36 Responses to Landlords and Water Billing

  1. Kayla February 9, 2012 at 3:23 pm

    Thanks SO much Sue 🙂 Cant wait for the Video ..so excited lol

  2. Julius Avelar February 9, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    I think a big problem for landlords is what non-landlords perceive us to be. It is not a stretch to assert that if one needs to rent, then one obviously doesn’t own a home. From that perspective, the landlord who owns must be rich. Clearly if someone has a home to rent, then it’s not unreasonable to surmise they must own two homes at least – one to rent out and one to live in. Natch we’re talking serious wealth. I’ll not burden anyone reading this with a list of inequities a landlord (who may in fact have invested and borrowed a great deal of money to get into the business of providing shelter for those who cannot or choose not to own) suffers due to the skewed legislation known as the Ontario Residential Tenancies Act, 2006. Suffice it to say there are few rights afforded the landlord while the majority of power goes to the tenant. Add to this the perpetual and relentless increases in Cambridge, Regional, and local school board property taxes – as sure a sign of Spring as the first sighting of a robin. Forgive me. I didn’t intend for this little rant to resemble a plea for sympathy from those who believe the City of Cambridge is acting fairly. The point I’m making is that landlords provide a service, for which they are completely accountable on many levels; for which they potentially contribute to the economy with a significant financial cost; for which they are forgoing other opportunities of investment – the likes of which also profit greedy oil companies, insurance companies and let’s not forget the nice folks at the big 5 banks. This service is being graciously rewarded by certain city council members whose arguably pusillanimous reaction to an otherwise easily and fairly managed problem is to hold the landlord hostage, and for their service, thank them by seemingly extorting funds owed by another irresponsible party via the threat of an already in-place, surefire process (taxation) as easily fought or overturned as deposing a malevolent dictator. Shame on them for knowingly invoking an unjust by-law just because it’s easy and just because they can. Bravo Kayla and Sue and all who stand up against this appalling form of bullying by those elected on an unavailing promise to serve.

  3. E February 9, 2012 at 5:36 pm

    This issue is not only related to water. While residential landlords are responsible for water, at the moment. Industrial/Commercial landlords (like those in the North Galt area) are not only responsible for their tenant’s water bills, but are also responsible for policing their tenants to make sure they have no roadside advertisements, and are not allowing showroom type entrances “open to the public,” as most of these multi-unit buildings are not zoned for them. Max fine to the tenant is $25 000, and if the tenant doesn’t pay, it gets tagged to the landlord. However if the landlord disputes this and does not pay, it will be tagged on to their tax bill, which we know if is not paid, more problems can arise (not to mention inhibiting further investment and development in the city.)

    Take a trip through this area (Sheldon/Turnbull/Bishop east of Franklin) and you’ll notice many of these businesses operating as so, but this rule is enforced on only those who receive a complaint. Does this seem fair?

  4. Kayla February 9, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    Thanks Julius 🙂
    It is not just the Landlords of the Residential , commercial and Industrial properties who are complaining ..Tenants are too . Tenants Do not want their Landlord pressuring them to pay their bill and pay it on time .

    In the Petition it does mentioned that Landlords are open to abusive tenants now ..

    I had tenant trying to take down my kitchen cabinets before they left … If this bylaw was in in effect for these tenants ..without a doubt they would leave the water taps running . How is this fair ?

    Cambridge is already having problems with affordable housing …This Bylaw is not helping that issue .

    Many of Landlords have bought property many years ago as a investment for the future and their retirement and now what are the seniors going to do now ? No Landlord can afford to be a Landlord these days .

    Municipal Act 2001 was wrote on the view of Hydro handing the water billing and I dont think they took in consideration of rental units in the province in 2001 .

    We have an serious issue and it needs to be dealt with is a timely manor ..every month that goes by , a tenants water bills is put to the landlords property taxes and meters are being removed at the cost of 300 dollars to the Landlord .Tenants are also being turned away due to the Risk .

    I suck a spelling and grammer but I hope I got my point across …and I got more information then this .

    Cambridge City Hall changed the rules in the middle of the game for Landlords and tenants and now it is time we change the rules in the middle of their GAME .

    Council in Niagara falls seen how dangerous this Bylaw is ..Why cant Cambridge see it too . Other City had to be taken to court to see the ripping effects .

    The Tax payers will also pay in the end ….When we need more non profit housing .

