Rental Property Maintenance Toolkit Needs More Carrot

The best scenario for the 23,000 illegal rental households in Hamilton is to keep the roof over their heads, and for the roof to be of a better quality.

By Tanya Ritchie
Published September 06, 2012

It is clear that Hamiltonians are worried about downtown housing. Lately there has been discussion of rental licensing, and there is an ongoing debate about zoning and property standards.

The bottom line is that there are 23,000 occupied rental units that are illegal under current zoning regulations. In a recent Spectator article, the concerns of those living near said units were voiced.

I have been a downtown landlord for over ten years now. I will state categorically that I find the current zoning laws to be arbitrary and backward. I think that the safety of tenants, and of neighbourhoods, is vitally important, but I don't think that zoning laws do anything to ensure that this is the case.

A property can just as easily be decrepit if it is single-occupancy or multi-unit. Similarly, it can be run-down if it is tenanted or owner-occupied.

Rather than going around and around with the licensing argument and the calls to give by-law enforcement more clout, I think there is a better solution. The above would have the net effect of putting people out on the street. The best scenario is for all these 23,000 households to keep the roof over their heads, and for the roof to be of a better quality.

The solution, as always, is to consider what tools we have at our disposal. Ultimately, we can use the carrot or the stick.

Current methods only employ the stick. If a property is poorly maintained, by-law can levy fines and post notices. Neighbours can complain and call both the city and in some cases the police.

The effect of all this is poor quality of life for the tenant - as landlord fines will almost certainly be passed on, eventually, to the tenant - and the cost of fines means less money for actual property upkeep.

So it becomes a cycle. And, of course, some un-conscientious landlords simply ignore all the notices and fines that come their way and leave their tenants and properties in squalor.

The problem is that there's very little that even a good landlord can do to ensure a property is well kept. Why should a tenant take good care of a property, be it a whole house or a unit? They walk an uneasy line between treating a house like one's own, and knowing that it belongs to someone else.

Many, many good tenants treat our properties like their own - they clean, they report damage and maintenance issues, they even garden.

Similarly, many bad tenants treat our properties like a place to crash - they have no regard for damage they are causing and feel free to beat the place up.

I've written previously that the problem must be solved through two-way communication. What can a landlord do to make sure tenants are like the former group - without inspections, constant letters and notices to the tribunal, etc, which tenants often find harassing?

If a tenant is to feel at home somewhere, they can't constantly have the landlord stopping by and looking in on the. That is a gross violation of privacy and autonomy. Even if a landlord does inspect, my experience in solving tenant behavior and cleanliness issues has been universally negative, by which I mean ineffective, solving only to create animosity.

The Landlord Tenant Board has forms for both landlords and tenants that relate to property upkeep and acceptable behavior, but in practice, landlords can generally only affect an eviction in cases of non-payment of rent or illegal activities.

So landlords need to offer the tenants a carrot.

Many landlords - myself included - require new tenants to pay a first and last month's rent upon arrival. This is to ensure that a tenant does not simply pick up and leave, but rather gives the landlord a full month's notice of impending departure. By the same token, it means that a landlord must give a tenant reasonable time to vacate an apartment.

In practice, of course, it rarely happens that a landlord can use this last month to ready an apartment for incoming tenants and there is always a period where a house or unit sits vacant, without any revenue, while repairs and upkeep are performed.

Now, the legal niceties would have to be ironed out, but surely that last month's rent could be used in a more practical way. What if a landlord could grant a return of all or part of the last month's rent to ensure that the property was kept up? Not to excessive extremes - not the white-glove treatment - but simply that no holes were punched in walls, no pest infestations were found, no vandalism was performed, no build-up of garbage left behind.

So, if a tenant wants to end their lease on October 1, they still pay September's rent - but on October 1st they are handed back the money they paid when they signed on. In a case of justified eviction, the money would be forfeit, entirely or in part, depending on the cause.

