Posts Tagged ‘by-laws’

City of Mississauga and Landlord Licensing

Friday, October 10th, 2014

Mississauga landlords landlord licensing

Mississauga Landlords – Do You Know Landlords Need To Get a City Licence in 2014? Read Our Interview With Mickey Frost, Director of Enforcement for the City of Mississauga

Mississauga landlords know they live in a dynamic and growing city.

With a growing population there is increased demand for high quality rental housing. This means many home-owners are renting out basement apartments to good tenants who are looking for safe and affordable housing.

Some Mississauga landlords are unaware of the need to get a license from the City if you are renting out your basement or other part of your home.

We wrote about this before in an article last year called “Mississauga Landlords Ask: What’s Going On With Landlord Licensing?

This has led to hundreds of emails and even more posts in the Ontario Landlords Private Members forum from landlords asking a multiple of questions about how the law applies to them.

It’s important that Mississauga landlords are aware of the requirements to rent out property and follow the rules carefully. This way tenants are assured of safe rental properties.

In an effort to help get the message you we interviewed Mickey Frost the Director of Enforcement for the City of Mississauga.

We thank Mr. Frost for his time and want to help get his important message out to Mississauga landlords:

Why does Mississauga require small landlords get a licence when big cities such as Toronto do not?

Mississauga City Council approved a plan to permit second units on July 3, 2013.

The plan includes official plan policies, zoning regulations and licensing requirements.

The official plan policies permit second units within detached, semi-detached and townhouse dwellings, where appropriate. 

Part of this plan included a requirement to licence second units. This was initiated to ensure that these units meet health and safety requirements, property standards requirements and are compliant with the Ontario Fire and Building Codes. 

The licensing system also provides a mechanism through which ongoing inspections can take place to ensure that the secondary units are maintained and meet the requirements of City of Mississauga By-laws.

As to why Toronto has chosen not to pursue a licensing regimen for second units, we would be unable to address that question.

What is the reason we need to get a licence in Mississauga?

The Second Unit Licensing By-law 2014-13, as amended, Section 2 (1) requires that:

No Person shall own or operate a Second Unit unless the Person is licensed under this By-law.”

If I don’t have a landlord licence and apply for one now will I be punished?

Mississauga City Council approved a plan to permit second units on July 3, 2013. The plan includes official plan policies, zoning regulations and licensing requirements.

The official plan policies permit second units within detached, semi-detached and townhouse dwellings, where appropriate. 

Part of this plan included a requirement to licence second units. This was initiated to ensure that these units meet health and safety requirements, property standards requirements and are compliant with the Ontario Fire and Building Codes.

Property owners who fail to obtain a second unit licence may be charged with an offence under the by-law and if found guilty are liable to a fine of not more than $25,000 for an individual or $50,000 for a corporation.

Can my basement be ‘grandfathered’ in? I did lots of improvements years ago to make my unit “safe”.

There is no “grandfathering” provision contained in the by-law.

If a second unit is present in a residential property, a license is required.

Question: Do I have to pay a licensing fee every year?

Yes. The required license is valid for one year and must be renewed every year.

If I have a tenant who doesn’t pay rent do I still have to pay for a licence even though I don’t get rent?


Is there any way I can lose my landlord licence?

The Manager has the authority to refuse to issue or renew a licence. This is identified in Section 8 of the Second Unit Licensing By-law 2014-13 as amended.

What happens if a vindictive tenant calls the city of Mississauga by-laws and claims my licensed unit is unsafe? Will I lose my license?

No If a complaint is received, a Municipal Law Enforcement Officer will be assigned and will investigate to determine its validity and take any action that is necessary.

Do big rental buildings require a landlord licence?

No, “big rental buildings” are not eligible for second unit licences. Second units are only permitted in a detached house, a semi-detached house or a row house.

How can I get a Mississauga landlord licence fast? 

Please visit the City’s website for the process to obtain a licence.

Mississauga Landlords Make Sure You Get a License For Your Rental Unit

Thank you Mr. Frost for helping us get the message out.

Make sure your rental property is legal and safe. Use a good tenant screening including tenant credit checks to make sure you find great tenants for your legal and safe rental apartment.

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

Wednesday, August 1st, 2012

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.

Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011

Whose Job Is It to Clear the Snow?

Whose job is it to clear the snow at a rental property? The tenant or the landlord?

A woman in London makes a case for a by-law requiring landlords to clear the snow from tenants’ walkways and driveways.

The OLA’s rep called the idea of ignoring what is put in the lease ‘ridiculous.’

Landlords want tenants to clear snow

Monday, January 31st, 2011

BYLAW: A city hall committee is set to consider a proposal for a new bylaw that would govern who has to shovel what

By KATE DUBINSKI, The London Free Press

If there’s ever been a time when snow removal has been on Londoners’ minds, this has been the year.

But some landlords are crying foul over suggestions they be made responsible for clearing snow from their London tenants’ walkways and driveways.

