact 311 to submit a complaint about a bylaw violation. If there is a complaint or information about a possible violation, Bylaw Enforcement Officers will review the complaint and if validated, investigate, educate and/or take enforcement actions. The goal is to resolve issues and ensure that property owners/operators and occupants are following the bylaws. Each issue is addressed on a case-by-case basis to make sure reasonable, fair and appropriate actions are taken. For example, in some cases the issue may be resolved through education. In other cases, further enforcement action is required.
If a property owner/operator or occupant does not comply with the Property Standards Bylaw, they are guilty of an offence. Enforcement action may include an Order to Comply, a fine or a summons to appear before the Court. If property owners/operators do not comply, the City may carry out maintenance work to ensure compliance, with the cost of the work added to the property tax bill.
2. Changes in the Vacant-Derelict Properties Bylaw
The Vacant or Hazardous Property Bylaw, applies to all vacant buildings and hazardous properties in Toronto, including unsafe properties that pose an immediate danger to the health or safety of people. In addition to the requirements of the Property Standards Bylaw, the owner of a vacant property must protect the building against risk of fire or danger by preventing the entrance of all unauthorized persons, ensure that all materials used to secure a vacant building are compatible in colour to the exterior of the building, and disconnect utilities if the building is vacant for more than 90 days. More information is available on the City's Property Standards webpage.
3. Changes in the Right of Entry Requirements
Right of entry is required when property owners need to enter a neighbouring property to repair their own property, as the repairs cannot be done from within the boundaries of their own property. Effective March 1, 2023, new requirements in the Building Construction and Demolition Bylaw will be effect for right of entry. Right of entry permits will no longer be required; instead property owners will have to follow a set of rules if entering neighbouring property to conduct work.
If there is a need to access a neighbour’s property to do work on own property, property owners should first speak to their neighbours and must provide reasonable written notice to the neighbour at least 24 hours before entering. The written notice must include the description of the work being done, the date of entry and duration of the work, and the resident's telephone number. When entering neighbour's property, property owners should ensure that they are not creating any hazards and should restore the property to its original condition after the work is finished. Compensation needs to be provided for any damages caused by entry.
4. Guidance for Using Security Cameras on Private Property
Property owners and residents may choose to use security cameras for a number of reasons, such as identifying visitors and ensuring the security of delivered packages. However, it is important that cameras are installed and used in a way that considers the privacy of residents and neighbours.
The City does not regulate the use of security cameras on private residential properties, but there are best practices that can be considered when installing cameras on private properties. These are available on the City's Using a Security Camera on Your Property webpage.
If you have questions, please email MLSFeedback@toronto.ca.
Municipal Licensing & Standards Division
City of Toronto