Posts Tagged ‘landlords rescue’

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

Do you agree with the Liberal Minister of Community and Social Services?

Thursday, January 20th, 2011

Landlords have rights

By Hon. Madeleine Meilleur, Ottawa Citizen January 20, 2011

Re: The Public Citizen: New landlord discovers tenants have cards stacked in their favour, Jan. 16.

The Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) was created to help people with disabilities to become more independent and live with dignity — something our government takes seriously. However we do not tolerate fraud or the misuse of funds for illegal purposes and I encourage everyone to report such a practice to the proper authorities.

Our government also takes tenant safety seriously, which is why we changed the Residential Tenancies Act to make it easier to evict persons whose actions pose a serious threat. Under the Act, grounds for eviction based on the behaviour or actions of a tenant include damage to a unit and involvement in illegal activity.

Every tenant in Ontario is subject to the same rules regardless of age, gender, ethnicity or whether the tenant is a social-assistance recipient. I would imagine this case is indeed following those rules set out by the Landlord and Tenant Board.

Hon. Madeleine Meilleur,

Minister of Community and Social Services

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Supporting the Fight Against Bed Bugs Province of Ontario Invests $5 Million in Local Public Health Unit Programs

Monday, January 10th, 2011

Monday, January 10, 2011

Supporting the Fight Against Bed Bugs Province of Ontario Invests $5 Million in Local Public Health Unit Programs

Dear Friends,

Today, I was happy to announce that the Government of Ontario is investing $5 Million to support the fight against bed bugs. The province’s 36 public health units will be able to apply for funding to support bed bug-related programs that emphasize coordination with other local services, education and awareness and/or provide supports to vulnerable populations. A total of $5 million will be invested by the province to support these programs.

In addition, a new public education website featuring tools has been launched to give Ontarians a one-stop-shop to get accurate information and simple, easy-to-use tips to combat infestations. The province is also distributing a guide, An Integrated Pest Management Program for Managing Bed Bugs, to stakeholders on how to identify bed bug infestations, perform inspections properly, prepare living areas for treatment and carry out pest treatments. The province and the public health units are also working to develop better ways to assess bed bug activity and infestations. This announcement was a response to the Top 20 Recommendations from the Bed Bug Summit at Queen’s Park which I hosted on September 29, 2010.


· Toronto Public Health has seen a dramatic increase in infestation reports – from 46 in 2003 to more than 1,500 in 2009.

· Adult bed bugs are 3mm – 5mm in size – about the size and shape of an apple seed – and a reddish brown color. LEARN MORE

· Bed Bug Initiatives · For information on bed bugs and how to prevent or get rid of them, visit

Barrie Area Landlords: Have your Say in Improving the Law

Saturday, January 8th, 2011

The beautiful City of Barrie is leading the way in creating laws that are fair to small business landlords which will in turn create clean, beautiful and safe communities. Please take note of your invitation to attend two Open Houses where you will have a fair chance to provide input in a review of the Property Standards By-law and the Clean Yards By-law.

The OLA commends Chris Alexander, Supervisor, Property and Zoning Standards, City of Barrie for his excellent work and leadership and hope other cities will take note of his progressive approach.


Dear Resident/Stakeholder,

The City of Barrie is undertaking a review of both the Property Standards By-law No. 2006-26 and the Clean Yards By-law No. 90-355. These by-laws govern the maintenance and up-keep of all properties and structures in the City of Barrie.

The City is looking for input from all stakeholders including property owners, tenants and property managers for the yard maintenance standards that the community wants. This input will be considered for inclusion in the revised by-laws to be presented to Council in the Spring of 2011.

There will be two Open Houses held in the Sir Robert Barrie Room located on the second floor of City Hall 70 Collier Street from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on:

Thursday January 13th and Thursday January 27th 2011

There will be an opportunity to review the proposed property standards. Staff will also be on hand to answer questions, accept comments and suggestions. If you are unable to attend either one of the Open Houses, please visit under “What’s New” to view a copy of the proposed standards and get a copy of a survey that you can complete to share your opinions.

Attached is a listing of current issues that the Property Standards Section of Building Services investigates and the standards that are in place. Also attached is a survey soliciting your input on the issues we investigate and what standards that you would like to see. Completed surveys can be forwarded to Building Services for inclusion in the Review.

Should you have any comments or questions about the Review or the process involved, please contact Chris Alexander, Supervisor Property and Zoning Standards at or (705) 739-4220 ext. 4313.

Thank-you for participating in the Review and we look forward to hearing from you and getting your input.

Yours truly,

Chris Alexander
Supervisor, Property and Zoning Standards

The Toronto Sun: Ontario Rent Hike Lowest in 35 Years

Thursday, January 6th, 2011

Ontario’s rent hike lowest in 35 years

By ANTONELLA ARTUSO, Queen’s Park Bureau Chief
Last Updated: January 2, 2011 5:20pm

Ontario rents will be allowed to edge up by only 0.7% in 2011.

It is the lowest increase in the 35-year history of the province’s rent guideline — the maximum annual rent increase allowable without seeking special approval from the Landlord and Tenant Board for a heftier hike.

“The McGuinty government is providing real protection for tenants by linking the rent increase guideline to the Ontario Consumer Price Index which prevents routine rent increases above the rate of inflation while ensuring landlords can recover increases in their costs,” said Liberal cabinet minister Jim Bradley.

Stuart Henderson, a moderator with the Ontario Landlords Association, which typically represents property owners with less than five units for rent, said the tiny increase has many of the group’s members wondering if they can afford to stay in the business.

“We’re the ones that are paying all these new costs — the price of gas, hydro, the HST — and then we kind of get kicked in the stomach with a 0.7% increase,” he said. “It leaves kind of the worst landlords in the market, people who are renting out fire traps, illegal places.”

The next provincial election will be held in October, and Henderson said the McGuinty government is clearly currying favour with tenants.

“It’s political opportunism,” he charged. “We feel that the McGuinty government is trying to protect against a backlash from tenants in Toronto.”

Geordie Dent, executive director of the Federation of Metro Tenants’ Associations, said landlords may be complaining now but they weren’t protesting when the province allowed yearly increases in the range of 5% in the 1990s.

The recession has been very hard on many tenants, and unemployment in Toronto continues to hover at about 10%, he said.

”It’s not renting out a movie at Blockbusters — it’s people’s housing,” Dent said. “Any increase right now during this difficult time is hard for any tenant.”

Also, Ontario does not have “real” rent control because the landlord is only obliged to follow the guideline for an existing tenant, he said.

“If you move into a unit, though, a landlord can charge you whatever he wants,” Dent said. “The last tenant could have been paying $500 a month and they can charge you $2,000.”