Sunday, November 20, 2011

If they can't get it one way . .

The City of Toronto will get it another.

Has anyone else had this happen?

A relative received a NOTICE OF VIOLATION from the City of Toronto Municipal Licensing and Standards based on the Toronto Municipal Code, Chapter 548, Littering & Dumping of refuse.

Here is the response from my relative:

On April 18, 2011 we received a notice from the city saying that *the owner of land failed to clean and clear refuse that has been thrown, placed, dumped or deposited, including, but not limited to; All household waste, trash brush, boxes, furniture and any other item or thing that appears to have been discarded or abandoned.*

The letter said that if we did not comply, we would be charged $94 dollars per hour for the removal of the *waste* ... which, although we have no way of knowing for sure because of the non-specific nature of the letter, all we could assume it meant the tree limbs in our back yard which had been cut down in the fall, but which, because of the weather, had not been cut into smaller segments and taken to the curb. There was also an old freezer in our side yard. On the date of the letter it had been there just over a week and we were simply waiting for garbage day to put it out.

It took my daughter and son-in law about an hour to cut and bundle the branches and take them to the curb. The freezer went to the curb on our regular garbage day. This was all completed within the allotted time-frame of six days.

Then in June, inspector ___________ came to the door. She seemed to have no issues with the state of our home. She left without giving us notice of a fine or fee of any sort.

Now, here it is November, and on the 3rd we received an Inspection Fee Invoice of ...get this ... $94 + HST for a total of $106.22 for an inspection of our property by the city on June 6th.

I am a pensioner who asked a family member to help to rectify a situation that was going to cost me $94 if was not cleared up . . . and now you're charging me $94 + tax for a young woman in shorts and flip-flops to come to my door and have a five minute look around and find nothing wrong because I complied with the city's order.

Frankly, we don't even know for sure that anyone from the city came around in April to see the offending trees limbs in the first place. We believe our backyard neighbours, who put their house on the market in May, called the city to complain in order to ensure the view from their yard would be favourable for a sale --- You are not charging us for having inspected in April and no one from the city came to the door in April, and the *waste* in question was in a high wooden fenced yard behind the house. Because of this, we believe that that the city took the complaint at face value without an inspection. That would mean that if the complaint was an illegitimate nuisance complaint by a spiteful neighbour, we would have been charged for the June 6th compliance inspection anyway.

Either way, being charged in inspection fee in the exact same amount as the city would have charged to clear up the limbs and move the freezer, is excessive, unfair and absurd.

My son in-law telephoned your office on November 6, the day we received this notice. We were told that someone from the city would call us back about this matter the following day. To date, we have not received a call.

I am angry, frustrated and do not believe that this fee is justifiable, especially considering the so-called *inspection* took less time than it's taken to type this email and the inspector found that if there had been an issue, it was resolved. The city was unable to collect a fine, so now they are imposing a fee. This is wrong. How many people have you done this to? How many people have felt compelled to pay the inspection fee without question its validity?

I would appreciate an immediate response as I have waited in vain for two weeks for a reply to my son in-law's call. Your invoice indicates that if I fail to pay this in full by December 2, I will be charged 1.25 percent interest each thirty days and after 90 days, the amount will be transferred to my property tax bill and a further $50 will be added to the bill.

Does this practise by the city seem fair and reasonable? Just wondering.



Patsplace said...

Keep us posted as to how it works out.

Roy Elsworth said...

maybe they should go to the park where the occupiers are and dump it there they don't seem to care and they have special rites over others.

dmorris said...

No,it's grossly unfair,but bureaucracies are that way because they are allowed to be.

See if you can figure out a way to charge them under the Human Rights Act, possibly for the stress and hurt feelings you suffered by their accusation of non-compliance of a bylaw.

Or send this post to your shiny new Mayor,see how he performs for a tax paying citizen.

Under the heading,"Misery Loves Company",in Maple Ridge,B.C.,the Town will order inspection of private dwellings to check if there is a marijuana grow-op. Even if they don't find one,they send the owner a bill for about a thousand bucks for the inspection.

Because they CAN.