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Hamilton Landlords Say NO to the City Landlord Licensing Scheme (Because it’s not the right way to go forward!)

August 17th, 2013 · 14 Comments · Hamilton Landlord Licensing

 Hamilton landlord licensing

Do We Really Need A Tax On Tenants Or Are There Better Solutions to Help Our City?

According to a report from CBC news the city of Hamilton will soon come up with a new draft of a bylaw to license some Hamilton residential landlords.

The government wants this bylaw to apply to owners of buildings with six or fewer units. If you own this type of rental property you will be required to apply for a license to continue to operate. No license, and you have to shut down (and tell your tenants to leave!)

Marty Hazell is the director of Hamilton parking and bylaw services.

Hazell said the new draft version of the bylaw will continue to focus on licensing landlords.

However the new draft will include “…bringing back different forms of costing and implementation, all focused on licensing.”

What’s The Purpose For This Licensing Scheme?

According to the City the purpose of the bylaw is to crack down on improper rental units. The problem that created this is focused on issues McMaster University and Mohawk College.

How Would Landlords Get a License?

To get a license, landlords would have to provide a property maintenance plan, proof of insurance and zoning verification, among other documentation. The “permanent proactive bylaw enforcement program” would also require about 17 new city staff in the bylaw enforcement division.

What Do Hamilton Landlords Think About This Scheme?

Landlords and tenants packed the council chambers last December in response to the city’s proposed new bylaw

Opponents of the bylaw say it could result in the disappearance of as many as 30 per cent of Hamilton’s rental units at a time when the city is in dire need of affordable housing.

They proposed a different plan that would include an ombudsman office to handle rental unit issues and an off campus code of conduct for McMaster and Mohawk students. They also wanted amendments to a section of the city’s zoning bylaw that they say are impossible for landlords to meet.

The good news is Hamilton Landlord fought back and made our opinions heard!

What Did the Landlords Actually Say At the Meeting?

The landlords made excellent arguments against this ridiculous plan.

1. Hamilton landlords made it clear there is already enough red-tape and ‘protection’ of tenants with the existing Ontario Residential Tenancies Act, the Landlord and Tenant Board and the Hamilton Fire Code.

2. Hamilton Landlords made it clear the licensing system doesn’t target landlords and properties who are problems. Instead, it targets all landlords.

3.  Hamilton landlords illustrated how a problem that is essentially based near McMaster University (student housing) is being used for a program that encompasses the whole city unnecessarily.

4. Hamilton landlords made it clear the real problem is a simple zoning issue and not some huge catastrophe of bad housing.

 5. Licensing will cause lots of good landlords to simply leave the industry. This will decrease the number of affordable rental properties and those who stay in the industry will conduct especially thorough tenant screening making it hard for many tenants to find a nice place to live.

To discuss this and other Hamilton Landlord and Tenant issues go to the Ontario Landlord Forum


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