Ensuring Ontario landlords and their tenants abide by provincial and municipal standards is a challenge faced by many towns and cities. Thorold has chosen to institute a new measure to inspect and license rental properties in hopes of tempering landlord and tenant issues. This new bylaw is slated to come into effect in Jan. 2018 and will help with police enforcement of issues, including safety standards in homes, parking violations from tenants and maintenance issues.
Residents in Thorold have put pressure on the municipal government to address multiple concerns about the growing number of rental properties in the area. The town is home to many students, and the behaviour of both the young tenants and their landlords is concerning to neighbours. One high-profile controversy recently featured a wild party in an otherwise residential area.
While the new inspections hope to resolve some landlord and tenant issues, they will not be able to address all concerns that neighbours may have. For example, landlords are still restricted when evicting a troublesome tenant, which can take up to six months when following Ontario laws. However, the bylaw will help protect tenants from living in illegal and unsafe rental housing. The licensing of rental properties (which excludes apartment buildings of at least five units) will cost landlords $20.83 per month in the first two years and $16.67 monthly afterwards.
Landlord and tenant issues are a major issue in cities across Ontario. Students can be especially vulnerable when renting for the first time, while new landlords may need support to learn the laws in their particular area. Those with legal questions regarding disputes over rental properties are advised to contact a lawyer.
Source: niagarathisweek.com, "Thorold poised to begin licensing rental units", Paul Forsyth, Oct. 19, 2017