Posts Tagged ‘by-laws’

Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011

Whose Job Is It to Clear the Snow?

Whose job is it to clear the snow at a rental property? The tenant or the landlord?

A woman in London makes a case for a by-law requiring landlords to clear the snow from tenants’ walkways and driveways.

The OLA’s Jane Schweitzer called the idea of ignoring what is put in the lease ‘ridiculous.’

http://www.cbc.ca/ontariotoday/2011/02/01/whose-job-is-it-to-clear-the-snow/

Landlords want tenants to clear snow

Monday, January 31st, 2011


BYLAW: A city hall committee is set to consider a proposal for a new bylaw that would govern who has to shovel what

By KATE DUBINSKI, The London Free Press

If there’s ever been a time when snow removal has been on Londoners’ minds, this has been the year.

But some landlords are crying foul over suggestions they be made responsible for clearing snow from their London tenants’ walkways and driveways.

“What’s next? Are landlords going to be responsible for making sure their tenants eat their vegetables every day?” said Jane Schweitzer, a representative of the Ontario Landlord Association.

“It’s Canada. We all know we’re going to have to deal with ice and snow. I don’t think the city should be involved in these issues,” added her husband and fellow landlord, Mike Schweitzer. The couple are based in Brantford.

The Ontario Landlord Association represents landlords with properties that have 10 or fewer units.

The city’s built and natural environment committee will hear arguments Monday for a new property-standards bylaw to deal with snow removal in rental units.

“There’s no recourse for Londoners. Right now, you either kick up a fuss with the landlord or property-management company, or you go before the landlord and tenant board, which takes time and money,” said Tiffany Roschkow. She is proposing the city consider a new bylaw to make landlords responsible for shovelling or plowing walkways, driveways, ramps and parking spaces.

“It makes sense. You move into a rental property and you expect that kind of thing to be done for you.”

Roschkow lives in a three-storey walk-up in Wortley Village.

Several days before Snowmageddon, the building manager there died, leaving no one responsible for the snow clearing, Roschkow said. Piles of snow built up around cars and around the dumpster and recycling bins. Tenants began leaving their garbage bags in the hallways.

“For the garbage, I called the city and they came out right away because it was a property-standards issue but for the snow, we couldn’t do anything about it,” Roschkow said.

Someone eventually cleared a pathway to the front door about the width of a standard shovel. that didn’t help much when an elderly tenant out doing errands fell on the walkway, she noted.

“There was nothing being done about it, so I started nosing around and I realized that London doesn’t have a bylaw for rental units like Toronto does,” said Roschkow.

In London, landlords are responsible for keeping rental units in a good state of repair as required under the Residential Tenancies Act.

In Toronto, an additional property-standards bylaw states, “Steps, landings, walks, driveways, parking spaces, ramps and similar areas shall be cleared of snow and ice during and immediately following a snowfall to provide safe access and egress for persons and vehicles.”

The Ontario Landlord Association recommends leases include a section about who is responsible for snow clearing.

Ward 11 Coun. Denise Brown supports Roschkow’s proposal for a newer bylaw.

She has a visually impaired acquaintance who was stuck in his house after Snowmageddon in December and whose landlord told him to shovel his own driveway. “Eventually I had my son and husband do his driveway, but I can’t do that for the entire ward,” Brown said.

“I want staff to look at Toronto’s bylaw and what happens in other cities and to bring back recommendations so we can set something up here.”

http://www.lfpress.com/news/london/2011/01/30/17092936.html

Waterloo the next city to license landlords

Friday, January 21st, 2011

WATERLOO — Waterloo proposes to become the first local city to regulate landlords who rent houses, charging them $1.2 million a year for rental licences.

Critics see it as a costly red-tape headache that will dissuade people from renting out bedrooms and houses.

“It’s really an attack on the Mom-and-Pop operation,” said Glenn Trachsel, of the Waterloo Regional Apartment Management Association. He predicts it will lead to a housing shortage.

Proponents say rental regulation will improve property standards and tenant safety.

“We know we have lots of rentals and we want to make sure that they’re all safe,” said Jim Barry, director of bylaw enforcement. “And by safe, we want to make sure that they’re safe for the people renting, and for the neighbourhood around them.”

