City of Kingston encourages landlords to be ‘proactive’ addressing nuisances

City proposing changes to Nuisance Party Bylaw

Landlords will no longer be sent warnings before being charged.
Journal File Photo

On Mar. 30, the City of Kingston held an information session for local landlords about proposed changes to the Nuisance Party Bylaw. The changes aim to implicate absentee landlords whose tenants hold unlawful gatherings.

The current Nuisance Party Bylaw presents fines in the range of $250 to $750 for any act deemed to be a public nuisance. Currently, landlords can be fined under the proposed bylaw if they permit a nuisance party to occur at their property.

The proposed changes will also eliminate the requirement to send landlords warning notices before charging them.

The warnings that have been provided by the City to landlords in the past regarding nuisance parties at their residence have largely been revoked due to the intensity of gatherings seen in recent months.

Kyle Compeau, City of Kingston’s manager of bylaw enforcement, said the amendments would mean more student-landlord interactions.

“We are expecting that landlords, as property owners, and universities are expected to do their part to deter these types of parties and the nuisance party behaviors from occurring on the premises,” Compeau said in an interview with The Journal.

“Landlords should be taking reasonable proactive steps to get through these behaviors before they occur.”

According to a City of Kingston press release, roles landlords can play to deter nuisance parties include obtaining references from prospective tenants, including a provision in the lease requiring tenants to comply with the Nuisance Party Bylaw, monitoring the property regularly per the Residential Tenancies Act, and addressing complaints regarding social gatherings on their properties.

Compeau added that since the bylaw has been in effect for four years, it’s reasonable to expect landlords to have familiarized themselves with the guidelines.

“This is not something that is aimed at students; there is definitely an emphasis on landlords and property owners to make sure that the tenants and/or students are aware of what their bylaws are, especially when they come into the city,” Compeau said.

Compeau said he hopes the bylaw will encourage communication between students and landlords to ensure both parties are educated and informed of the guidelines.

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