Hamilton seeks public input on anti-renoviction by-law


Published February 16, 2023 at 2:06 pm

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Hamilton residents can take an online survey regarding a possible anti-renoviction by-law to protect tenants.

The City of Hamilton is seeking public feedback as it explores ways to protect tenants from being evicted during renovations and then having their rent raised — often referred to as the “renoviction” loophole.

The online survey results will be presented in the city’s recommendation report on Apr. 20, 2023, along with consultation findings.

The city’s housing services division is engaged with consulting firm Enterprise Canada to evaluate the feasibility of implementing a rental licensing by-law in Hamilton — similar to that implemented in New Westminster, British Columbia, requiring landlords to provide living accommodations during major construction. Landlords can also be fined and have their business licence revoked if a tenant is evicted for a renovation and their rent is raised.

hamiltn ontario evict rights landlord tenant rent renovictions

“This important work is focused on how to end (the) bad faith practice of renovictions and create supports to ensure good landlords can fulfill their obligations while improving units,” said James O’Brien, Housing Sustainability and Investment Roadmap manager at the City of Hamilton.

By-laws related to rental units and tenancy are typically under the province’s jurisdiction, so the city is reviewing other municipalities and their levels of success in dealing with renovictions through policy.

Attempts at implementing an anti-renoviction by-law at the municipal level would likely be met with legal resistance. New Westminster was taken to court by a private company over its policy, but the judge ruled that its by-law did not contravene BC’s tenancy act.

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