The City has a Property Standards By-law 2009-108 (link here) which is a by-law setting minimum standards for existing buildings and properties in the City of Welland. Standards prescribed in the by-law are intended to provide for the reasonable maintenance of buildings and properties, taking into consideration the overall condition of the existing and neighbouring buildings and properties. The standards prescribed in the by-law are not intended to reflect standards set for new construction.
Scope of By-law
All property owners, residential and non-residential, are responsible to ensure their buildings and property are maintained in accordance with the by-law or repair them to conform with the by-law. A tenant may be responsible for maintenance if the tenancy agreement assigns the responsibility to them. Examples of standards in the Property Standards By-law include:
- Buildings must be structurally sound
- Exterior walls and roofs must be reasonably weathertight
- Plumbing, mechanical and electrical systems must be functional
The PSB is enforced on the basis of written complaints only. A written, signed letter must be submitted to the City Property Standards Office at the following address:
Property Standards Officer
60 East Main Street
The complainant’s letter must provide the full name, address and telephone number of the complainant. The complainant’s identity is necessary for several reasons, including future communication with the complainant for the purpose of obtaining additional information and keeping the complainant informed of the status of their complaint. The letter must also identify the subject property, (the owners name, address and telephone number if known), and must contain specific details of the problems and deficiencies with the property and/or building. Only those problems identified in the letter will be investigated. Complaints will be investigated by the Property Standards Officer (PSO) in the order in which they are received.
Complaints from tenants will be processed in the manner described above, but only after the tenant has properly advised the landlord of the problems in writing and the landlord has been given a reasonable time to respond. The City will not accept a written complaint from a tenant unless it is accompanied by a copy of the letter to the landlord, and only if the landlord has not completed the repairs in a reasonable timeframe.
City Investigation and Action
The PSO will contact the owner/landlord and in the case of a tenant complaint, confirm that they have received your request for repairs and enquire what action will be taken to complete the repairs. The PSO will arrange a suitable time for inspection to confirm the deficiencies, when there is no indication the problem is being corrected.
After the deficiencies are confirmed by the PSO, a Notice will be sent to the owner or property manager listing deficiencies to be repaired and giving a compliance date for completion. An inspection will be performed after the compliance date has lapsed to confirm if the repairs have been done. When repairs have not been completed by the deadline, an Order may be issued, and if the owner does not appeal the Order , the Order becomes final and binding and repair work must be completed within the timeframe required by the Order.
Appeal of Order
An owner may appeal an Order issued by a PSO to the Property Standards Committee, by completing a form included with the Order and sending it to the Committee within 14 days of being served with the Order. Appeals must be sent to:
Secretary of the Property Standards Committee
60 East Main Street
The Property Standards Committee may rescind, amend or confirm the Order, and may extend the timeframe to complete the work.
Once an Order is final and binding, and the repairs have not been completed by the compliance deadline, the City may take legal action against a property owner. Charges may be laid under the Building Code Act. The fines for not complying with an Order are a maximum of $50,000 for an individual and $100,000 for a corporation for a first offence. The City will determine when charges will be laid, taking into consideration, the severity of the problem, the likelihood of conviction and the resources available for prosecution, given other current prosecutions.
Other Processes Available
If the complaint is with respect to an abandoned building accessible to persons, or an unsafe building which is collapsing, a verbal complaint will be sufficient, and the PSO will investigate and the matter may be dealt with through the unsafe building process.
If the complaint is concerning the condition of a yard with respect to weeds, tall grass, junk, and waste only, and not related to the building, the complaint should be lodged under the By-law Enforcement process in the Engineering Department.
Questions and Inquires
General questions concerning the Property Standards By-law and Complaint Process can be directed to the following:
City Property Standards Office
60 East Main Street
Phone: (905) 735-1700, ext 2257 or 2251
The office hours are 8:30am - 4:30pm. There is no after hours enforcement.