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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