Clark warns of unintended consequences as Saskatoon rejects licenses for landlords
SASKATOON -- Saskatoon City Council voted in favour of not pursuing the option of licensing landlords in the city.
The reason: the potential unintended consequences, said Mayor Charlie Clark.
"In terms of the stability of housing for people living there and it would require a large bureaucratic system for licensing across the whole city and so there wasn't support from the communities," he said, adding it would cost the city a lot of money to set up and operate annually.
David Fineday attended the meeting, urging council to be careful with the regulation, worried that more tenants will be evicted by landlords just to avoid any problems.
That’s happening way too much in the city … I was homeless, I was out on the street, I did some crazy things too," Fineday told council. "As soon as I got a roof over my head that just straightened me right out, it wasn't instant, it's been about three years but I'm getting better.”
An administration report examined the issue of tenants constantly phoning police to deal with non-emergencies, like nuisance calls about rowdy neighbours.
"We're seeing certain properties in the city that are essentially using the police almost as a property landlord," Clark said. "One example is a property with over 400 calls in a year, and there are multiple properties that have had over 200 police calls in a year."
Council voted in favour of asking the administration to report back on the cost of a more proactive approach with the city's police service and the fire department to help make sure tenants are living in a safe, stable home, and help communities tackle the number of property bylaw infractions and deal with boarded up homes.
The administration is expected to report back later this year.