City passes historic by-law in support of tenants’ rights

This post, from April 17th, has information on the approval of a historic by-law supporting tenants’ rights.

Hello Ward 8 Neighbours,

Hamilton City Council has approved the first-of-its-kind by-law focused on preventing unfair evictions.

For more details, please continue reading below…

The Renovation Licence and Relocation By-law aims to protect tenants through new requirements put in place for landlords who want to complete renovations.

“As Mayor, I am proud that Hamilton is leading the way in Ontario to better support and protect tenants,” said Mayor Andrea Horwath. “I know that many in our city continue to struggle with affordable and stable housing. This landmark by-law is a crucial step forward in protecting our community’s renters, preventing our citizens from being displaced, and providing them with the stability and fairness that everyone deserves.”

“We are proud to lead the way in Ontario with our groundbreaking Renovation Licence and Relocation By-law, a significant effort to safeguard tenants’ rights and preserve the city’s affordable housing,” said Marnie Cluckie, City Manager. “As we confront the serious challenge of affordable housing erosion – where an estimated 23 affordable units are lost for every new one built – this by-law is a vital step in protecting our community and ensuring that our renters are valued and protected. It also marks a crucial advancement in achieving Council’s strategic goal of fostering Safe & Thriving Neighbourhoods.”

Under the new by-law, landlords who issue an eviction notice (N-13) to a tenant to demolish, repair or renovate a unit must apply to the City within seven days for a renovation licence prior to starting any work.

If a tenant is required to leave their unit during the period of renovation or repair and plans to return to the unit, the new by-law would have landlords secure temporary arrangements that are comparable to the tenant’s current unit or provide the tenant compensation in lieu. The by-law does not ban landlords from issuing an eviction notice for renovations.

Through this new process, the City gains awareness when an eviction notice has been issued to a tenant so it can help make sure tenants are offered supports where needed, including their right to move back into the unit once renovations are complete.

“This by-law is the first of its kind in Ontario that will directly address the increasing problem of unfair evictions in Hamilton” said Dan Smith, Acting Director, Licensing and By-Law Services. “City Council’s support of this long-awaited by-law speaks to our commitment to responsible landlord practices and protecting the well-being of tenants renting in our city.”

Subject to approval from the Ministry of the Attorney General, fines for non-compliance of the by-law will range from $500 to $10,000 for an individual landlord, and $500 to $50,000 for a corporation.

This by-law applies to more than 47,000 rental units in the City of Hamilton and in combination with the Safe Apartment BuildingsCity’s Property Standards and Vital Services By-laws, form the new Hamilton Apartment Rental Program. The overall program aims to address unfair evictions, tenant displacement and property standards within the City of Hamilton.

Questions or concerns?

If you have any questions or concerns, you can contact our office here.

Councillor John-Paul Danko