As a landlord, I would certainly be willing to pay my tenants the equivalent of a month's rent if, when they leave, I can walk into a house that is clean and ready to re-rent the next day. It is a win-win-win scenario: good for landlords, good for tenants, good for neighbours.

Tanya Ritchie is an immigrant who moved to Hamilton ten years ago and lives in Ward 3. She is the co-owner of Hamilton Guest House, Hamilton's only backpackers' hostel.


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By Borrelli (registered) | Posted September 06, 2012 at 09:14:02

Does anyone know where that 23,000 number comes from? I keep seeing "estimates", but estimated by whom? That's just such a huge number of units...

Comment edited by Borrelli on 2012-09-06 09:31:18

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By TDR (registered) - website | Posted September 06, 2012 at 13:49:03 in reply to Comment 80588

I got the number from the Spec article. I assume they got it from somewhere valid.

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By Megan (registered) | Posted September 06, 2012 at 09:26:59 in reply to Comment 80588

According to the 2006 census numbers (2011 household data won't be released until later this month) there were 61,675 rental 'dwellings' in the entire city of Hamilton. I too find it hard to believe that 38 per cent of those units are illegal. However, even if the number is half that, loss of these homes is a cause for concern.

Link to Census data

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By TDR (registered) - website | Posted September 06, 2012 at 13:50:43 in reply to Comment 80589

Thanks for the link. That number (61,675) really puts into perspective the argument that all tenants are a problem.

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By SouthsideBill (anonymous) | Posted September 06, 2012 at 10:03:02

Here is what it really means: Tenants are the problem. No tenant should be allowed to rent a residential property. Rentals should be confined to large, corporate apartment blocks managed by a team of real estate specialists. If you rent a property you don't care. By degrees all tenants don't care about the property. If they don't have any financial investment in said property why would they. Residential properties in cities should be owned by families bottom line. In south Sherman a group called Ward 3 Residents Association lead by Paul Tetley is leading a charge to drive all rentals out of the area. Some might disagree with this, but I live on Erie and believe me this will turn it into a Westdale Village without the students. Anyone who owns property will testify to this. Non owners destroy neighborhoods. Maybe stronger deposits would increase the pocket book of the author of this article, but certainly not the improvement of the area. IMHO

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By gobsmacked (anonymous) | Posted September 06, 2012 at 15:12:44 in reply to Comment 80594

Wow, Bill. I admit, I thought you were joking at first. That is a really narrow-minded, classist, NIMBY kind of outlook. The world must be very scary for you.

If, indeed, Paul Tetley feels this way also, I pity him, and the residents of ward 3 should he ever be elected to speak on their behalf.

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By SouthsideBill (anonymous) | Posted September 06, 2012 at 17:22:06 in reply to Comment 80631

I am not speaking for Ward 3 or anyone else. I am a supporter of Paul Tetley and he should have been on council spearheading these initiatives. Myself and some other residents are thinking of starting a march to raise awareness on what houses are full of absentee landlords and slum tenants. It is no joke.

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By Ward3resident (anonymous) | Posted September 06, 2012 at 15:11:08 in reply to Comment 80594

You are completely wrong if you think that the ward 3 assoc hates renters/tenants or rentals at all. Like many westdale residents, this group of people are trying to get rid of slumlords and absentee landlords. Their only priority is collecting a rent cheque and cramming as many units as possible in their homes. Rentals are a fact of life. Some simply cannot afford or have no interest in the responsibility of owning their own property. What needs to happen is more effective enforcement of bylaws in this city. If every home in a neighborhood was allowed to be converted into a multi unit dwelling just because the house was large would have a huge negative impact on a neighborhood. This city has allowed ward 3 to fall into a black hole. It is the residents and home owners who are now demanding more from our councillor, our municipal enforcement depts to take back this area of the city. It is no longer acceptable as a dumping ground for low income, substandard housing. Good quality rentals can and will still exist but the ones that attract the huge volume of problem tenants are not!

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By silentsam (anonymous) | Posted December 11, 2012 at 11:51:27 in reply to Comment 80629

I'll bet there are more than a few bylaw infractions in all our homes. It is so easy to point the finger at others.

