The City of Brampton has green-lit a new landlord registration and licensing program with the hopes of curbing illegal rentals and inviting more accountability into landlord-tenant dealings.

The program, approved unanimously by Brampton city councillors in late March, will see a number of best practices go into effect relating to landlord licensing, annual and random inspections, and the number of residents permitted to live in a given rental home. As well, the program calls for new enforcement procedures, steeper fines for non-compliance, a demerit point system for landlords, and the creation of a registered landlord directory and a standardized “Landlord Code of Conduct.”

Although the program isn’t finalized and an official launch date is yet to be announced, implementation is slated for early 2024. Wards 1, 3, 4, and 5 will be targeted for the two-year pilot stage of the program, as these areas have the highest concentration of service requests related to property standard violations, according to a motion brought forth by Councillor Rowena Santos.

Councillor Santos has spoken out on why a program like this needs to exist -- and moreover, why it needs to exist now -- citing an uptick in rental units, garden suites, and lodging homes in Brampton.

“We have also received a significant increase in complaints related to property standards and parking, particularly in two-unit dwellings and illegal lodging houses. Enforcement faces challenges in addressing these complaints, such as difficulty in contacting property owners.”

She adds, “This pilot program will help us ensure that rental properties in our city are held to a high standard of safety and maintenance and that landlords are held accountable for their properties. It is important to prioritize the safety and well-being of our residents, and this program is a step in the right direction towards achieving that goal.”

An "Immigration Hot Spot"

In recent months, rental affordability challenges have accelerated in Brampton. A new national rent report, released Thursday, shows that Brampton continues to have one of the highest rates of annual rent inflation in the country, clocking in at a lofty 29.1% in March and sailing well past the rent growth observed in Toronto and Vancouver.

The month prior, the story was very similar, with a 30.1% yearly increase.

“The fastest growing markets for rent growth tend to attract relatively high levels of immigration,” noted yesterday’s report, dubbing Brampton an “immigration hot spot.”

And the data agrees. According to findings from Statistics Canada's latest census, immigrants have become the dominant population in Brampton, with 52.9% of its population born outside of the country.

Bolstered by immigration, Brampton’s population to is expected to grow to almost 1M by 2051.

As Brampton's population continues to expand, the city's new landlord registration and licensing program joins a number of other city-run initiatives -- including those relating to midding middle housing, supportive housing, short-term rental licensing, secondary unit registration, and high-rise development -- intended to improve conditions for the city’s growing proportion of renters.