Calls for bigger fines for “slum” landlords

Frustrated tenants and city officials are calling for greater fines and stricter rules against landlords that fail to maintain their properties to a legal standard.

The only way to rid “slum” landlords from the system is to enforce greater obstacles and restrictions so they would not be tempted to leave properties in a state of disrepair.

That was the call from one city officials and locals in St. John’s, Newfoundland, after a couple were fined almost $20,000 for failing to comply to the minimum structural and electrical requirements.

The deputy mayor of St. John’s, Ron Ellsworth, said he was looking for $5,000 per infraction. This would have combined to a total bill of $125,000 for the Irish couple that now reside in Dublin.

Tenants from the six-unit property on Cashin Avenue have been complaining to the city for many months as the Irish couple have reportedly returned to their hometown and have failed to communicate with any party. The property has been shut down and remains boarded up.

Locals have called on the city to allow the landlords six months to pay the fine and if not paid, tear it down and sell the lot.

They believe such a deterrent will force landlords to maintain their properties and pay the fines handed out.

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