    I can be here all night on this issue ..so I am going to wrap it up .

    Bottom line ..I the Landlord am not the USER of the Utility and I am not responsible for someone else Debt .

    If you have any question …please ask

    Thanks 🙂

  5. Margaret Barr February 9, 2012 at 6:28 pm

    What part of ‘YOU use it..YOU pay for it” does the city not understand? Kayla, thank goodness that MPP Rob Leone is on board with this issue (according to a Cambridge Times article). I am no longer a landlord (again, thank goodness). But if my name on the petition counts…you can count on it.

  6. Kayla February 9, 2012 at 6:32 pm

    Your Name counts Margaret and Thank you . The Liberal riding association is working on this issue as well .
    I should have this petition out in full force on Monday ..Gotta a lawyer to going over it tomorrow.
    This Petition deserves the ATTENTION .
    Word of mouth is awesome ..so please share this info and my contact info
    Thanks So Much

  7. Sue Taylor February 9, 2012 at 8:02 pm

    I’m in, too, Kayla! And not all of Cambridge City Council are ignorant in this matter. We have video we’re going to be sharing shortly. Kayla is not without support, this issue just failed to get all the votes it deserved. The votes came in numbers great enough to support a group of condo owners, but not this group of landlords. It’s impossible to understand the lack of balance in this severely unfair decision. The City staff should be competent enough to gather the right stats for these councilors, so that our leaders are making well informed decisions on such important matters. They better start paying attention to affordable housing, an issue I’ve been following for the past two decades.

    Why We Need More Affordable Housing in Our Region

    1. Although the government has supported the construction of 1896 new affordable housing units since 2000, there are still 10,000 people on the regional waiting list; the wait can take up to four years, many people don’t even register their names

    2. Over 47,000 people are living in poverty, including many single mothers with young children and many seniors

    3. According to statistics, every $1 invested in building affordable housing generates $13 in economic growth in our community

    4. Businesses can’t attract employees without affordable homes for them to live in. Affordable housing keeps wages competitive and employees on the job

    5. Emergency medical and shelter services are 10 times more costly than providing long-term affordable housing

    6. According to CMHC standards, housing costs should not exceed 30% of a person’s gross income. Many single mothers pay far more than this – in some cases up to 80%. It is hard to accept that over 50% of them live below the poverty line

    7. There is a proven link between health and housing. People with stable, clean and secure housing are healthier, more productive, do better in school and are less likely to end up in institutions

    8. A single person must earn around $15 an hour (significantly more than the minimum wage) to afford a one bedroom apartment at $615 (including utilities). Many young people have difficulty finding full-time employment at minimum wage and have very inadequate accommodation

    9. Basic pensions have not increased at the same rate as rent and utilities. Many seniors spend more than 50% of their income on housing. They depend upon food banks to survive

    10. Construction of affordable housing helps cities keep pace with their growing populations and gives new life to vacant areas, boarded-up buildings and abandoned industrial sites.

  8. Kayla February 9, 2012 at 11:53 pm

    Well SAID SUE 🙂 Your amazing for getting the News out ..Thanks so much ..Happy to be working with you .

    We will talk soon …Got that phone call from the councilor from Leduc Alberta . Then taking a break this weekend and back at it on Monday .

    Please people spread the word of this petition .
    They should contact me or their local Mpp
    We need to Work together to make Our City a Better place to Live .

    We should also speak up for our Rights because we do have rights for a reason .

    I believe Some of our City officials should be hanging their head in shame ..

    This topic hit the Ctv news , Cambridge times ,Kw Record ,CAMBRIDGE ADVOCATE, Cambridge Citizen , Ontario Landlords association , Waterloo Regional Apartment Management Association, Mpp Province WIDE , local community groups ,Councilors Province Wide ,Marc Kemerer from Blaney McMurtry LLP Firm website , Baker Schneider Ruggiero LLP firm , Landlords Rescue , The Chronicle ,Cobbs & Jones LLP , Tvs Nationwide Tenant Screening service for Landlords and Property mangers , Suite Talk .OH MY… The list can go on. ..
    And many more to come .

    This Issue should be handled in a timely manor and with care . The Landlords ( Residential , Commercial and Industrial ) of the Province and the Tenants of this Province Deserve better . ( well some Tenants lol )

  9. Scot Ferguson-Barber February 10, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    This is definitely worth writing about in the March Issue. Sue, I think the best way to handle it would be to provide an article on exactly how for landlords to take the city to court over it.
    I don’t think a class action is the way to do it. If Kayla has enough landlords they should be able to constipate the legal system enough that the city won’t have a choice.

