Category: Landlord Legal Issues

An Ottawa Landlord Received a Fine of $34,000 for Fire Code Violations!

Being a successful landlord means being pro-active and aggressively defending your interests. After all, we have challenges to face.

This can apply to everything from tenant screening to dealing with tenants problems.

It also means making sure your property doesn’t violate the Ontario Fire Code.

An Ottawa landlord found this out the hard way!

According to the Ottawa Citizen, an Ottawa landlord has been fined $34,000 fine for violating Ontario Fire Code violations.

Ottawa Fire Services said in a news release Tuesday that they received a complaint about violations at 19 Burnbrook Crescent, near Carling Avenue and Holly Acres Road, in September 2011.

When fire prevention officers inspected the property, they found it was being used as a duplex and its tenants were at risk because of the violations.

After several attempts to achieve fire code compliance, the landlord was charged.

On July 4, the landlord was convicted of five offences, including failing to provide a means of escape, failing to install a smoke alarm and failing to provide a certificate of compliance from the Electrical Safety Authority.

In addition to a $34,000 fine, the landlord was also ordered to pay a 25-per-cent victims surcharge.

This isn’t the first time we’ve read about charges over fire safety.  Last time it was a tenant.

On January 2nd, 2013 a huge fire broke out at 11 William Street in Orillia, Ontario. The fire caused over $150,000 in damages.

One of the tenants was charged for disabling a smoke alarm in the property on purpose.

According to Ralph Dominelli who is the Fire Chief in Orillia, it’s a very serious act if you disable a smoke alarm.

Chief Dominelli says that while the fire that broke out in the bedroom on the second upstairs floor was not being considered suspicious, the smoke alarms were not activated.

The Fire Chief said even while his team was fighting the blaze, no smoke alarms went off.

The Fire Department charged the tenant under the Provincial Offences Act. While the tenant only faces a fine of $235, the Fire department has the option to raise that up to one year in jail and a $50,000 fine.

The severity of the charge will depend on evidence pointing to why the smoke alarms were disabled.

At this time the Fire Chief cannot say why the smoke alarms were disarmed. However a professional engineering company was hired by the landlords insurance company. They have confirmed the fire began at the edge of a mattress.

Ottawa ACORN Fights Ottawa Landlords

OTTAWA ACORN ON HIGHER STANDARDS FOR RENTAL PROPERTIES FOR LANDLORDS

Are you a private landlord in Ottawa?

You should join a great Ontario Landlord Association because…

Get ready because ACORN is coming for you!

Ottawa Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) mentioned that renters deserve a superior minimum standard of expenses for their apartment’s maintenance. The Ottawa ACORN has been persuading the city hall to raise the minimum standards set for the residential properties and the implementation of the rules on absentee owners or landlords.

Many of the ACORM members are tired of battling with molds, floods and nuisance from their landlords.

Nadia Willard, a board member of ACORN pointed out that “Instead of saying minimum standards, can we not get these apartments, these landlords to ensure that what they live in, they can provide for their tenants.”

“A paint job every two years. Vents cleaned. Air conditioners working. Making sure that there are no bed bugs. It’s important for them to show in good faith that they will do that” she added.

So far, ACORN is working with the city’s law inspectors to come up with the newest and a more hands-on assessment plan with a new structure of the city orders for the troubled properties.

Lately city hall has initiated a campaign to clear out neglected buildings, however they did not say if they are taking into account reinforcing the laws and regulations for poorly maintained apartments. The appeal for an open discussion with the city’s officials was not given as of the moment.

ACORN’s conversation with the city bylaw officials begun last fall and it turned out positive “(The discussions) have been very positive. They know what they’re doing, and they want to do the right thing,”

“It’s not that they don’t understand what’s going on, it’s that (with) the bylaws, sometimes their hands are tied as well.” Willard said.

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