“What’s next? Are landlords going to be responsible for making sure their tenants eat their vegetables every day?” said a member of the Ontario Landlord Association.

“It’s Canada. We all know we’re going to have to deal with ice and snow. I don’t think the city should be involved in these issues,” added her husband and fellow landlord, Mike Schweitzer. The couple are based in Brantford.

The Ontario Landlord Association represents landlords with properties that have 10 or fewer units.

The city’s built and natural environment committee will hear arguments Monday for a new property-standards bylaw to deal with snow removal in rental units.

“There’s no recourse for Londoners. Right now, you either kick up a fuss with the landlord or property-management company, or you go before the landlord and tenant board, which takes time and money,” said Tiffany Roschkow. She is proposing the city consider a new bylaw to make landlords responsible for shovelling or plowing walkways, driveways, ramps and parking spaces.

“It makes sense. You move into a rental property and you expect that kind of thing to be done for you.”

Roschkow lives in a three-storey walk-up in Wortley Village.

Several days before Snowmageddon, the building manager there died, leaving no one responsible for the snow clearing, Roschkow said. Piles of snow built up around cars and around the dumpster and recycling bins. Tenants began leaving their garbage bags in the hallways.

“For the garbage, I called the city and they came out right away because it was a property-standards issue but for the snow, we couldn’t do anything about it,” Roschkow said.

Someone eventually cleared a pathway to the front door about the width of a standard shovel. that didn’t help much when an elderly tenant out doing errands fell on the walkway, she noted.

“There was nothing being done about it, so I started nosing around and I realized that London doesn’t have a bylaw for rental units like Toronto does,” said Roschkow.

In London, landlords are responsible for keeping rental units in a good state of repair as required under the Residential Tenancies Act.

In Toronto, an additional property-standards bylaw states, “Steps, landings, walks, driveways, parking spaces, ramps and similar areas shall be cleared of snow and ice during and immediately following a snowfall to provide safe access and egress for persons and vehicles.”

The Ontario Landlord Association recommends leases include a section about who is responsible for snow clearing.

Ward 11 Coun. Denise Brown supports Roschkow’s proposal for a newer bylaw.

She has a visually impaired acquaintance who was stuck in his house after Snowmageddon in December and whose landlord told him to shovel his own driveway. “Eventually I had my son and husband do his driveway, but I can’t do that for the entire ward,” Brown said.

“I want staff to look at Toronto’s bylaw and what happens in other cities and to bring back recommendations so we can set something up here.”

Waterloo the next city to license landlords

Friday, January 21st, 2011

WATERLOO — Waterloo proposes to become the first local city to regulate landlords who rent houses, charging them $1.2 million a year for rental licences.

Critics see it as a costly red-tape headache that will dissuade people from renting out bedrooms and houses.

“It’s really an attack on the Mom-and-Pop operation,” said Glenn Trachsel, of the Waterloo Regional Apartment Management Association. He predicts it will lead to a housing shortage.

Proponents say rental regulation will improve property standards and tenant safety.

“We know we have lots of rentals and we want to make sure that they’re all safe,” said Jim Barry, director of bylaw enforcement. “And by safe, we want to make sure that they’re safe for the people renting, and for the neighbourhood around them.”

Landlords would be charged fees ranging from $501 to $819 to secure a rental housing licence. Annual renewals would cost $231 to $405. Fees would pay all costs for rental regulation.

Apartment buildings are excluded due to higher provincial safety codes. The target instead is an estimated 5,000 houses, townhouses, and duplexes where bedrooms are rented out. This includes owners who rent out bedrooms in a house they still occupy.

Rentals would be capped at three bedrooms to reduce the impact of large rentals on neighbourhoods.

Campus-area challenges are driving the proposed regulations, unveiled Thursday following public consultation. Some rented homes are decaying in student neighbourhoods. The city has also had trouble enforcing licences it currently requires for lodging houses, which allow more than three tenants.

Regulation could provide helpful clarity around rental standards, said George Patton, president of the Kitchener Waterloo Real Estate Board. But there’s concern about the impact on landlords.

“Does this negatively impact whether or not people are prepared to invest?” Patton said. “If it does have a negative affect, it may have a ripple effect in terms of availability of accommodations for students.”

Regulation would require landlords to submit floor, maintenance and parking plans, provide proof of insurance and tenancy agreements, allow city staff to enter and inspect the units, and comply with codes and bylaws. Landlords could face $350 tickets for violating their licence.

Council could approve regulation in February after hearing delegations.

“We don’t want to jeopardize the business of rental housing,” Coun. Scott Witmer said. But tenant safety is also critical. “With that, sometimes there is a cost.”

Waterloo would be the first local city to license rental homes, following Oshawa, London and Mississauga. It’s a power municipalities received in 2007.

Licences for lodging houses would be phased out. Landlords could eventually secure licences for boarding houses, or drop down to three bedrooms. … l-licences