Richmond Hill – Can You Stop Breaking The Law?

January 13th, 2018 · Tell Me What You Really Think Here · Property Management, Rental Property

I can just get so disgusted. In 2011 Ontario passed a law that should have made every basement apartment in Ontario legal. Unfortunately they stopped short of sanity because they allowed the municipalities to set their own by-laws, rules, committees, licensing schemes and generally non stop road blocks to the legalization of basement apartments to satisfy the endless stream of NIMBY jerks who are terrified that some tenant germs might fall on their property or God Forbid someone park on their empty goddamn suburban street. In fact the only city that is usually pretty good is the City of Toronto, as long as your place follows Fire Code rules, they aren’t going to bother you.

For many years after the Strong Communities through Affordable Housing Act, 2011, Mississauga, Brampton, Oshawa, Whitby and others actively continued to try to eradicate second suites. To this day many cities are just complete assholes about allowing what is our only new source of affordable housing. Only 70% of the upstairs area? Two furnaces in new houses? A certain width driveway? And on and on, with every little town and hamlet, a different set of rules and regulations. It’s just maddening. Is it necessary? Is it helpful? What are the consequences?

The inevitable conclusion I have come to is that all of these rules and regulations serve just one purpose, dissuading owners from creating basement suites and adding endless hassle and expense. However grudgingly these cities have been dragged kicking and screaming into the modern era at least landlords with second suites are not inherently “Go Directly To Jail” illegally breaking the law. Finally.

However a full 7 years later Richmond Hill is still continuing this proud lawbreaking tradition, it’s really terrible and it has nothing to do with safety. It’s stupid and regressive.

Today a Fire Inspector went to the apartment in question, and his only suggestion for safety was to change the plastic dryer vent hose for a metal dryer vent hose. Everything else is legal, everything is safe, and lets face it a lot us have that shitty plastic vent hose in our houses. (You should change it)

Then a City Inspector went in and is sending information to the owner on how to remove the kitchen and basically take this apartment off the market.

In the GTA every day there is something in the news about the vacancy rates… and how we need affordable housing really badly, and people are homeless and dying in the weather and then you have the city assholes in Richmond Hill shutting down really nice decent apartments contrary to the law of Ontario and contrary to common sense.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still frustrated as heck with antiquated City of Toronto Bylaws that make triplexes and multi unit houses in vast swathes of suburbia illegal, impossible, and unthinkable but today it’s Richmond Hill that makes me sick, and I hope it makes you sick too.

Mayor of Richmond Hill officemayor@richmondhill.ca

Councillor Greg Beros greg@gregberos.com

Councillor Tom Muench tom.muench@richmondhill.ca

Councillor Castro Liu castro.liu@richmondhill.ca

Councillor  David West david.west@richmondhill.ca

Councillor Karen Cilevitz karen.cilevitz@richmondhill.ca

Councillor Godwin Chan godwin.chan@richmondhill.ca

Just to make it easy I’ve create a little note you can copy paste (Control C to copy and Control V to paste) into an email to aforementioned city officials who have ignored the law of Ontario for years and failed to update their city policies to reflect the new rules adding to homelessness and the lack of affordable housing in their city.

Dear Mayor & Councillors of Richmond Hill,

It is time to stop ignoring the law of Ontario specifically the Strong Communities through Affordable Housing Act 2011 and stop forcing your bylaw officers to tell your (many new immigrant) constituents to remove perfectly safe and legal basement apartments. It’s time to check basement apartments for Fire Safety and then leave the tenants and owners alone.

Tenants have been evicted by owners for no good reason other than regressive, antiquated city policy, bullied by your bylaw officers and frightened of City of Richmond Hill threats of fines. The poorest and most vulnerable tenants… You are acting in an illegal manner and you need to stop be part of dismantling economically disadvantaged people’s homes.

Many Thanks,

Concerned Resident of Ontario (Your Name)

Go suck an Egg – Richmond Hill – Stop Being a Douche

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