Updates coming to Greater Sudbury Housing tenant complaint process
The report will come back to city council in September
The City of Greater Sudbury is looking to update the tenant complaint process.
In October 2018, the city announced it was taking over the operation and administration of the city's social housing units. Previously, the 1,848 units were operated by the Greater Sudbury Housing Corporation.
The city's community services committee met to discuss the tenant complaint process on Monday. However, many councillors had questions and concerns about the complaint process and voted to bring the issue to city council in September, to allow all of council to be involved in any decisions.
City staff will return to council with a report answering the many questions from city council.
The tenant complaint process can be used for any sort of tenant complaint, such as issues with the building or issues with another tenant.
Many city councillors are concerned with the way complaints can be submitted.
"When a tenant put a complaint in it could be in any form, verbal, written, email, anything so we want to solidify that it's at least in writing," said councillor René Lapierre, who is also the chair of the community services committee.
"Because just a phone call may be just of a vexatious nature, somebody being upset at 3:00 a.m. because the music is loud, so that way we have a formal date and time that we receive a complaint."
He says they're also asking for more clarity on how the complaints process works, the steps that need to be taken as well as ensuring they know the process with the Landlord Tenant Act.
"The other part that was missing that council would like to see is also whoever the complaint was against, that that person has a chance to provide a rebuttal, so maybe there was a good reason or maybe there was a one off, you know they're a new tenant they didn't know the rule, that kind of stuff, so that way they're able to provide a response to that and that might help with the investigation, just stop right there," said Lapierre.
Another concern that was discussed at Monday's meeting is the role of city councillors if a complaint is made. Lapierre says the report will make recommendations about this.
"Council can always participate and listen in to hearings if the resident asks them to be there, but it shouldn't be a council decision to be dealing with complaints as a whole," he said.