  10. Sue Taylor February 10, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    This topic is absolutely worthy of more attention. I’ve been working steadily with Kayla, following this issue across the province, and it is on the grow! I just got the video of the council meeting late last night, nearly midnight when Kayla left, and I’m still working on it. But it’s something about which the community could use some serious public education. That’s what media if for!

  11. Margaret Barr February 10, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    Scot, Scot, Scot, just when did you become a legal advisor? Let their legal counsel advise them.
    Sue, you are wealth of information and common sense. Why are you here? 🙂

  12. Sue Taylor February 10, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    hahaha… Margaret Barr, you are the best!!!!

    Kayla has good advisers and she’s more than capable of this challenge. But having community supports is very important. Scot has offered Kayla some good support for which she is very grateful. And I hope that continues.

    This issue is broadening and Kayla is finding herself posted on legal sites and other important places, getting this message out. I hope that the Citizen will continue to back her and follow this issue as it is certain to effect change.

  13. Scot Ferguson-Barber February 10, 2012 at 4:58 pm

    Margaret, do you have any idea how long I worked as a paralegal? and I was very good, taught by one of the best. I know you are going to tell me to stay out of it, and I know that I should, but I’m not about to keep my mouth shut.

  14. Margaret Barr February 10, 2012 at 5:16 pm

    Hey, Scot..I’m not telling you to stay out of it..I’m just saying don’t give legal advice. I think you should go at this full-bore….It’s a worthy issue.

  15. Sue Taylor February 10, 2012 at 9:26 pm

    Margaret, I understand your position completely. And we can help Kayla without overstepping any legal bounds. Also, there’s a huge difference between social media (this site) and print journalism (the newspaper). Social media is toppling governments – something print journalism fails at miserably. And certain rules vary between the two. But the Citizen has the potential to utilize the full scope of both for the good of those in this community and many others. Once these present bugs get ironed out, there should be nothing stopping it.

    And I am going at this full-bore. Kayla is away for the weekend. When she gets back, she’ll have a new website I just set up, a new Facebook page I created and a Youtube account – all of which I will help her to extend as much as I’m able. We’re going to have some excellent video presentations of this matter to share until they go as viral as we’re able. She and I are also working on producing some stuff for sound bites and supporting video which we will send all over this province. I have put her in touch with some good folks and there’s more to come. My contact list is growing like mad and we’re in good shape.

    Can’t wait for her to get home so we can continue to raise the roof on this.

  16. Kayla February 13, 2012 at 1:27 pm

    Okay First petition draft was not looking the greatest ..Get Lawyer Marc Kemerer to draft it up ..Totally Cost 100 dollars . I should have this in my hands tomorrow , Wednesday at the latest. please contact me at [email protected] . I can send the petition by email and it would have to be signed and sent back through the mail or I can pick it up or you can drop it off to my home . Toronto Property Manager is on Board getting petition in the Toronto area .

  17. jan liggett February 13, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    Now you are cooking Kayla. It’s nice that some of council are on board, but where were their brains and due diligence when they voted unanimously for this in July 2010 without question or discussion. Oh I know, no time to do their homework, just took staff’s recommendations once again. I have been saying for the past 1 1/2 years (since that night) that housing as well as rights would be affected. All for $75,000. Keep it up Kayla, the route to go is to have the legislation amended

  18. Sue Taylor February 13, 2012 at 2:12 pm

    As I told you earlier today, we can make the right adjustments to the petition. I’ve depositioned Queen’s Park on housing issues, we’ll do okay with this.

    Thanks so much for your input. It was a pleasure meeting you at the council meeting. Your knowledge is most helpful. And I agree with you – in the interest of fairness, Kayla’s group should received the same support as the condo owners. Mr. Tucci made it clear that classes of citizens, and small businesses, should not be treated differently. But that’s essentially what happened here – residents were divided into classes and one was supported and the other dismissed. Maybe Kayla should make submissions to the Human Rights Commissioner. Don’t get me started…

  19. Jacqueline Murray February 13, 2012 at 4:30 pm

    I do agree that landlords should not be accountable for utilities used by tenants. However, they should be held accountable when things like plumbing and low efficiency appliances that are being used are not working. I am a tenant for an upstairs unit and have to pay all utilities for both units. Which I don’t think is fair and have no say as to who or how many rents the downstairs unit. I have had leaking pipes since August 2011 and pay the water bills but do not have the authority to call a plumber. Is this just? So it has crossed my mind NOT to pay the next water bill until the pluming issues are resolved.Thanks for letting me rant…

  20. Sue Taylor February 13, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    Great point, Jacqueline. Improper handling of water billing is going to have a ripple effect across the housing market. Tenants, as well as landlords, are going to be negatively effected.

