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Nanaimo to consider minimum maintenance for rental buildings

City council has called for a staff report on the municipality setting a minimum standard of maintenance.

A minimum standard of maintenance will be considered for Nanaimo’s rental housing stock.

Nanaimo city council asked staff members to create a report on the city having a standard of maintenance. It would deal exclusively with rental buildings and is more concerned with what’s happening inside the building around comfort and safety, like the maintenance of heating and plumbing systems, according to Dale Lindsay, the city’s director of community development.

If there’s something like a standard of maintenance in a housing agreement, Coun. Jim Kipp said there might be more ability for the city to keep some of the rental stock in better shape than it is now.

Coun. Diane Brennan said the standard empowers the city to set a level that if not met by the homeowner or landlord, would enable the city to go in, make the repairs and those kinds of adjustments and bill it back to the owner.

“Those kinds of things are really problematic. That’s why we need a report,” she said. “Councils are very reluctant to exercise that kind of authority.”

The report will review the extent of the standard of maintenance bylaw and what can and cannot be regulated and is expected in the fall 2017.