Landlord registration program coming to Brampton targets illegal suites and rental licensing

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Published April 11, 2023 at 11:54 am

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Brampton is looking to cut down on illegal apartments and give the City more enforcement options when dealing with bad actors with a new landlord licensing program.

City Council approved plans for a rental landlord registration and licensing program last month, the same day tenants of a Brampton apartment protested conditions at their building.

The two-year pilot project will see new regulations brought in for Brampton landlords and could help cut down on illegal rental suites and protect tenants in the city.

City staff looked at similar programs in other cities like Toronto and Mississauga to find “best practices” for the upcoming program, which could include a cap on the number of rental units allowed per housing type, random inspections of short-term rentals, a limit on the number of residents in lodging homes, and other safeguards like a “Rental Housing Code of Conduct” outlining tenant and landlord responsibilities.

There could even be a demerit point system for landlords to encourage compliance with the City bylaws.

The pilot will apply to rental properties in Wards 1, 3, 4 and 5 which were identified by staff as “hotspot areas” and have “the highest concentrations of property standard issues across the city.” The program is expected to launch in the first quarter of 2024.

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Once the program goes live, staff have been directed to use licensing and renewal fees to help offset enforcement costs.

The Province also recently announced $6.5 million in funding for additional Landlord Tenant Board (LTB) adjudicators and staff in hopes of improving service standards, reducing the number of active applications, and speeding up dispute decision times.

Peel ACORN, a group of residents and rental advocates, has been calling for action and more tenant protections in Brampton and says that an overhaul of the LTB is “long overdue” but doesn’t go far enough.

ACORN has been protesting what they call ‘renovictions’ and deteriorating conditions at apartment buildings owned by large development companies.

The group has been vocal about the need for more rental protections in Brampton and across the province and wants to see measures put in place to protect low and moderate-income buildings from being scooped up by developers.

“ACORN wants the federal government to act before all the affordable housing is gone,” Peel ACORN leader Tanya Burkart said in a statement. “The Liberal Government had an opportunity to offer real policy solutions when it announced its Budget 2023. Instead, they were silent on tackling one of the most important factors that’s deepening the housing crisis.”

ACORN will be holding another rally on Wednesday in Brampton calling for limits on how many buildings “financialized landlords” can own and a fund for non-profit, co-op, and land trust organizations to purchase at-risk rental buildings when they come on the market.

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