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By TDR (registered) - website | Posted September 06, 2012 at 16:47:25 in reply to Comment 80629

I totally agree, with the small clarification that low-income does not equal substandard. Low income can be neat, cute and homey.

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By TDR (registered) - website | Posted September 06, 2012 at 13:57:38 in reply to Comment 80594

I find this opinion to be very offensive and very troubling. Tenants, whether you like it or not, are human beings. There are many, many good reasons why people rent rather than buy. I wonder if you read my article, because I certainly made no call for “stronger deposits” to “increase my pocketbook” - rather I suggest a “financial investment” that would indeed give tenants greater incentive to care for the property. This would be no more than the last month’s rent amount, which many tenants now pay (instead of the last month’s rent, not as well as).

I own property (nine of them, in fact) and I certainly wouldn’t “testify” to what you write here. Your solution would be to put all tenants in “large, corporate apartment blocks” - a ghetto. Such an idea is repugnant on the face of it, and an affront to common humanity.

I would love to hear from Mr Tetley, if he indeed characterizes his position on all rentals just as you’ve stated it here.

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted September 06, 2012 at 11:02:38 in reply to Comment 80594

While this is a little severely worded, I have to agree with the basic point that family homes are simply not designed to be rental properties. They aren't rugged enough, they have maintenance issues that aren't appropriate for either a tenant or a landlord to deal with.

Shoving a square peg into a round hole is going to be expensive any way you slice it. It's going to be hard no matter what. But that doesn't mean the City should let you off the hook for the problems your rental properties are causing. If it's a bad business to be in, maybe you shouldn't be in it?

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By TDR (registered) - website | Posted September 06, 2012 at 14:02:56 in reply to Comment 80600

If a family lives in a house, why does it matter if they’ve got a lease or a mortgage? They still eat, sleep, play, raise their kids, go to work, etc. Why should a rental need to be “more rugged”? Is this opinion predicated on the idea that tenants are all ipso facto rough on properties? This is the reason for my proposal.

Is the question directed at me or the above comment? I am in the landlording “business” for two reasons: 1. I love Hamilton’s houses and like to see them kept well; and 2. I think that people deserve an affordable place to live that is, as I say, kept well.

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted September 06, 2012 at 10:30:12

I love all the landlords trying to say "it's not a rental problem, it's a maintenance problem". Come to Westdale and see the stark contrast between the family homes and the student rentals, and tell me that you can't see a deep difference. Yes, there are well-kept student homes and decrepit family homes, but by-and-large the problem is specific to the landlords.

Rotting porches, unkempt lawns, rusting rails, etc. are the order of the day. And frankly, I'm a lot more comfortable telling an investor what standards they must keep on their business properties vs. telling a person how they should live in their own homes. If I buy a property so I can make money off of it and let it become an eyesore of the neighborhood, that's a light-year of difference from being told how I should my own personal home where I live.

The public wants the landlords policed because we're sick of living around these rotting rental-properties with absentee landlords. The owners failed to deal with the problem themselves, so it's up to the city step up enforcement, and that costs money. Why should the taxpayer foot the bill for your industry's problem? So licensing fees.

Imho, the biggest thing the city needs is more purpose-built rental properties. Get single renters and couples out of family dwellings and into homes that are meant for that kind of occupancy.

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By TDR (registered) - website | Posted September 06, 2012 at 14:10:32 in reply to Comment 80597

By “I love it”, I assume you mean that you DON’T love it?

What I’m writing here is not about the Westdale student situation. Unlike Southside Bill above, I don’t believe that all rentals are created equal. Students (unlike regular tenants) are, by definition, short term tenants living in shared accommodation. Their house is not their home. The zoning laws are also not the same. It’s apples and oranges. I’m not talking about student rentals, I’m talking about house or apartment rentals to adults and families in downtown Hamilton.

