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Warning to investors in Canada's ‘hottest’ investor market

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Canadian Realestate Magazine | 17 Mar 2015, 09:31 AM Agree 0
A city councillor in the country’s hottest market is spearheading a move to crack down on the illegal conversion of secondary suites.
  • Omer Quenneville | 17 Mar 2015, 01:09 PM Agree 0
    A tragedy is a tragedy and is always horrible. Closing down these suites will do nothing but put a squeeze on much needed affordable rental housing. If this city counselor wants to shut it down, be prepared to offer an alternative.
  • Robert Harrington | 18 Mar 2015, 12:33 PM Agree 0
    The time to address the secondary and third suite issue was years ago when the issue was first confronted by the city staff when they started getting all these applications and ignored them rather than reporting up the chain of command that there was a demand for suites and lets put in a process.

    It's way to late to put the horse back in the barn and If cities really became hard nosed about this our homeless population would skyrocket and then you would see that threatened 25% collapse of home prices.

    It is what it is city councillors, so deal with it with some policies that make sense.
  • Matthew Green | 18 Mar 2015, 04:44 PM Agree 0
    I find it curious that you are so shocked that I'd request that 'investors' follow the legal process for conversions in our neighbourhood.
    I am even more amused that by your own account 90% of 'investors' chose not to.

    Also worth noting that my request is for future non permit infractions and not a crack down on pre-existing (legal non conforming) units.

    I do appreciate the warning to any one looking to develop in Hamilton Centre illegally.
  • Claire Morris | 19 Mar 2015, 02:33 PM Agree 0
    I live in Hamilton in the Gibson neighbourhood (Ward 3). My street is a mix of owned single family dwellings, rented single family dwellings and rented multi-unit dwellings. This is great. I have great neighbours and I enjoy the eclectic mix of living situations in my area. However, I do take issue with people taking advantage of the relatively inexpensive Hamilton housing market to purchase single houses and convert them illegally into multi-unit dwellings. This does not benefit our neighbourhood! There is a multi-unit dwelling two doors down from me that has the sketchiest back staircase I've ever seen. This cannot possibly be safe; in fact, my boyfriend who is very experienced in minor construction, pointed out to me a few areas of concern in how the wooden staircase (which runs two-and-a-half storeys up the rear of the house) is attached to the brick work and anchored to the ground. I am all for more development of affordable housing in Hamilton, we certainly can use it. But that development needs to be legal and safe! Having prospective landlords submit requests for conversions ahead of time and have them approved before moving forward is hardly unreasonable. And as Matthew has pointed out above, the city is not interested in shutting down currently occupied dwellings...only preventing the illegal conversion of future dwellings.
  • REALTOR Mike | 20 Mar 2015, 02:08 PM Agree 0
    Illegal housing options should be shut down. If a property does not meet zoning, than there are probably other deficiencies present. I am thinking building, electrical and fire code to name a few. Chances are, if these items are not in place, the landlords are probably not insuring these unrecognized rental options as rental properties either.

    Blame past City Council/Building Department for allowing this to happen. Don't blame the current Council for having the courage to try to clean things up.

    Note to investors: if you buy unrecognized property, it will catch up to you. Its only a matter of time.
  • About time | 21 Mar 2015, 11:19 AM Agree 0
    The sense of entitlement on the part of the realty industry and 'investors' with regard to ignoring the law is truly astounding. Bravo, Councillor Matthew Green.
  • | 21 Mar 2015, 12:06 PM Agree 0
    Yes, they r unsafe unregulated unknown as to where they exist.
    They r illegal. Unsafe, unpaid for. Not taxed.
    I beleive investors that have bought an investment property with an apartment that is not permitted should be suing the seller.
    And the seller should be on the hook for the 30000-50000 dollars extra the buyer paid for the house.
    Let me know where to send my resume. I too want to stop the insanity
  • rich | 21 Mar 2015, 09:08 PM Agree 0
    There used to be a policy in China of executing business criminals with a bullet to the head and charging the family for the bullet. This of course is to good for those who illegally convert homes to apartments, create basement units, and cram extra units into existing building, all in the name of pure greed and avarice, the cretins who destroy neighborhoods and the peace and tranquility of those who chose to abide within the law must be routed out of our society and be forced to ply there profit driven trade only in the neighborhoods in which they reside.
  • Doug Green | 22 Mar 2015, 04:27 PM Agree 0
    As an investor and a former municpal employee (not employed by Hamilton), i would have to agree with the Councillor. Get your permit in advance of undertaking your renovation. By the sounds of this article, perhaps some process needs to be improved to reduce the processing time for this type of application or more education of the public is required.
  • A G | 23 Mar 2015, 01:30 AM Agree 0
    If Hamilton had a mayor or a few councillors with ANY vision over the past 35 to 50 years , they would have beautiful 5 star hotels , casinos and yacht clubs and marinas , bistros and fine dining , boardwalks concert venues , maybe even a waterside PARK , lining a clean pristine bay where that pile of excrement , soot and chemical called a steel plant/formerly Stelco , sits and festers and seeps waste into the water and soil year after year . American tourists should be pouring in by car and by boat and fueling a revitalization of all the surrounding neighbourhoods ..... which would lead to a need for EVEN more housing both rental and condo ....... where are all the "bylaw officers" "environmental engineers" , and city councillors ? Worrying about rental units sadly ....
  • Johnny P | 24 Mar 2015, 01:27 PM Agree 0
    I really like some of these comments. A G great comments, I agree. But Matthew Green, I guess we need to review the process in which these permits are done. A secondary unit or even "In Law" suite has been a fantastic revenue for many people in the Hamilton area that would NOT otherwise be able to afford housing or mortgages. With rates being low, we haven't heard any real problems, but as rates rise that will be another issue. The secondary unit or In law suite have been improperly done, I can agree. But HAMILTON must take some responsibilities in way we process the permits (length of time) to costs. There are better ways to arrive to this conclusion. As apposed to secondary units/In Law suites, go after the MULTI units that are in residential neighbourhoods causing over parking, bad tenants and disturbing the peace.
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