Canada

Brampton tackling illegal rental through new licensing pilot

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The City of Brampton says they are cracking down on illegal and problematic rental units by introducing a residential rental licensing pilot for five wards. The pilot project will be evaluated over the next two years by the city. Landlords in wards one, three, four, five and seven should expect to pay a hefty price to obtain the license.

The pilot project requires owners of rental properties with one to four residential dwelling units to obtain a license from the City Clerk’s Office. Which includes units that are intended for rental housing or are currently being rented.

As of January 1st, landlords in the following wards will have to obtain the required license. The city is giving landlords of the pilot project some leeway; giving the license to landlords at no cost if they apply during the first three months of the pilot project.

  • 0-3 months (January 1, 2024, to March 31, 2024): fee waived ($0)
  • 4-6 months (April 1, 2024, to June 30, 2024): 50% fee ($150)
  • After six months (July 1, 2024 onwards): full fee ($300)

The move comes after a number of complaints of rental properties in certain Brampton neighborhoods.

According to regional city councilor for wards one and five, Paul Vicente, “we have many reports of 20 people living in one house”. Vicente adds, “the aim is for landlords across the City of Brampton, but specifically in wards one, three, four, five and seven to be able to register with the city and conduct their rental business at a much higher quality level.”

The city says the goal of the program is to help maintain the character of local neighborhoods, uphold property standard by-laws, and keep individuals and families safe with the enforcement of the Ontario Fire Code.

Courtesy of the City of Brampton

However, some disagree with how the pilot project is being conducted.

Ravi Sohal, is a Brampton realtor and the creator of Halt Implementation of Residential Rental License (RRL) in the City of Brampton petition.

The petition outlines a number of key points that some may not know such as the hidden costs of inspection reports and other administrative paperwork that could run landlords in those certain wards over the annual cost fee of $300. Sohal says he agrees that safety standards need to be held to account but is concerned about the impacts of this license will have on the current housing crisis.

The wards selected for the residential rental licensing pilot program are ones where many Indian international students live as tenants.

Amardeep Singh, a member of the Naujawan Support Network says that the exploitation of tenants happens frequently such as over-crowing in spaces and illegal evictions. He is worried that extra fees incurred by a landlord will result in increased rent prices ultimately impacting vulnerable international students.

The city will be conducting random inspections during the two year pilot project, if owners fail to comply with inspection rules or is a no show they may be subject to fines as specified in the Business Licensing By-law 184-2023.


With files from Sukhpal Singh Aulakh

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