You actually state the point perfectly here - you would rather tell an investor to clean up their rental property than to tell a home owner how to live in their home. What about home-owners whose houses are in poor repair and have “rotting porches, unkempt lawns, rusting rails, etc”? You just grind your teeth and put up with it? Or call by-law (and the tax payer foots the bill?).

I’m putting forth the proposition that tenants be given monetary incentive to keep apartments in good shape. And, again, purpose-built rentals create a ghetto. Mixed-income (and mixed type) neighbourhoods are the way to go.

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By SouthsideBill (anonymous) | Posted September 06, 2012 at 10:45:13

Comments with a score below -5 are hidden by default.

You can change or disable this comment score threshold by registering an RTH user account.

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By TDR (registered) - website | Posted September 06, 2012 at 14:11:39 in reply to Comment 80598

…. no home owner has ever committed a crime, done drugs, or beat their spouse?

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted September 06, 2012 at 10:51:28 in reply to Comment 80598

That's not really fair, imho. Those people have to live somewhere, and will be causing the same problems wherever that may be. Obviously you'd rather it wasn't near your home, but still the renters have the right to live wherever they can afford to live. Landlords aren't and shouldn't be policing their tenants to make sure they're the "right kind" of people for the neighbourhood.

What the landlord is responsible is the physical property standards of the home. Converting a single-family dwelling into a rotted out husk of building, sectioned off into little pods like some sort of human hive? That's not okay.

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By TDR (registered) - website | Posted September 06, 2012 at 14:13:28 in reply to Comment 80599

Absolutely, nail hit on head. Landlords are not parents, tenants are not children. Landlords are responsible for the physical property standards, not the behaviour of the tenants. This landlord is trying to find an incentive for tenants to self-police.

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By kiely (registered) | Posted September 06, 2012 at 11:27:33 in reply to Comment 80599

Landlords aren't and shouldn't be policing their tenants to make sure they're the "right kind" of people for the neighbourhood.

The landlord who owns the duplex across from my home does and has. His property is very well taken care of and he takes great effort to keep it well maintained and well tenanted. He had a troublemaking couple in the top unit about a year ago. People began complaining (he provides his phone number to the neighbours of his property) and he took very swift action against the bad tenants and had them removed. In fact he contradicts many of the excuses made in this article:

The problem is that there's very little that even a good landlord can do to ensure a property is well kept.

This is at best a very biased opinion and IMO just a bad excuse (i.e., a lie).

If a tenant is to feel at home somewhere, they can't constantly have the landlord stopping by and looking in

Again, the guy who owns the duplex across from me routinely stops by to check on the place. He isn't entering the units but he is ensuring the property is well maintained from the outside… which is what most neighbours are concerned about. So again, the author is just making excuses… and bad ones.

I don't need to read any more articles making excuses for slum lords.

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By TDR (registered) - website | Posted September 06, 2012 at 14:18:35 in reply to Comment 80603

I’m not a liar, and I take great offence that you call me one. If you disagree, that’s fine. But I’m not a liar. Perhaps your across the street neighbour has information I don’t and can educate me.

How on earth did he have his “troublemaking” tenants “removed”? Was the trouble actually illegal (because that is cause for eviction)? Or was it just being loud, smelly, unsightly, obnoxious?

And you say that the landlord isn’t entering the units. Yes, this is my point exactly. I routinely stop by my rentals too, to make sure they’re in good repair, well maintained, and all is tickety-boo. But if my tenant punches a hole in the wall, or lets his dog shit on the floor, or has a bedbug infestation, I can’t tell that from the exterior. This is the sort of thing I’m talking about.

And I also supply my neighbours with my phone number and keep up to date with them. This is about good neighbourhoods, not making excuses for slumlords.

