[Note: This letter came in to my possession via Bill McKeay, a REIN member in Ontario. The original thread was on myREINspace. It is reprinted here in it’s original form as a resource. The opinions expressed are not mine. The document as I received it can be downloaded here. ]
WATERLOO REGIONAL APARTMENT
P.O. Box 29022, Frederick Plaza P.O.
Kitchener, Ontario. N2H 6S6
Phone (519) 748-0703
Fax (519) 742-5148
ATT: Mayor Brenda Halloron Councilor Scott Witmer, Karen Scian, Angela Vieth,
Diane Freeman, Mark Whaley, Jan dAilly, Ian Mclean
Local landlords are concerned about your proposal to license all rentals up to three units. Our business is currently heavily regulated. You proposals add additional costs , which you must realize we will pass on to tenants and does nothing to improve conditions . The good guys comply and pay fees while the bad apples skirt the law and do not pay fees. Past student housing licensing proves you cannot help neighborhoods, you must control people by enforcing existing rules.
During talks in the course of changing the provincial Residential Tenancies Act, John Milloy noted that Landlords are a key part of the economy. “Not only do they provide shelter for individuals, they provide jobs and many of them , especially smaller ones, are involved in other aspects of the community and bring a tremendous amount to the table. Landlords and tenants are trying to work together and have a business-type relationship.”
He recognized what many in the political arena don’t . Tenants are not an illiterate victim. They understand their rights and many times are as adverse to over regulation as the landlord, especially if it costs them money with little value. They see licensing as a tax grab.
Under provincial regulations a landlord must give the tenant an information sheet that informs them of the landlord’s maintenance obligations and how to contact the Landlord Tenant Board.
A tenant can apply for rent abatement or freeze increases if maintenance is lacking.
Duplexes and triplexes must be fire and electrical inspected when sold.
Waterloo City council should note that in the past year Toronto, Hamilton, Ottawa and London have all adamantly stated they would bring in licensing of apartments and started a process. All have stalled midstream. They were concerned with the issue include with this submission. There also are legal issues as to what does the city do with tenants found in unlicensed properties and what is the liability. Perhaps some conferencing with them is in order.