  21. Kayla February 13, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    Jacqueline Murray Thanks for your support and I agree with you … if you got some plumbing issues your landlord should be on the go and getting that fixed for you .
    I cant believe your responsible for paying the Utility bill for the upstairs unit ..That is not FAIR to you . If the Utility bill cant be split then it is up to the Landlord to handle it . He must have known it was like that when he bought the place . Landlords are going to try and protect themselves any way possible but that is wrong for him to do it in that way …just my thoughts

  22. Jan Liggett February 13, 2012 at 5:11 pm


    Kayla’s petition is not just for landlords to sign. Tenants have a lot to lose here as well. Taxpayers in general should be supporting this petition since there will have to be an increase in taxes to build more public housing.


    Nice meeting you as well. Welcome to Cambridge (same problems, different location, different faces)

  23. Facetious Lee February 14, 2012 at 9:02 am

    Scott, so you got out of the paralegal biz cause you couldn’t wear your hat in Court??

  24. Kayla February 14, 2012 at 8:29 pm

    Petition from the Lawyer ….TOMORROW !!!!!!

  25. Sue Taylor February 16, 2012 at 9:41 pm

    Lawyer approved Petition to Ontario Legislature ready. Please sign and circulate as much as possible. Thanks.

    Follow this link to fillable pdf file

  26. Jan Liggett February 17, 2012 at 8:36 pm


    It is not working as a fillable file. Don’t forget that people need to sign as individuals, not as Mr. & Mrs. Their names and signatures count as two rather than one.

  27. Sue Taylor February 17, 2012 at 8:54 pm

    I just tested the form and it works fine.

    I’m not sure what you mean in your ‘Mr. & Mrs.’ reference. If you download the form, you can fill in name, address/phone before printing for ink signature. The form may then be scanned and emailed back to Kayla or sent via snail mail – she wants original signatures as opposed to copied. The form has multiple lines, so as many adults as the form holds may sign. Additional sheets may be printed, if the number wanting to sign exceeds the lines provided.

  28. Jan Liggett February 19, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    Sue, many times when a married couple signs a petition one spouse will write Sue and Sam Taylor on one line and one of them signs his/her signature. That counts as one name on a petition since only one spouse actually signed. Sue Taylor should write her name and address followed by her signature on one line and Sam Taylor should write his name and address on the next line followed by his signature. That way 2 petitioners have signed the petition, not one. Hope this clarifies. I will try the petition again.

  29. Jan Liggett February 19, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    It’s still not allowing me to fill it out. Form pops up, but can’t click on to fill out. I’ll fill it out by hand.

  30. Kayla February 19, 2012 at 8:27 pm

    Landlords being responsible for someone else debt/ bill is the most outrageous things I ever heard .

    If Landlords are not going to stand up and fight for your rights then no one will for us .

    This is the time we landlords should come together as a STRONG TEAM and start protesting our rights .

    The only way to be heard is to start voicing our opinions with our Province .

    I been battling this crazy policy with my City since 2010 they kept it going until Jan 2012 …only to say they are not taking back their decision.

    Enough is Enough …Many other Cities are doing the same fight with their city like I am and they are still not getting heard , so lets join together and a firm group and make some CHANGES to our Provincial Legislation .

    I am a small landlord who is getting by and I for one ..will not be paying for my tenants screw up .

    Water is a necessity of life and everyone needs it . This is why Landlords are being taken for a ride on the Money train .

    I been working very hard on this issue in my City and now I am working double hard for all the Ontario Landlords , but I cant do it by myself .

    Your support is needed to get this news out and give this petition the attention it needs .

    Just because I have the title Landlord does not mean I am RICH ..I am a hard working mother of 2 who is trying to protect my investment for my family and also to protect the name Landlords .

    Landlords are dropping off like flies because of all the responsibility a Landlords has today .