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By PearlStreet (registered) | Posted September 06, 2012 at 11:15:48

This is a derivative of poor Ontario Landlord and Tenant Act laws which give the tenant an incredible bias. Take it or leave it, let me tell you a story when I personally was burned recently; a tenant of mine complained of a water leak (which had never occurred) in a spiteful retaliation to my concerns of ongoing late payments. In fact, the house has had over $100,000 worth of renovations done to it just before her moving in. It is your word and against the other in court and trust me, nine times out of ten, it will be in favor of the tenant. Proof of bills were shown, work performed, pictures and no supporting evidence on her part - I still lost. I now owe her $2500.00 worth of replacement cost for 'damaged goods'. She continues to make a mess of my place and then complains it bothers her asthma. Landlords can't win here and neither can the neighbourhood! Ontario needs to improve this, it leaves the landlord wide open for problems. Most landlords are interested in being part of the wave renewal, so assist us in doing so! Problem tenants cause disrepair of neighbourhoods and the landlord resposible to resolve and improve the property is greatly hindered in doing so!

Other suggestions: A tax incentive for property improvements to attract less motivated landlords. Secondly, motivate to build more student residence buildings at Mac, surely there is profit there. U of Western is jumping all over that. Lastly, ADVERTISE the tools ALREADY available:

If a property in Hamilton is not up to par, there are methods of action. See website: http://www.hamilton.ca/​CityDepartments/​PlanningEcDev/Divisions/​ParkingBylawServices/​MunicipalLawEnforcement/​PropertyStandards.htm?WT.mc​_id=propertystandards&WT.h​amilton_redirect_friendly=​1

Hamilton has the tools to help protect your home investment. Use them. Graffiti reporting: http://www.hamilton.ca/​ProjectsInitiatives/​CleanCityStrategy/​GraffitiForm.htm?WT.mc_id=G​raffitiForm&WT.hamilton_re​direct_friendly=1

Cars parked on lawns? No problem, there is a tool for that! See page: http://www.hamilton.ca/​CityDepartments/​PlanningEcDev/Divisions/​ParkingBylawServices/​Parking/​drivewaysandapproaches.htm

Comment edited by PearlStreet on 2012-09-06 11:50:39

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By TDR (registered) - website | Posted September 06, 2012 at 14:26:14 in reply to Comment 80601

Did the tenant take you to small claims court for that finding? That seems unreasonable - she should have had contents insurance for her belongings, surely?

I do agree that there are many biases in favour of tenants when cases go to tribunal. Those are in place for tenant protection, and I think it’s not unreasonable, though it is a pain. Worst case scenario for landlords is headaches and expenses - but if it was slanted in the other direction, people’s human rights could be in jeopardy. This is a problem for all landlords that I know, and myself. That’s pretty much why I’m proposing this.

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By PearlStreet (registered) | Posted September 06, 2012 at 14:58:15 in reply to Comment 80626

This experience was pushed through the tribunal, a 'kangaroo court' as discribed by family friend and lawyer. She did not have content insurance. I agree that human rights are at risk if the Landlord and Tenant Act is adjusted, but I wonder about its differences if we brought it to par with our other provinces. One glaring example is that it’s $45 for a tenant to take a landlord to court but it’s $170 for a landlord to take a tenant to court. Why? The prejudice is right at the counter when you’re filing. There’s a built-in assumption that landlords have all the money and tenants have none.

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By TDR (registered) - website | Posted September 06, 2012 at 22:40:38 in reply to Comment 80628

I do agree. In a perfect world I’d like to render the tribunal unnecessary. This goes back to what I said in an earlier blog - the cycle of landlords all think tenants are bums and tenants all think landlords are slumlords. Until we break that, we all lose.

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By Landlord (anonymous) | Posted September 06, 2012 at 13:33:35

I agree that this article is an excuse to not live up to being a good and responsible landlord and property owner. We have a few rentals in the city. When we purchased them we brought them up to an acceptable standard as previous owners had used them as slum properties. When you choose to own rental properties you should be willing to invest in the maintenance and upkeep, not only to protect your investment but also to ensure that your revenue generating property isn't detracting from the neighbourhood. We visit our properties regularly and do inside inspections once a year. I know landlords in the neighbourhood where I live have not visited their properties in years and the neighbors as well as tenants suffer for it. There is nothing wrong with expecting a little more from a landlord.
We also do a thorough check before we rent to anyone. We've been lucky so far and have had little issue with damage etc. it is the cost of doing business though if you do and not everything has to be passed on to the tenant. After all they are paying your mortgage!

