Investor anger at rental licence issue

As another region flirts with the idea of introducing a license system for rental units, investors argue that this is not the solution to a housing crisis.

While more City officials recognize the need to clamp down on slum landlords, some investors are arguing that licensing is not the answer.

Last week, a number of candidates vying for seats for the west Hamilton ward said they would put this controversial plan back on the table to help solve the housing crisis in the area.

This plan could see the city issue licenses to rental units in buildings with six or fewer apartments. This clampdown is aimed at focusing on poorly maintained rental units around McMaster University and Mohawk College.

Kayla Andrade from Ontario Landlords Watch says that licensing is not the answer to this housing issue and will not have the desired effect of creating more units to alleviate supply problems.

Jay Parlar, president of the Ainslee Wood- Westdale Community Association, says there has been a deterioration of housing stock in many areas of this vicinity with students living in unsafe conditions.

Candidate Brian Lewis says there is a need to develop more student housing downtown and to boost enforcement of existing codes.

Ottawa city officials are currently studying the merits of licensing and other enforcement programs near university campuses. This follows a number of complaints from across the province about the number of unkept and illegal student properties, such as those near Algonquin College.

Waterloo currently has a licensed system where landlords of non-high rise properties must pay for licenses and submit maintenance plans. The properties are also inspected.

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