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CTV News: ‘Rogue landlords’ put on notice by council committee that backed licensing by-law to prevent renovictions - ACORN Canada

CTV News: ‘Rogue landlords’ put on notice by council committee that backed licensing by-law to prevent renovictions

Posted June 12, 2024

Councillors vented their frustration about the number of Londoners losing their homes to so-called “renovictions.”

“We are here around this table to protect those who can’t protect themselves,” asserted Coun. Peter Cuddy to members of the Community and Protective Services (CAPS) Committee.

On Monday, the CAPS Committee discussed a draft licensing by-law to stop the unethical use of N13 Notices by some landlords to evict tenants on the pretense of an extensive renovation to their unit— only to instead use the vacancy to hike the rent.

“This by-law is meant for those rogue landlords who have come into this city with the only intention of making money as quickly as they can— on the back of our good tenants,” Cuddy added.
Coun. David Ferreira’s comments took direct aim at landlords who are renovicting tenants, “When your business model comes at a cost of the basic human rights (of) people, expect the people to respond. Expect the loopholes to close.”

A staff report recommends requiring landlords who issue an N13 Notice to obtain a $400 Rental Unit Repair License from city hall and include a professional opinion that the unit must be vacated during the renovation.

Also, the impacted tenants would receive an information package explaining their rights.

Each unit being renovated would require a separate license.

Ferreira said he has a file on his desk full of tenants facing renoviction, “The fear of being renovicted is a real fear that people are thinking about, and they’re stressing about. I’ve had enough of that.”

The proposed license would require hiring six additional city staff at a total cost of $581,000 per year.

The deputy mayor suggested that cost might justify a license fee greater than $400.

“I don’t want it to be so high that it’s prohibitive for good landlords making renovations that are needed, but I’m also concerned about the cost recovery portion,” Deputy Mayor Shawn Lewis told colleagues.

“We are happy to hear that with this draft, licences would be required for each unit individually to help prevent mass renovictions,” reads a statement by tenants advocacy group London ACORN.

“Unfortunately, our members noticed a clear lack of discussion during Monday’s meeting regarding a key missing element in the bylaw draft: there is currently no requirement for landlords to provide tenants with alternate accommodations or a rental top up during renovations,” continues Jordan Smith of London ACORN in the statement.

“Alternate accommodation is the most important part of a strong renoviction bylaw. Without it, this bylaw lacks the teeth to effectively curb renovictions in the city,” Smith adds.

The committee unanimously voted (4-0) to recommend holding a public participation meeting on July 15 about the proposed by-law.

Civic administration believes the new licensing requirement could be in force and effect in early 2025.

“I would like to be as fast as possible, obviously and I’m hoping that we can get to those timelines, but it’s as fast as the process is gonna allow us at the moment,” said Ferreira following the meeting.

Council will consider the committee recommendation on June 25.

Article by Daryl Newcombe for CTV News