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By TDR (registered) - website | Posted September 06, 2012 at 14:33:44 in reply to Comment 80614

I agree with what you’re saying, absolutely. But I don’t think landlords should have to put up with deliberate damage and extreme negligence. Perhaps you have indeed been lucky so far. You’ve maybe never had tenants smash windows, tear down fixtures, spray-paint walls, let their pets defecate or vomit and not clean it up, infest the property with pests, etc.

You may also be fortunate never to have had a tenant who refuses you admittance for your inspections, or takes far less than a year to do damage. Some tenants object most strenuously to visits from their landlord.

Let me be absolutely clear here. I don’t let my properties slide. Like I said in the article, I’ve been doing this for over a decade now and I’ve had great tenants and I’ve had absolute bums. Every property we own was in terrible shape when we bought them (sometimes from slum landlords, sometimes from bum owner-occupiers), and all are much, much better now.

I don’t think tenants should get a pass on trashing the place just because they’re paying my mortgage. That’s not a healthy relationship.

Comment edited by TDR on 2012-09-06 14:34:46

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By tlccate (registered) | Posted September 06, 2012 at 15:16:23

As a renter in a triplex house, I take offense to being referred to as "Those people have to live somewhere, and will be causing the same problems wherever that may be" or "Crime, drugs, domestic abuse are all related to these types of rentals". or "Tenants are the problem. No tenant should be allowed to rent a residential property. Rentals should be confined to large, corporate apartment blocks managed by a team of real estate specialists. If you rent a property you don't care." These are ridiculous assumptions. I take care of my apartments wherever I have lived and have often upgraded things at my own expense. I do not destroy properties, or bring in pests, or deal drugs, and in fact am a much better tenant than the property managers.

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By SouthsideBill (anonymous) | Posted September 06, 2012 at 17:33:45 in reply to Comment 80632

My friend Dwight has informed me that no Tri-Plex is legal and as such you are being part of the problem. I am not saying you, or any other person should be thrown out on the street. I've been pretty voted down on this site, but I think sometimes the truth stings. I live in a lovely house on Erie Ave and the area is really ruined by renters. Multi-units are the worst because of the types of people living in them. I don't believe that healthy, educated people live in multiunits. I think they are part of a cycle of poverty that needs to be removed from our cities. Create large, supervised housing that will put these people somewhere they can be managed easier. It should not be in a beautiful Georgian house that myself and my neighbors would like to raise our families in.

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By DoctorKahuna (registered) | Posted September 06, 2012 at 21:23:56 in reply to Comment 80643

"I don't believe that healthy, educated people live in multiunits. I think they are part of a cycle of poverty that needs to be removed from our cities."

Yes. Sometimes the truth hurts. The truth is you are despicable for saying that.

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By TDR (registered) - website | Posted September 06, 2012 at 17:57:36 in reply to Comment 80643


You're not saying she should be thrown out on the street, but she has no right to live in a beautiful house? Just because of an arbitrary rule.

That's pretty twisted.

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By SouthsideBill (anonymous) | Posted September 06, 2012 at 21:56:16 in reply to Comment 80644

I can wear that if it bothers you, but too bad. A long running series on my section of the city was done by "The Spec" called "Code Red" what type of people do you think brought down the stats in the area? People living in single family houses like Mr. Tetley and his wife and our many employed friends in the area, or people living in multi-units being preyed on by slumlords. I'm all about helping people, but this isn't it. Hey I'm sure you are different and take care of your illegal multiunit properties like a King, just like I'm sure many people can drive intoxicated without killing anyone. The majority can't and that is the truth.

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By TDR (registered) - website | Posted September 06, 2012 at 22:44:13 in reply to Comment 80656

I don’t have illegal multi-unit properties, just for the record. You keep making these assumptions.

