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Condominium Conversions & Demolitions
It is clear that the “Tenant Protection Act” (TPA) does not intend to stop landlords from converting, demolishing or undertaking major renovations which require vacant possession. This is bad news for tenants as there will be fewer apartments available for rent because of this law.
The position of the City of Toronto is that it does have the authority to regulate and prevent the conversion and demolition of rental housing. In the spring of 1999 the City passed an amendment to its official plan which set out the City’s policy to regulate the conversion and demolition of rental housing.
Unfortunately in September of 1999 the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) ruled that this amendment to the Official Plan was illegal and invalid because the TPA already sets out rules regarding conversions and demolitions. This was a surprising decision as City governments have had the authority to regulate condominium conversions for over 20 years.
The City appealed the OMB decision to a higher court which eventually was overturned. At present condominium conversions are illegal. However, in the current climate things can change. You are best to contact your Councillor to get the most up-to-date information.
It is very important that if you hear your landlord may attempt to convert or demolish your rental building, please contact your community legal clinic, your city Councillor and the FMTA (Federation of Metro Tenants Associations) right away for the latest information about conversions and demolitions. Tenants must push their politicians to ensure that they will oppose the conversion of your building and therefore oppose the loss of much needed rental housing in the city.
As stated above, the TPA does set out rules that apply when a landlord wants to change the use of a rental apartment building. But remember, these rules will only come in place if the City is unable or unwilling to stop the conversion/demolition of your rental building.
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