Hamilton ON licensing decision

A realator’s perspective.

http://www.canadianrealestatemagazine.ca/news/item/1766-%E2%80%9Ccleaner%E2%80%9D-hamilton-ready-for-investors Hamilton took the approach to increase the enforcement of existing by-laws. Even under a license regime, existing zoning by-laws must be applied to ensure safety & maintenance standards are met. Furthermore, City Staff cannot obtain easier access to inspect a property under a license by-law as allowed to present zoning by-laws.

Hamilton will increase staffing costs by 5 additional part-time employees to increase enforcement. Some Guelph City Councillors & City Staff have argued that this additional staffing cost should be borne by the Landlord community that is causing this cost to be incurred. This argument is wrong because:

1) Guelph until 2011/2012 only enforced zoning use and behavioural type by-laws on a complaint basis, not on a proactive basis.

2) For 20 years prior to 2011/2012 the City did not increase the number of by-law enforcement officers. During this time the Student population doubled from 10,500 to 22,000 & the City’s permanent population increased from 88,000 to about 110,000. Why is when we requested Staffing levels going back 20 years under Access to Information, somehow the City’s records can only provide staffing levels for the last 3 years. My comments about enforcement staffing levels not increasing are based on informal conversations with Staff through the Guelph landlords Group.

Basically, the increased tax base over the last 20 years have not gone to enforcement but to other City functions.

3) There are likely 1,000+ improper “student houses” & unregistered basement apartments in Guelph. As a Realtor I see them, and I would like to see them brought up to standard, however, if just 50% of these properties where closed down there would be an immediate housing shortage in Guelph. City Staff & Councillors & University Officials all know this. But all this was created over 30+ years due in large measure by the City ignoring the situation.

Isn`t the real solution to enforce current by-laws to better the situation? PLEASE think about this. The cost to the taxpayers will be HUGE without gaining anything that you don’t already have in place and simply haven’t utilized properly.  TF


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