And I have many employed tenants. And some of my bad tenants were employed. And some of my best tenants weren’t.

You need to free yourself from these hateful stereotypes. Are you at all open to fixing this problem, or is your only approach here the flaming torch and pitchfork route?

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By TiredoftheBS (registered) | Posted September 06, 2012 at 15:52:56 in reply to Comment 80632

You are a good tenant Cathy, good girl.

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By DoctorKahuna (registered) | Posted September 06, 2012 at 15:23:38

What I've come to learn about myself today. Being a renter and all.

I am involved with drugs. I am involved with crime. I destroy the building I live in as well as the surrounding areas. I bring property value down.

Either that or we just have a lot of classy classist attitudes here making very generalized and stupid assumptions. I'm sorry if you are offended by that but frankly I am offended.

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By Ward3resident (anonymous) | Posted September 07, 2012 at 11:21:50 in reply to Comment 80633

The one thing that always puzzles me about this conversation is that the discussion always turns on those that want safe neighborhoods. I don't think anyone could argue that all tenants bad. At one time or another we have all been renters. The problem in ward 3 is that all laws have been ignored for so long and our councillor let this ward become what it has. The groups that are fighting to get rid of multiple units are not trying to get rid of renters. They are trying to get rid of the overcrowded multi rentals that are major issues in the neighborhood. I believe even if you rented next door to one of the types of homes that ward 3 residents are fighting, you'd be on board too calling police and bylaw. No one wants to live next door to an active drug house, homes with prostitutes actively taking customers, garbage in the backyard so high that you can no longer sit outside due to the odor, screaming and yelling in the middle of the night so that you are guaranteed to be awake at 3am on a regular basis...I could go on. This is what is not longer acceptable. Landlords who continue to rent to people they know are actively involved in criminal activity will be reported. Landlords trying to make "affordable" housing by converting their garage into an apt will be reported. Is it ok that people are living in storefronts just becuase its affordable? There has to be a standard set for what is acceptable in a neighborhood that wants to attract families. Stop trying to turn this debate into a war against ALL renters. That is not what this is about. Paul Tetley's group is not trying to put landlords out of business.....only the bad ones!

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By PearlStreet (registered) | Posted September 09, 2012 at 13:48:22 in reply to Comment 80703

So food for your thought, if in the shoes of a landlord, how you would learn all about a person in the short interview before signing up to live in your building. Sometimes you have to judge a book by its cover to a degree, even after doing your best to check their background. The abilities of a landlord to act on problem tenants are very restricted by todays Landlord and Tenant Act (see my above comments). It stems from this and causes a domino effect. My house is my investment baby, the tenant is my investment milk to feed it, trust me I want to take care if it as with most landlords.

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By TDR (registered) - website | Posted September 08, 2012 at 07:32:19 in reply to Comment 80703

This is rather off my topic, but broadly speaking I agree.

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By TiredoftheBS (registered) | Posted September 06, 2012 at 15:56:25

Get rid of slum landlords,and leave the rest the hell alone.We have to many ppl now sleeping on the Streets.

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By jamesandcannon (anonymous) | Posted September 06, 2012 at 15:58:19

Richard Florida on renting from http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=100961300

The U.S. government encourages people, with tax laws and loan programs, to own their own homes. It improves neighborhoods, builds value and gives people a stake in a better future.

But author Richard Florida tells host Scott Simon that the federal government may have missed a chance to update the U.S. economy for modern times by committing billions of dollars to help good people with bad mortgages.

"Renting may make sense not just for people who can't afford to buy a house, but for people whose careers require flexibility — and for an economy that's built on our flexibility, single family-owned housing may be a bit inflexible," he says.

and another link:


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By TDR (registered) - website | Posted September 07, 2012 at 02:08:54 in reply to Comment 80637

Fascinating! Thanks for the links.

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By anon (anonymous) | Posted September 08, 2012 at 15:59:35

Sometimes the stick is a very good and effective carrot.

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