What Are My Tenant Rights after a Building/ Apartment Fire?

The 6-alarm fire at 650 Parliament Street has displaced over 1500 tenants. Many tenants are struggling to find accommodations, retrieve possessions and understand their rights.

 

Here is what the law says are landlord responsibilities after a fire and steps tenants can take to enforce their rights:

 

Find Tenants a Place to Live:

A landlord has a responsibility to find tenants displaced by a fire suitable alternative accommodation while the apartment is being refurbished (such as a hotel or an empty apartment). If a tenant makes their own arrangement, such as living with a family member or friend, they might still be able to apply for an abatement of rent for the period they are unable to live in their apartment.

 

Compensation for Damage to Tenant Possessions and out-of-pocket expenses:

Landlords may have to reimburse tenants in the aftermath of a fire, if the landlord is found to be at fault. A tenant may be able to apply for and receive compensation to repair or replace damaged possessions. In order to do this, a tenant can try (at the earliest opportunity) to make an inventory of their possessions (as well as any warrantees, estimates, receipts and other supporting documents).

 

Likewise, tenants might be entitled to reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses such as gas, meals and emergency supplies. Please keep all receipts.

 

Tenants may either be able to negotiate the compensation with their landlord or have to make an application at the Landlord and Tenant Board.

 

Work with Your Neighbours:

For a fire at the scale seen at 650 Parliament, tenants can consider working together to advocate with their landlord for compensation or alternative accomodations. Moreover, tenants are also able to file group applications at the Landlord and Tenant Board.

 

For more information, please call our Tenant Hotline at 416-921-9494 or consult with a local community legal clinic.