Ontario Landlords Association

St. Catharines Landlords Fined $12,500 for Illegal Basement Apartments

August 1st, 2012


Landlords Make Sure You Have Approvals and Smoke Alarms!

What Happened?

Two St. Catharines landlords have been fined for creating affordable rental property housing without proper approvals.  Also, they were charged for not having working smoke alarms.

Who are the Landlords?

They are Carmelina Limoncelli and Vince Limoncelli.  Each plead guilty in the Ontario Court of Justice on July 13 to charges related to rental properties located at 34 St. George St. and 56 George St.

What Were the Fines?

Landlord Carmelina Limoncelli was fined a grand total of $5,500.  One count for failing to maintain smoke alarms in her rental cost her $1,500.  A second count for the creation of two rental units in the basement of her house cost her another $4000.

Landlord Vince Limoncelli was fined $7,000 in total.  First for three counts of failing to maintain smoke alarms which costs him $3000.  Second, he has to pay $4000 for the creation of a basement rental unit at 56 St. George St.

What Does the Chief Fire Prevention Officer Say?

“The construction of apartments in homes without proper permits and inspections can result in substandard apartments that do not meet the minimum life safety standards,” St. Catharines chief fire prevention officer Chris Leonard said in a media release.

Why Not Give These Landlords a Chance to Get Up to Code?

No answer.  Those hefty fines must look good for the government looking for more sources of revenue.

Did they Investigate Whether or Not the Tenants Took Down the Smoke Alarms?

No answer.  Instead, Leonard stated:  “Many times these apartments are found with improper exits and fire separations, as well as hazardous electrical installations.”

I See Thousands of “Illegal” Apartment Advertised in Toronto, What about Those?

Like they say in Real Estate, “location, location, location.”   It’s the same for landlords.  Some municipalities turn a blind eye while others seek to punish residential property investors.  No matter if you are in Barrie, Toronto, Ottawa or any other town or city, make sure you know the rules and laws for your area.

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9 Responses to “St. Catharines Landlords Fined $12,500 for Illegal Basement Apartments”

  1. Kats says:

    The answer is: don’t bother being a landlord here. Government doesn’t appreciate your investment. Invest elsewhere.

  2. [...] Scathing articles on houses in disrepair, the need for rent control, and eye-catching headlines such as “Landlords Fined!” [...]

  3. oldlandlord says:

    With so much talk about about the lack of affordable housing, why doesn’t the government give these landlords a break and a grant to get ‘up to code’?

  4. [...] The worst path to go is what they are doing in Ontario where landlords are punished for providing affordable housing. [...]

  5. [...] It’s also great to see the government looking after the needs of both Calgary landlords and Calgary tenants instead of like what is happening in Ontario where Ontario landlords are being punished when the try to create affordable housing. [...]

  6. [...] This would include a ‘property maintenance plan’ (whatever that is), proof of insurance, proof of proper zoning. The list would likely get larger, to include landlord criminal record checks and more legal issues. It’s part of an alarming trend of painting landlords who provide affordable housing as crooks … [...]

  7. [...] However, we think governments should also work hard to encourage landlords to create more affordable and safe rental properties. We’ve seen situation in other provinces where the government says there is a shortage of affordable housing and at the same time punished landlords who create it. [...]

  8. [...] To date, there are 145 legally permitted basement suites in St. Albert. Landlords across Canada know how important it is to follow your local city laws and regulations. [...]

  9. Annoymous says:

    I think the city needs to step in and take a look at the Fire Marshall’s files on each of these cases. Where there is smoke, there is money.