On August 20th, the City’s Community and Protective Services Committee approved new regulations to improve rental-housing quality. Over the last several months, even years, many of us have attended consultations and provided comments as part of the Rental Accommodations Study.
While this Study encompasses both Long Term and Short Term Rental Accommodations, City Staff will return to Council and committee later in the year to present changes to the Short Term Rental Regulatory Framework.
With 1/3 of Ottawa’s residents living in rental housing, generally, rental properties in our City are well maintained. In contrast to this, a ten-year review of service requests suggests that a small subset of 223 properties are responsible for nearly one-quarter (23%) of all City service requests. These new regulations are in place to address concerns expressed by residents and community organizations about the quality and safety of private sector rental housing.
This new Rental Housing Property Management By-law and updates to the Property Standards By-law would roll out in August 2021. They focus on property standards, pest control measures, and tenant awareness about their rights and responsibilities, outlining new tenants and landlords’ new requirements. This is in addition to developing a public, searchable database where a five-year history of property standards and maintenance violations would be available. Complementary to these efforts, planning work has been completed to allow for better collaboration between Service Ottawa and By-Law services to monitor and analyze rental housing quality, allowing for more targeted and effective enforcement.
I am pleased to see the community’s work, advocacy organizations such as ACORN and other stakeholders come to fruition through this report. By introducing these changes, the City will be better equipped to ensure a higher quality of Rental Housing across our City and will have the tools to provide more effective resolution of property standards issues in our communities.