    Landlords are just getting more and more responsible put on them through out the years and NOW it is out of control .

    Please do what you can to support this very important issue , since the landlords are not the only one paying the price for such a LAW .

    Groups are forming all over the province for this protest and I hope you will join the team

    I am not a great writer ..so please forgive the spelling and grammar ..

    You can contact me at [email protected]

  31. Helen Xu February 22, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    It’s definitely not acceptable to make someone else responsible for another person’s debts and bad behaviour.

    In this case, Landlords are pulled in to pay for tenants’ debt and bad benaviour simply because they are running a business by renting out their properties for incomes.

    Property rental is just like any other businesses. Citizens feel bizarre if we have a legislation to require merchants/vendors to pay for the product damage made by customers. Why can Ontario Municipal Act make landlords the victims tenants’ wrong conduct and debt? This is simply not fair.

    Tenants registered themselves with the city for water usage on the day they move-in. Cities should be after tenants for their water consumptions, not landlords.

    I, an Ontario landlord, strongly protest the city passing tenants’ water billing to landlords.


  32. Kayla February 22, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    Thanks so much for you comment Helen ..I am so pleased to see more landlords join as a strong team .
    We will be having a Meeting for Landlords and anyone who agrees to our petition on March 20 at 7:00pm Royal Canadian Legion 4 Veterans Way Cambridge Ontario N1R 3K7

    Helen if you have time please call me 519 740 7903

    Thanks again 🙂

  33. les kadar February 24, 2012 at 8:53 am

    I just want to emphasize the importance of this issue that gets lost and overshadowed in most blogs.

    This issue is about government ethics and misuse of power.

    Cambridge implemented this bylaw because of a $75,000 shortfall they found in their water income accounts, something that Hydro when doing the billing simply absorbed and passed the pennies per houshold onto the overall consumer base.
    Our elected officials now have decided with staffs recommendations to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to implement and administer the new bylaw to recover this amount.
    The bylaw in turn has pitted property owners to tennants like never before.
    Tennants have suddenly realized they have a new found wealth in not having to pay for their water bills and are reportedly using it to the max in many instances. Landlords have no recourses at all at their disposal, no laws on thier side to recover their loses.
    Invoices of 500 to over 1000 dollar delinquent water bills are being presented to landlords well after the fact with no ability for them to collect as the tennant has long moved out, or it is obvious they can’t and won’t pay.
    The city in their wisdom is not capable or simply refuses, to advise the landlord the minute the tennant is delinquent in order that actions can be taken at the time, so the bills pile up for months before anyone pays attention.
    In turn, the city has implemented a shmear of horrific new administration costs that hydro had never seen fit to charge on an issue they did not see fit to create.
    Despite not charging insane administration fees and losing the 75 grand income, both hydro and the city managed to earn millions in profit each year.

    Our new 35 million dollar civic adminstration building was
    built from those profits.

    Small minds prevail in our city council with a city staff that seems bent on destroying what precious little respect existed between the public and their elected officials already.
    This issue grows daily across the province.
    It affects not only the property owners or landlords, but the tennants who now face huge rental increases and worse, investors who own such property as sales of rental income properties dive along with their value.

    The ultimate loser will be the tax payer.

    As tennants have fewer affordable rentals to live in, they will turn to government assisted living which already has I understand a 10 year waiting list. Building new government owned buildings costs tax payers money.

    You can I am sure see the pattern here. The $75,000 Council saved now seems like peanuts with a never ending top side of increasing debt.

    Anyone who is a landlord, knows a landlord, is a tennant or is a citizen concerned about government intervention to this degree, sitting on the sidelines is not an option. You need to get into the fray and make your voices heard.
    The days of government charging you for someone elses spending habits have to stop. If they don’t, it will only find new places to grow such as your hydro bill.
    Just because the Conservative government drafted and implemented the bill and the Liberal government has done nothing about changing it, does not mean that we can’t all put our shoulders to the wheel and bring sanity back to this country.

  34. chris baker February 24, 2012 at 4:37 pm

    It is just one of the many horrors of the privatization of essential services.

  35. Kayla March 12, 2012 at 11:15 pm

    Landlords/Landlords associations are on Board in these areas …more Cities to come .

    West Elgin
    West Lorne
    Fort Erie
    Niagara Falls
    St Catharines
    New Hamburg
    North York
    Port Perry
    Newcastle Village
    Kawartha lakes
    North Bay

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