Press Releases 2008
For Immediate release
May 7th, 2008
Klees Calls for Change to Utility Notices
Newmarket-Aurora MPP Frank Klees wants utilities to alert landlords when their tenants are served with notice of impending service disruption for non-payment of their bills.
The issue was taken up by Klees when Newmarket resident Heather LeCraw was left to deal with the fallout when Hydro One shut off power to her rental property. The hydro bill for the property had not been paid, and although the tenant had received disconnection notices, the landlord had no way of knowing that her property would be without heat during one of the coldest winters in history.
Damages to the property were extensive, and the landlord was left to absorb the repair and reconnection costs.
“Utility companies claim that they are prohibited by privacy laws from notifying landlords when their tenants are in arrears," said Klees. "If that's the case, then we either have to change the legislation or find another way to allow for notice to the landlord.”
Klees insists that it makes no sense for a landlord to have to absorb the cost for property damages that could be avoided if the landlord was aware of an impending service disruption.
He has referred the issue to Ontario’s Privacy Commissioner to determine if a change to the wording of customer agreements can resolve the issue. If not, Klees will call on the McGuinty government to make whatever legislative changes may be necessary to protect the rights of landlords.
“It’s one thing to protect customer information," said Klees. “What about protection of the rights of property owners? Any reasonable person must see the need to balance this out and I'll do what I can to get it done.”
Frank Klees, MPP
416 509 8999
© 2008 Frank Klees, M.P.P. All Rights Reserved