Bring Landlord Licensing to Oshawa

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Say no to preventable tenant deaths! 

In December of 2017 the City of Oshawa vetoed a then-proposed expansion to the existing landlord licensing program in the north end of the city.

City officials cited consultant costs and duplication of services as the reason for the axing of the proposal which had already gained a lot of traction. It was said then that the pre-existing two unit house registration was enough and the consultant fee was too high. We think safety and preparedness is priceless. 

Less than a month after council made their decision a tragic fire claimed the lives of a single mother, her child, and the brave neighbor who rushed back into as flames to try to rescue those who'd been trapped.

There were no working fire alarms in the house, and a simple annual inspection would have caught this. The owner of the property which burnt down will only face fines. There is nothing preventing them from opening up another rental property and maintaining it just as poorly. There is no blacklist of slumlords in our city, no proactive protection of tenants. 

In a city where almost 40% of individuals are living beneath the poverty line (called the "bread basket measure" in Canada), it's obvious that the city needs to do more to support its vulnerable population. Full scale landlord licensing will be a great first step. 

Links to more information:

1. The RRHL: https://www.oshawa.ca/residents/Residential-Rental-Housing.asp?_mid_=656 

2. "Landlord Licensing Quashed" - Oshawa Express: https://oshawaexpress.ca/rental-licensing-expansion-quashed-once-again/

3. "Advocates call for landlord licensing" - Oshawa Express: https://oshawaexpress.ca/advocates-call-for-landlord-licensing/

4. "Council decision to axe RRHL expansion under fire" - Oshawa Express: https://oshawaexpress.ca/council-decision-to-axe-rrhl-expansion-under-fire/

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We the undersigned call on the appropriate City of Oshawa Committee and Council members to expand and amend the pre-existing landlord licensing program (known as the RRHL) to encompass the entirety of the City of Oshawa, and to place the onus of responsibility on the landlord, not the tenant. We ask that a dedicated revenue stream be constructed to support tenants who have been victimized by slumlords operating in the City of Oshawa, and that the licensing fees be directed into said stream.