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Jeffrey Freedman
Toronto, HarperCollins, 1991. 198pp, paper, $5.99
ISBN 0-00-637698-3. CIP

Grades 12 and up/Ages 17 and up

Reviewed by Ted Monkhouse

Volume 20 Number 3
1992 May

This is a first book by the former "Tenants" columnist. Freedman's championing of tenant rights well qualifies him to put together this handy guide in a humorous, breezy, tongue-in-cheek, journal­istic style.

Although the book is entitled Tenants' Rights, there is more: finding an apartment, pest control, alienation from neighbours, political activism and recessionary effects are also a part of this compendium. The solid fare deals with legislation, leases, human rights, rent, eviction, maintenance, security, privacy, those topics you might expect.

It becomes obvious that this is a guide for first-time renters and the uninitiated in landlord-tenant relations. The blatant tenant bias portrays landlords as greedy charlatans, which of course they're not. Perhaps the Toronto mentality precludes this.

Ample use of subheads, side bars, bold print and large type makes this a fast cover-to-cover read. The index, though useful, is also poor. A one-word mention in the text may be indexed, serving only as acknowl­edgement that the name or term was mentioned. Would a pet-owning tenant search the index for "Fluffy the cat"? Would a tenant search for "Metro Toronto Zoo" when the reference is to the "zoo"-like landlord-tenant courts? The table of contents will serve the user as well or better for access. The chapters are brief and well summarized.

This is, however, still a useful guide which avoids the legalese found in the acts governing the rental housing market - simplistic but effective.

Recommended for public libraries and possibly guidance and counselling offices in schools and community social agencies.

Ted Monkhouse, Wellington County Board of Education, Guelph, Ont.

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