Town Wants Landlords to Pay Fees

by Chris on November 8, 2010

Town Could Require Inspection Fees, May Fine Landlords if Police Called to Rentals

This month, the town council in Nipawin, Saskatchewan will decide whether to adopt a new rule that allows the town to collect an inspection fee from landlords, and charge a fine if police are called out to a property more than three times in one year.

It is not clear whether landlords will be charged for any police visit, or if the call has to be in response to specific behaviour, for example if tenants are disruptive. But the measure itself focuses on building code violations, and if passed, also will require landlords to pay an inspection fee of around $180 every time a new tenant moves in.

The mayor of the town reports that a number of complaints have been lodged against landlords for faulty repairs and dangerous living conditions, including rental units with no smoke detectors.

If the proposal passes, landlords will be required to pay the inspection fee either annually, or as often as a new tenant moves in. The measure may provide for city officials to waive the fees at their own discretion if a landlord can provide some other proof that the rental property is not violating any building codes.

A local landlord has been quite vocal in his opposition to the proposed rules, claiming that the extra costs will force him to raise his rent to break even, something his tenants may not be able to afford. He has vowed to sell his properties to cut his losses. He also raised concerns that the fee for police calls is too high – $195, and  too unpredictable for a landlord to avoid.

This appears to be the first case in Saskatchewan where a town council has sought to charge these fees.

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Disclaimer: The information provided in this post in not intended to be construed as legal advice, nor should it be considered a substitute for obtaining individual legal counsel or consulting your local, state, federal or provincial tenancy laws.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Ganou November 9, 2010 at 9:29 am

So the behaviour of the tenants could cost the landlord money???

If the tenants are problematic or cause the police to come to the property the landlord is getting blamed. So I guess the tenants are not to blame, nor are their parents for raising crack dealing, abusive, noisy, welfare scamming people.

Just wait till the day the tenants call the fire department or police a dozen times out of spite because they are being evicted. Will the landlords still get billed those dozen times?

Not only is the landlord probably loosing money over the eviction (because most cases are due to non-payment), but they will get stuck with a heafty bill from the city atop all of this. Now thats a way to promote people to get into the business.

I see this as a way to keep rentals out of town, or a just a vengeance against someone who owns a large amount of property in town.

Vivian November 9, 2010 at 11:31 am

Civic laws is a recognized tool of Crime Free Multi-Housing. Originally a program from Chicago, it is now widely seen in the lower mainland for example. The only proven method to reduce crime in rental apartments. Buildings that take part in the crime-free multi-housing to reduce crime by CPTED (crime prevention through environmental desing), adopting a standard of good window and door locks. A landlord will be trained in screening for good tenants. Screen Checks, police checks. Rental buildings that participate in CFMH are entitled to lower business license fees as an incentive.

If a city participates by creating laws that support landlord training.

The idea is to weed out BAD landlords. It is a way of creating good management. Good management is a foundation for a safe building. And CFMH is a tool. In North Vancouver, BC they attempted to make law similar rules as those stated in your article. This was so that people in neighbours with crime issues could adopt a tool and police could work with the public to improve their safety. I’m not sure if these laws have been adopted by the City of North Vancouver. CFMH worked on 3rd street. With the first Crime Free Multi Housing unit the neighbours started asking about CPTED and started cleaning up their properties. Bushes were trimmed back to reduce areas for criminals to hide. The crack house next door to the CFMH rental apartment, eventually was sold and decommissioned. Now there is a high end, architecturally beautiful, 6 unit strata building next door. I would have lived there!

I also applied many of the CFMH standards in my own building, a strata unit of 32 units with many rentals.

Part of the CFMH is a document that tenants sign saying they will not participate in illegal activity,… or smoke pot. A document gives landlords a tool for swift eviction should an issue arise.

Landlords need to think of the future. I understand that credit checks and police checks won’t always screen out a bad tenant. However; it certainly helps. Also regular suite inspections are a GOOD thing. It only takes a month for a tenant to set up a grow up. The damage happens quickly! I have seen. And it effects an ENTIRE community. MOLD, increased rent prices to recoop damage costs, etc.

Please look up CFMH http://www.bccpa.org/cfmh/index.htm at BCCPA http://www.bccpa.org/

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