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New landlord registration pilot to target illegal suites, predatory rentals

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A new pilot program from the City of Brampton could help to curb illegal rental units as the cost of living in the GTA continues to soar.

On March 29, Brampton councillors voted unanimously in favour of the pilot program, which would set a cap on the number of residents allowed in a home, as well as create a system for random inspections and fines for unlicensed rental units.

The program would also explore establishing a Landlord Code of Conduct, as well as assembling a searchable, interactive directory of licensed landlords in Brampton.

A final plan for the pilot program is set to be announced later this year, with an anticipated start date in early 2024. The program would initially only apply to rental properties in wards 1, 3, 4 and 5, areas targeted by city staff due to their high volumes of rental units.

Proponents say the pilot will “safeguard the health and safety of residents” and ensure landlords are maintaining safe, liveable dwellings for their tenants.

The proposed program follows a widespread struggle for affordable housing in Brampton, which is fuelled in part by the area’s large international student population. Last month, Sheridan College released the Brampton Charter for Improving the International Student Experience, which is designed to serve as a “concrete action plan” for improving the lives of international students who study and stay in Peel Region.

Between 2018 and 2022, Peel police received more than 8,800 complaints about inadequate property standards, including issues with contacting landlords for needed repairs. A basement fire made headlines last year after an entire family died, with officials suspecting their deaths were caused by a lack of working smoke detectors.

Brampton isn’t the first city to address the need for more accountability from landlords and property managers. The City of Waterloo requires landlords to apply for a license and renew it annually in order to ensure that units are well maintained.

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