The city of Ottawa has identified a “potential tool” that would protect tenants from renovations by preventing a residential building with six or more units from being demolished without a permit.
A joint meeting of the protective and community services committee and the planning committee this morning will discuss ideas to address the anti-renovation proposals to protect tenants.
Renovation refers to evictions that occur when a landlord makes renovations to a rental property and “then replaces the evicted tenants with those who would pay higher rents after the renovations are complete,” says a report for today’s meeting. .
In November 2020, the council directed staff to review all available municipal tools to prevent or prohibit renovations in the city.
Staff say that while an outright ban on all renovations is not within the scope of the borough’s authority, they have identified, “as a potential tool,” ways to prevent further loss of affordable rental units.
The Municipal Law allows the city to “prohibit the ‘conversion of residential rental properties to a purpose other than the purpose of a residential rental property,’ of 6 units or more, without a permit,” the report says.
“The municipality may impose conditions on the permit and may require that an agreement be recorded on the title.”
The report says “this power” would prevent a residential unit or building from being used as a business or converted to a condominium, unless the Council grants a permit.
Staff recommends that the committees direct staff to prepare a proposal to explore the feasibility of a new statute that prohibits the total or partial demolition or conversion of residential and rental housing of six or more units without a permit issued by the city.
The report notes that “every unit counts” for housing.
The committees are also being asked to direct the Mayor to write to the Ontario government requesting legislative changes to protect existing tenants and affordable housing by updating the Residential Leases Act to “prevent and further prohibit renewal cases.” “.