The City of Hamilton voted to shelve the landlord licensing bylaws that had been proposed in favour of instead focusing on enforcement of existing bylaws. They intend, that is, to put their efforts (and money) toward dealing with the ‘bad’ landlords rather than punishing all.
This is exciting – in no small part because it recognizes that not all landlords are ‘bad’. Honestly, after participating in the online forum at the OLA site prior to my eviction, I was beginning to feel that that was the prevailing sentiment from all non-landlords. Surely the so-called tenant advocates and activists who participate there seem 100% convinced that every landlord in Ontario is evil…bad…greedy… out to take advantage of tenants.
I’ve done a fair amount of reading about landlord licensing lately. Some of the plans that have been proposed (and in some cases, implemented) in various municipalities seem highly problematic to me…. in no small part because the people who are most likely to bear the brunt of extra costs and aggravations – and potentially reduced numbers of available affordable housing units – are not, in fact, the landlords, but rather tenants who can least manage those added challenges. As I’ve written elsewhere, the only people who seem likely to benefit from licensing schemes are corporate landlords who are exempted from them.
The decision can always, as noted in the article, be revisited later … but for now the City of Hamilton is going to put their energy into fixing the actual problems, not creating more.
What do you think about landlord licensing? Join the discussion at the ON Landlording forum.