Brampton landlord licensing program relaunches after backlash
(Joel Wittnebel/The Pointer Files)

Brampton landlord licensing program relaunches after backlash

Applications for Brampton’s refined Residential Rental Licensing (RRL) Pilot Program are now open after pushback from landlords forced the City to delay the effort earlier this year.

The RRL requires landlords renting between 1 and 4 units within Wards 1, 3, 4, 5 and 7 to register with the City and pay a $300 fee. The program is designed to ensure landlords are following City Property Standards bylaws and keep their properties clean and safe for tenants. Being registered with the program means the landlords will be subject to “intelligence-led” inspections, the City website states. Penalties for not applying to the requirements of the program will be announced later this year. 

“Enforcement and other City departments will work together to review all rental units operating within the city and determine when it is appropriate to conduct inspections of units that may be operating unsafely or contrary to existing municipal bylaws,” the website states. 

Landlords who register before June 30th will have the $300 licence fee waived. 

The program is aimed at protecting tenants living out of registered second units, unregistered residential rental units and additional residential units (ARUs). It does not apply to corporate landlords, which Peel ACORN, a tenant advocacy group, has taken issue with, stating these large landlords also need regulations to hold them accountable. 

Following a backlash which forced the City to pause the program less than a month after it was launched in January, a number of changes have been made. 

Going forward, landlords are no longer required to show proof of ownership of the property; and corporate entities will not need to provide a certificate of status or compliance. There will no longer be a requirement for applicants to provide criminal record checks or detailed floor, parking or storage plans. Separate electrical inspection requirements and gas inspections are also no longer mandatory. 

In addition to the $300 licence fee waiver, if applicants file before June 30th, they are able to qualify for a renewal fee exemption if they do not obtain any violations on the subject property for the duration of the two-year pilot program. Renewal fees will also not be required in January 2025 for licences issued prior to June 30, 2024.


The RRL program will apply to landlords renting 1 to 4 units within Wards 1, 3, 4, 5, and 7.

(City of Brampton)


Landlords opposed to the pilot raised concerns that the City failed to engage with them in a meaningful way ahead of the program’s initial launch. Questions around the City’s ability to successfully carry out a new pilot when existing bylaw enforcement of rental properties has been lacking were also raised. Delegate Rajesh Kumar at a January 31st Committee of Council meeting said he was “shocked and disappointed” that the RRL was passed by council and questioned why existing bylaws meant to address property standard issues are “not working.” 

Following the outrage from landlords, council later held a tele town hall to gather feedback and inform the recent changes. 

Delegates at a March meeting, when the changes came forward, were still not completely satisfied. Along with similar issues about the need and legality of the RRL, landlords also expressed dismay about the responsiveness of councillors and Mayor Patrick Brown to their concerns. 

Sachin Rana, a local landlord, said the program poses a significant issue as there is no way for him to impose these requirements onto his tenants. If the tenants violate the property standards bylaws, he would be the one to face the penalty. 

“So how can this program be justified? First, the City needs to clarify to residents that whoever is violating these bylaws has to pay,” he said. “The tenants are very fast to adjust their behaviour about illegal parking because those tickets go to the actual perpetrator…but that’s not the case with trash on the property or over overcrowding.”

Others have said landlords are “caught in the middle” regarding tenants who sublet or bring additional people into their legal units without the landlord's permission, an issue that falls under the jurisdiction of the Landlord and Tenant Board.

Those in support of the RRL pilot program took issue with its delayed implementation, citing the declining conditions and appeal of neighbourhoods as illegal secondary units and overcrowding has become a worsening issue in Brampton and insisted a program like this is badly needed. 

Overflowing garbage bins and driveways packed with vehicles are some of the many complaints coming from residents.

“I have lived in Brampton for 63 plus years and I’ve watched my city go down the drain the last many years,” resident Richard Campbell said at a January 31st council meeting. He believes this is largely a result of “landlords that do not care about our city.”

At the tele town hall, Brown told landlords in attendance that if they have legal basement apartments or legal secondary units, the program “does not affect you,” so long as legal requirements are maintained and they do not convert their units into illegal ones. “If you're permitted to have four people in your secondary unit, then don't turn it into 25,” he said. 

The application process has been updated to include an online fillable application form where landlords must provide essential information, acknowledge adherence to the pilot program and consent to inspections. 

The application process involves the submission of three completed forms to collect rental unit information, such as details about sleeping areas, kitchens, bathrooms and other information; a commitment to the requirements of the program and the requirements of the Building Code, Fire Code and other provincial acts mandating fire and electrical safety. Applications must also provide proof of insurance coverage for their rental properties.

The Residential Rental Licensing Bylaw states the property can be entered by City inspectors “at any reasonable time for the purpose of carrying out an inspection” to determine whether it is in compliance. Failure to comply with an inspection as requested by the City “may result in additional fees” the bylaw states. 

Those who violate the bylaw will be subject to a fine and other possible penalties, with fines for non-compliance to be announced this year.​

“The City remains committed to holding landlords accountable to provide safe living accommodations for renters in Brampton,” a March press release states.

The program seeks to help “maintain the character of local neighbourhoods, uphold property standard by-laws, and keep individuals and families safe with enforcement of the Ontario Fire Code,” according to a City webpage. “All landlords/property owners in identified City Wards are encouraged to participate in the RRL Pilot Program.”



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