Today is election day in Hamilton and in municipalities across Ontario. There have been a lot of opinions and interest especially in large cities like Toronto, Hamilton and London. Polls open today.
One big surprise for Hamilton landlords has been the issue of licensing landlords have come up during various campaigns to get elected in our city.
Most of us thought the issue we fought so passionately against last year was laid to rest for at least a little while.
You remember our battle in 2013 don’t you? It was when city council debated whether Hamilton should implement a scheme whereby landlords would be required to get a license to continue to be able to run our rental businesses. Hundreds of small residential landlords showed up in September 2013 to speak and explain why it was a bad idea that would hurt both good landlords and good tenants. Thousands more showed their support. Because of the strong views presented council voted against the licensing plan.
It was a terrific show of networking and speaking out to create a “voice” for small landlords and tenants who rely on good landlords for quality and affordable housing. It really was a victory for people who care about good properties and good rental housing in Hamilton.
This is why so many were shocked to hear some candidates in Ward 1 said they would start the process to license landlords if they were elected to council.
While we know the city of Mississauga had started a licensing program there on January 1st, 2014, the city of Guelph decided against it we didn’t expect this issue to rise up only a year after it was defeated in Hamilton.
Here is how CBC news reported on the issue during a recent debate of Ward 1 candidates:
Hamilton’s controversial plan to license rental units has reared its head again in the Ward 1 council race, where some candidates say they’d try to resurrect it if elected.
Six candidates are running for the west Hamilton ward, which struggles with student housing issues. Some said during a debate on Monday that they’d try to get the plan — or at least one specific to west Hamilton — back on the table.
This goes to show how important it is for small residential landlords to keep up to date on the news and on what is happening in the political arena.
It’s very easy for wannabe politicians to target landlords, especially small landlords who are usually too busy working full-time jobs and running our rental businesses to have time to go to debates.
Whatever happens Hamilton landlords will be ready to fight for what is right. Just like we did last year. We will be watching the election results carefully and sharing the information with our fast-growing membership.