September 16th, 2013
On December 12, 2012 Hamilton landlords and investors packed a City Planning Committee to make sure their voices were heard on the issue of ‘Landlord Licensing.”
In a show of unity and opposition over two hundred people crowded into the seats and more than thirty landlords, investors, and Realtors made sure Council heard where they stand.
It was impressive and we hoped it made an impact and included OLA members.
Here we are almost a year later and more important meetings are coming.
On September 17th City staff will report back to the Planning Committee with options and alternatives related to the licensing of rental housing.
This is an important meeting as the Planning Committee could accept the recommendation by staff and send it to Council for approval of licensing of apartment rental units in Hamilton.
The City Staff report that they will be submitting has been released. You can read it here:
Landlord Licensing Isn’t the Solution for Hamilton
The Hamilton real estate market has shown strong growth recently.
This includes an increase in investment in residential rental property.
More investment means more supply. This leads to a more stable marketplace and more affordable choices for tenants.
Hamilton landlords are clear they do not think landlord licensing is the way forward.
We need to encourage more investment and attract more high quality investors, landlords and property managers to believe in Hamilton and believe in the rental sector in Hamilton.
Why We Don’t Believe Licensing Landlords is the Solution for Hamilton
(1) Tenants already receive ‘protection’. Hamilton tenants can rely on the Hamilton Fire Code, the Ontario Residential Tenancies Act and the Landlord & Tenant Board.
(2) We need to encourage and support good landlords and act strongly against landlords who don’t care about their properties and their tenants. Landlord licensing targets all landlords instead of putting City resources into targeting bad landlords.
(3)The current problem with poorly maintained and dangerous units is mostly student based housing near McMaster University. Let’s focus resources on student housing instead of the whole city where there are far less issues.
(4)There’s always room to improve the quality of the Hamilton rental industry. However, the city is not in some sort of unique crisis situation. The City should spend time looking at how to improve and enforce zoning issues to being the improvement.
(5) More fees, more interference will only lead many current investors to leave the industry. This means they will sell leaving less rental housing options for tenants. Furthermore, many potential investors will look elsewhere as a place to invest their hard-earned money.
The Best Solution for Hamilton is Clear
The City needs to do a better job of dealing with unprofessional landlords and poorly maintained properties while at the same time supporting and encouraging those who invest and create high quality rental space.
We Want the Planning Committee to Refuse The City Staff Recommendation and Reject Landlord Licensing.
Any other choice will hurt Hamilton for decades to come, including tenants.