Few support Cornwall rental licencing regime, survey shows

(Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston, File)

CORNWALL – A city survey shows many either don’t support or are not sure about the City of Cornwall’s proposal to licence landlords and their rental units.

The city has billed it as a way for the fire department and bylaw enforcement to respond better to issues and also for the city to “better understand the availability of housing, and the community’s housing needs.” It’s also meant to root out illegal dwellings.

The city received nearly 1,500 responses to its online and newspaper survey in late October 2020 with almost 64 per cent saying either didn’t support it or were unsure. About two-thirds of the responses were tenants or residents of Cornwall while the balance was landlords and property managers.

Almost a third were concerned about the cost, many believing it was either a cash grab by the city or it would ultimately lead to higher rents as landlords passed on the cost to their tenants.

As for the condition of rental units in the city, almost 68 per cent thought their accommodations were “very safe or well-maintained” while another 24 per cent believed it was “somewhat safe and well-maintained.” Just over 8 per cent thought their rental unit was very unsafe or poorly maintained.

Cornwall City Council will receive the survey results tomorrow night (Monday) but there is no action to be taken. Staff will have a future report on next steps.

The survey cost the city $5,000.

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