Bob Aaron firstname.lastname@example.org
June 9, 2012
Families, students hurt by municipal licensing bylaws
Compulsory licensing for small landlords is
rapidly spreading throughout
The idea appears to be contagious, and many other cities are looking at the concept, including Hamilton and Kitchener.
Landlords are required to pay application and annual fees of as much as $825 to rent bedrooms in houses and townhomes.
Regulated units are theoretically subject to higher standards for health and safety, and landlords are subject to a criminal records check. The new bylaws set maximum occupancy limits (apparently regulating how many people can sleep in one bedroom), and minimum distances separating one licensed building from a neighbouring one.
Previously required fire inspections have been eliminated, and landlords now have to self-certify compliance with six different bylaws, including, strangely, fence bylaws, as well as building, fire, electrical and health codes.
The ability of
Many observers — including this one — are
concerned that the new regulatory scheme is either a municipal money grab, or a
crude attempt to regulate and limit housing for students and large families. Both
groups are often classified as low income. In
Similar arguments were used to justify restrictive property covenants based on race and religion prior to the 1950s. In a horrendous 1949 decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal, the judges wrote that a restriction on title to land preventing purchase by those of “Jewish, Negro or coloured” race or blood was just to assure that the residents were “of a class who will get along together.”
It seems that in
In fact, the Ontario Human Rights
Commission (OHRC) is currently investigating whether rental
housing licensing bylaws in