Landlords would be charged fees ranging from $501 to $819 to secure a rental housing licence. Annual renewals would cost $231 to $405. Fees would pay all costs for rental regulation.

Apartment buildings are excluded due to higher provincial safety codes. The target instead is an estimated 5,000 houses, townhouses, and duplexes where bedrooms are rented out. This includes owners who rent out bedrooms in a house they still occupy.

Rentals would be capped at three bedrooms to reduce the impact of large rentals on neighbourhoods.

Campus-area challenges are driving the proposed regulations, unveiled Thursday following public consultation. Some rented homes are decaying in student neighbourhoods. The city has also had trouble enforcing licences it currently requires for lodging houses, which allow more than three tenants.

Regulation could provide helpful clarity around rental standards, said George Patton, president of the Kitchener Waterloo Real Estate Board. But there’s concern about the impact on landlords.

“Does this negatively impact whether or not people are prepared to invest?” Patton said. “If it does have a negative affect, it may have a ripple effect in terms of availability of accommodations for students.”

Regulation would require landlords to submit floor, maintenance and parking plans, provide proof of insurance and tenancy agreements, allow city staff to enter and inspect the units, and comply with codes and bylaws. Landlords could face $350 tickets for violating their licence.

Council could approve regulation in February after hearing delegations.

“We don’t want to jeopardize the business of rental housing,” Coun. Scott Witmer said. But tenant safety is also critical. “With that, sometimes there is a cost.”

Waterloo would be the first local city to license rental homes, following Oshawa, London and Mississauga. It’s a power municipalities received in 2007.

Licences for lodging houses would be phased out. Landlords could eventually secure licences for boarding houses, or drop down to three bedrooms.
http://www.therecord.com/news/local/art … l-licences

Barrie Area Landlords: Have your Say in Improving the Law

Saturday, January 8th, 2011

The beautiful City of Barrie is leading the way in creating laws that are fair to small business landlords which will in turn create clean, beautiful and safe communities. Please take note of your invitation to attend two Open Houses where you will have a fair chance to provide input in a review of the Property Standards By-law and the Clean Yards By-law.

The OLA commends Chris Alexander, Supervisor, Property and Zoning Standards, City of Barrie for his excellent work and leadership and hope other cities will take note of his progressive approach.

We also thank April Stewart of Landlord Legal for helping the OLA organize landlords to make sure all stakeholders get their input heard. The “Terminator” is a true champion for landlords.

—–

Dear Resident/Stakeholder,

The City of Barrie is undertaking a review of both the Property Standards By-law No. 2006-26 and the Clean Yards By-law No. 90-355. These by-laws govern the maintenance and up-keep of all properties and structures in the City of Barrie.

The City is looking for input from all stakeholders including property owners, tenants and property managers for the yard maintenance standards that the community wants. This input will be considered for inclusion in the revised by-laws to be presented to Council in the Spring of 2011.

There will be two Open Houses held in the Sir Robert Barrie Room located on the second floor of City Hall 70 Collier Street from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on:

Thursday January 13th and Thursday January 27th 2011

There will be an opportunity to review the proposed property standards. Staff will also be on hand to answer questions, accept comments and suggestions. If you are unable to attend either one of the Open Houses, please visit http://www.barrie.ca under “What’s New” to view a copy of the proposed standards and get a copy of a survey that you can complete to share your opinions.

Attached is a listing of current issues that the Property Standards Section of Building Services investigates and the standards that are in place. Also attached is a survey soliciting your input on the issues we investigate and what standards that you would like to see. Completed surveys can be forwarded to Building Services for inclusion in the Review.

Should you have any comments or questions about the Review or the process involved, please contact Chris Alexander, Supervisor Property and Zoning Standards at calexander@barrie.ca or (705) 739-4220 ext. 4313.

Thank-you for participating in the Review and we look forward to hearing from you and getting your input.

Yours truly,

Chris Alexander
Supervisor, Property and Zoning Standards

http://www.ontariolandlords.ca/forum/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=4101&sid=6a09519ee3916c79b2fe1ec24b2a04b6