The History of Licensing
HDAA & the fight against licensing:
2008 – 2010: The Hamilton City Council approved the establishment of a Residential Rental Housing Community Liaison Committee to investigate the potential to regulate rental housing. The HDAA’s involvement in this resulted in the recommendation that the City proactively enforce the existing by-laws. As a result the city implemented a pilot program called “Project compliance”.
2010-2012: The pilot project was extended multiple times to allow the staff additional time to investigate, analyze and consult on the potential models of licensing. The HDAA began its campaign to inform the public of the City’s intentions to bring in Licensing.
2012: The HDAA rallied its members to attend the September 18th 2012 Planning committee meeting. At that meeting the Report on Regulation of Rental Housing (PED10049(h)) was presented. This Report included the recommendation to regulate rental housing through Licensing and proactive by-law enforcement. Due to the opposition of HDAA members and others at that meeting, the Planning committee requested staff to report back at a special public meeting . The Report at the special meeting was to include a draft by-law & provide further details on the results of the project compliance program. HDAA released a report outlining the opposition to licensing with alternate solutions to help solve the rental issues in Hamilton, this report was submitted at the December 11th 2012 planning committee meeting. READ THE REPORT HERE As a direct result of HDAA’s anti licensing campaign, an overwhelming turnout of Landlords, tenants and concerned citizens spoke against Licensing. The planning committee took pause and passed a motion that the Hamilton Real Estate Board and the Hamilton Apartment Association be requested to provide a solution to illegal apartments and, in particular, student residences in an effort to respect neighbourhood concerns and tenants’ safety.
2013: The “Joint Rental Housing task force” met 7 times and worked together to create an alternate solution to Licensing, they also met with City Staff twice. The submission was created and presented to the Planning Committee on June 18th. Read the task force Submission to Planning Committee or you can view the Committee meeting here: June 18th meeting (our submission starts around the 2:37) The Councillors requested the city staff to come back in September 2013 with alternate solutions for licensing.
On September 17th 2013, The planning committee voted not to license rental housing units in buildings with six or fewer apartments. In large part this was due to the efforts of HDAA members. We would also like to thank FRPO (Federation of Rental-Housing Providers of Ontario) for their efforts and submission (FRPO Submission ). Instead, the city decided to beef up the existing proactive enforcement program and hire four full-time staff to investigate local properties. The Councillors accepted the Committee decision and have voted to table Licensing and increase the proactive enforcement program. They have also proposed a sub-committee to help get the stake holders involved.
As a Landlord association we look forward to helping the proposed sub-committee to educate tenants, landlords and residents on improving rental units and increase safety for residents. We accept this olive branch opportunity from the planning committee to circumvent blanketed fees & fines on all Landlords. We believe the Pro-active enforcement structure is our window of opportunity to start resolving some rental issues in Hamilton.
HDAA will be attending the Rental Housing Subcommittee meeting on December 10th 2015 to further discuss how to improve the Apartment Rental Industry in Hamilton.