Ontario Landlords Association

Landlord Licensing Comes to London, Ontario

London Landlord Bylaw Wins Court Battle

November 1st, 2011


In what many people are saying is a trend which may spread to cities across Ontario, a judge in London, Ontario has upheld a bylaw that is said to target overcrowded and poorly maintained rental properties.

Tenant adovocates such as Neighbourhood Legal Services’ Jeff Schlemmer praised the ruling.

However, many small landlords note the bylaw only targets rentals with no more than four or less units and not larger buildings.

Furthermore, small landlords wanted justice by overturning the bylaw, which they felt was used vague, unclear language, contained provisions which clashed with Ontario legislation, and contradicted the Human Rights Code due to students and those on social assistance being disproportionately harmed.

The city established the licensing bylaw to address substandard housing and prevent overcrowding of rental units in residential neighbourhoods — a long-standing issue in areas near the University of Western Ontario and Fanshawe College


Key provisions of a London bylaw that requires smaller residential landlords to attain a licence:

  • Applies to rental properties with four or fewer units
  • Targets substandard housing and protects amenity, character and stability of residential areas
  • Landlord pays $25 fee annually for each rental property
  • Landlords fill out condition checklists, share the information with tenants and city hall.
  • Bylaw officers respond to complaints by tenants and enter buildings without permission so as long as they provide notice .
  • Maximum fine for a first conviction is $25,000 for a person and $50,000 for a corporation.

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