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Property Standards Complaints

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Property Standards Complaints - FAQ 

How do I register a complaint?
What information is required to register a complaint?
Who is responsible for property maintenance and correcting By-law violations?
What happens when a complaint is made? 
Can an order be appealed?

How do I register a complaint?

  • To register a complaint please call 311

 

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What information is required to register a complaint?

  • To file a complaint, you must provide the address of the property where the violation exists, or an exact description of the location of the property
  • Provide a list of specific violations such as faulty structures, broken windows, garbage scattered about the property, etc.  An Inspector will not respond to complaints with general accusations such as, "this place is a dump", or "you just have to see it."
  • Provide your name, address, and the telephone number at which you can be reached.
  • Anonymous complaints will not be accepted.

    Note:  The name of the complainant is strictly confidential and will not be released to anyone without the complainants written consent. All such requests shall be subject to the provisions as set out in the Freedom of Information Act (FOI).


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Who is responsible for property maintenance and correcting By-law violations?

  • It is the responsibility of every owner to maintain their property in a condition that will meet or exceed the minimum standards outlined in this legislation.
  • Standards in this legislation include but are not limited to the following standards for all properties;  supplementary standards for non-residential properties; and residential properties.
  • Enforcement of this legislation is completed on a complaint basis only. Ultimately the property owner is responsible for ensuring that violations are corrected.
  • Property tenants may also have an obligation (through the rental agreement) to keep the property in good condition and free from by-law violations.
  • The tenant is responsible for damages caused by him/her or anyone else for whom he/she is responsible (e.g. children, guests) that result from neglect or abuse.
  • The landlord is responsible for repairing conditions that seriously affect the rental unit's habitability.
  • For less serious repairs, responsibility to make repairs is often determined by the rental agreement.

    Tenants
  • The Property Standards by-law relates to all buildings, regardless of use.
  • If a tenant feels the unit they are occupying is unsafe, a qualified Inspector may determine compliance with the by-law and can perform an inspection of the building.
  • Complaints are commonly made about problems such as broken windows, plumbing, inadequate heat, and electrical or structural defects.
  • Before contacting the City about a possible breach of the Property Standards By-Law, notify your landlord about possible deficiencies within your rental unit.
  • Give a reasonable time frame that you would expect the deficiencies to be corrected.
  • If a property standards order is issued, the time frame for compliance almost always varies depending on it's nature and severity.


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What happens when a complaint is made?

  • Once a complaint is received and classified, it is assigned for investigation by an inspector.
  • The inspector's prime responsibility is the inspection of construction projects for which building permits have been issued.
  • Complaint investigations are performed as time permits, with the exception of those involving serious health and safety issues, which are investigated as a first priority.
  • Substantive infractions are resolved through a combination of education, persuasion, and enforcement.

 Process Followed With Regards To Tenant Complaints

  • The tenant will be contacted by a Property Standards Inspector to arrange a suitable time for an inspection to confirm the deficiencies, when there is no indication the problem is being corrected.
  • A Property Standards Inspector will contact your landlord or agent to advise of any defects found and will determine what actions will be taken to complete repairs.
  • After the Inspector confirms the deficiencies, an Order will be sent to the owner or agent listing deficiencies to be repaired within a prescribed time.
  • An inspection will be made after the compliance date to confirm whether or not the repairs have been made. If they are complete the file is closed.
  • Where the owner fails to resolve the deficiencies in the Order and does not appeal the Order, the Order becomes final and binding. The City may then commence legal action.

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Can an order be appealed?

  • The recipient of an order may appeal the Order to Repair issued by a Property Standards Officer to the Property Standards Committee by filing their Notice of Appeal Form with the Committee Coordinator of the Planning Department, Development Unit, 4th Floor, 400 City Hall Sq. E. within 14 days after being served with the Order.
  • The Notice of Appeal Form is attached to the Order to Repair.
  • The appeal is made to a Judge of the Ontario Court (General Division).
  • The fee to hear the appeal is $351.00 and is non-refundable.
  • The Court may rescind, amend or confirm the Order.  The Order of the Court becomes final and binding.

Appeals Committee

  • The Appeals Committee was established under the Building Code Act to hear appeals that have been filed by property owners with respect to property standards 'Orders to Repair' issued by the City's Property Standards Officer.
  • Hearings are held in a quasi-judicial setting normally once a month at 3:30 p.m. in City Hall.
  • The Committee has only the following powers under the Ontario Building Code Act:
    • Confirm the order
    • Quash the order
    • Amend the order
    • Extend the deadline for compliance

Legal Action

  • Once an Order is final and binding and where there is no attempt to correct the deficiencies, the City may take legal action against a property owner. Charges may be laid under the Building Code Act.
  • The fines under the Building Code Act are a maximum of $25,000 for an individual for the first offence, and a maximum of $50,000 for each subsequent offence.
  • The fines for a corporation are a maximum of $50,000 for the first offence and a maximum of $100,000 on subsequent offences.

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Planning & Building Services Department
Development Section
400 City Hall Square East, Suite 404B
Windsor, Ontario
Canada
N9A 7K6

Phone: For general information, call 311. For detailed inquires, call the Planning Department at 519-255-6453
Fax: 519-255-6544
Email: planningdept@city.windsor.on.ca