Toys on the Floor and the Landlord Tennant Act

I got the letter on Thursday:

Please be advised that [the Property management company] carried out an annual in-suite inspection on 17/18 Jan 2012 and your unit was found to be in serious breach of the Residential Tenancy Act, Section IV; Section 23 c, e, k of the Tenancy Agreement and Schedule “B”, which forms part of your Tenancy Agreement with [the Property management company].

This breach is a failure to maintain a standard of cleanliness that most people would consider ordinary or normal and there appears to be reasonable evidence of damage and safety concerns.

Failure to bring your suite to a standard of ordinary cleanliness and remedy the safety concerns will result in further corrective measures.

Emphasis mine.

Let’s just say the end of my week sucked. Big Time.

Thursday afternoon I jumped at the knock at my door. There were my superintendents. “We’re ready to do the follow-up inspection.”


They handed me this letter.  I quoted it above.

I was stunned as I scanned the letter.  I looked around.  I felt my blood begin to boil.  “Housekeeping?  You’re doing an inspection for housekeeping????”

My superintendents squirmed, “Didn’t you receive notice of inspection?”

No.  This is the first I’m hearing of it.

They handed me a notice of entry form.

“Ok, see you tomorrow,” they tried to leave.

Not to go into graphic details, but I lost it.  I demanded a written list of the criteria of which my place would be inspected against, what their specific concerns were and swore.  A few times.

My superintendents smiled, and squirmed.  Then quickly left.  You see, I normally have a great relationship with them; they hold the baby, say hi to the kids, give out candy, and fix my sink without question on Christmas Eve.

I felt betrayed.

Ok, who ratted me out to the housekeeping police?

Sink full of dishes? Check.

Baskets full of laundry? Check.

Floor full of toys?  Check.

But I was also deeply offended.  Heck, my linen cupboard is labelled with all linens folded ‘just so.’  Dishes lined up in cupboards with military precision.  You could eat off my stove top.  Books on shelves are in neat rows and I’ve created my own informal Dewy Decimal System.

Seriously: books are categorized according to author or theme.  Yes, I have a Robert Munsch label on my bookshelf with all the Robert Munsch Books neatly lined up above it.  Christmas and Holidays? Check.  Emotions and Change? Check.  Winnie the Pooh?  Check.  Neat row and labels – and that’s just Mr. Sensitive’s book shelf – you should see the other six.  My sock drawer is alphabetized (not really, but I would if I could).

I think my housekeeping style could be described as OCD survivalism – rigid organization meets three children under five, and one Hubby with ADHD.

Seriously, Hubby bought sippy cups that did not match the ones we already owned and it rocked my world.  They are not lining up right in the cupboard.  I can’t deal with it, and I need to get rid of them.  But I digress.

I got to thinking – the last time they visited I looked like a laundry hoarder – 12 loads of dirty laundry in the process of being sorted in my living room.  Toys and children were mixed in the laundry piles.  I was sorting fiendishly while Little Miss Adorable was unsorting.  Baby Dunk rolled in dirty socks.

Is this all over dirty laundry?

I called Public Health.  They referred me to Municipal By-Laws.  Those folks referred me to the Provincial Landlord Tennant Board.  I also left a message for the Property Management company at their head office.

I talked to the folks at the Provincial Landlord Tennant Board, they’re the ones who write the laws.  I tried to describe my labelled bookshelf and the sippy cup fiasco.  The officer reassured me that I would not be evicted over dirty laundry, and explained the legal steps that need to be taken.

Another inspection, and if there’s a problem the landlord needs to specify the issues in a letter.  Then if there’s still a conflict, we would go to mediation, and finally tribunal.

I can’t believe I could go to tribunal over toys on the floor.


About Angela

Super-powered, Special Ed teacher and special needs mama to FOUR (!) children with an assortment of special needs; including Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and Prader Willi Syndrome. Our family features a heavy dose of good ol' ADHD). I blog about our halfpastnormal life.
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4 Responses to Toys on the Floor and the Landlord Tennant Act

  1. lorajbanks says:

    Garh! Seriously?!?! That’s ridiculous. Good luck.

  2. Alyssa S. says:

    That seems totally unacceptable to me! I would demand an itemized detailing of exactly what doesn’t meet the agreement. Even if someone felt a need to “report” you, they would have to have some solid evidence of misdeed to be able to serve you a notice like that. It makes me mad just thinking about it!

  3. Angela says:

    So far no one has come forward with a written list of problems. I tried to demand one from the super & he listed some vague concerns (too many cleaning bottles under the kitchen sink – even though they are neatly organized in a bin) & overfull closets (yes, I know how dumb this is). I am fully prepared to take this to Ontario’s Landlord Tenant Board Tribunal. I told property mngt this, and said I have a caseworker who visit’s regularly can vouch for our housekeeping.

    • Dylan says:

      Geeze. I’m so sorry this is happening.

      Some of these folks are just ‘bored’ – sometimes they go out looking for people to write up just so they can give out the illusion that they are ‘working hard’ when their higher ups check on them.

      You are taking the necessary steps already so that’s great – keep yourself a few steps ahead of them and go kick some arse! I will be doing so, with you, in spirit.


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