Brampton Looking At Steeper Fines For Rental Licensing Pilot

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As Brampton gears up for the relaunch of its Residential Rental Licensing (RLL) pilot program — designed to crack down on illegal accommodations and hold landlords to a higher standard — city staff are deliberating harsher fines for bad actors and exemptions for those waiting on remediation through the LTB.

“We need to have fines that have more teeth for [landlords] that are leaving their properties in a situation that is unsafe or in disarray,” said Mayor Patrick Brown at a recent telephone town hall in response to a resident who lamented that at $250 fine for shoddy upkeep of a rental property is not much more than a slap on the wrist — especially when you consider that rents in Brampton are skyrocketing.

More than 7,000 people tuned into the town hall, held last Thursday, to ask questions and air their grievances about the RLL pilot, which was paused in late January admidst outcry from landlords (and less than a month after its launch). Nonetheless, city staff have said that the intention is to resume the program in the coming weeks with new and clarified parameters.

“We are preparing for unusual, hypothetical situations,” Brown also said. “[If] you have a pending eviction at the LTB, we’re looking at provisions within this program that would exempt you from being fined… but there has to be proof that you’ve gone to the LTB, that you’re seeking an eviction.”

At a January Committee of Council meeting, Brown said there are as many as 100,000 people living in illegal rental units across the city.

Brown has continually emphasized the need for the RLL program in Brampton. In January, he underlined that as many as 100,000 people are living in illegal rental units across the city.

“There’s probably no topic we’ve had more complaints about in the City of Brampton than illegal secondary suites,” said Brown at last week’s town hall. “There was an example in Ward 3 on Blackmer Circle where we got a complaint and there were [24] students living in the same two-unit dwelling. Imagine that. We had another instance where we got a complaint on Cousins Court: 25 tenants residing on site. Eight of the 25 lived in the basement. No separations, no fire extinguishers or emergency lighting. And we get these complaints on a regular basis.”

As far as Brown is concerned, getting the RLL program up and running again is no less than a matter of life in death.

“We’ve had four fatalities in these illegal secondary units since I’ve become mayor. Four fatalities, four senseless, needless losses of life. And in 2023 alone, we had 21 fires in illegal units — 21 fires that could have caused significant loss of life,” said Brown. “The question is, as a city, are we going to have the courage to really, really clamp down on slum landlords?”

Although city staff had previously indicated that the program would be up and running again at some point this month, Manager of Policy, Programs, and Implementation for the city, Jeffrey Humble, said at the town hall that it will more realistically be relaunched in early April.

“The objective here is to make the program very easy for those that are compliant, that have legal units, and working with those perhaps who are non-compliant to move them towards compliance,” said Humble. “And that’s what the program is designed to do.”


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