Residential Rental Housing Licensing By-Law

Do you rent or lease out a house, a low-rise apartment (three-storeys or less) or even rent out a room in your home? Starting later this year, landlords of these types of accommodations may need a licence.

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May 16, 2017 - A public open house took place which encouraged dynamic discussion with staff on various topics relating to residential rental licensing. Visual display slides from the open house with key facts identified by staff are available for view with the public comments included.

Proposed Residential Rental Housing Licensing By-law

The Town of Oakville is developing a new residential rental housing licensing by-law. Our goal is to ensure low-rise residential rental housing is safe, suitable and well maintained. We want to consider both the needs of property owners and residents looking for rental housing. Under this by-law, landlords will have to apply for a licence and renew it each year.


Since 2006 “lodging houses” in the Town of Oakville have required a licence. At that time, the Municipal Act 2001 limited municipalities to licensing and regulating lodging houses only. A “lodging house” is usually a house or building in which individual rooms are rented to people who do not function as a single housekeeping unit. It is just one of several types of residential rental accommodation.

A recent review indicates that residential rental housing is impacting some Oakville neighbourhoods. Existing lodging house regulations do not apply to all rental types resulting in inconsistencies in the enforcement of regulations. In response, Town Council asked staff to develop options that enhance tenant health and safety and protect and maintain stability of residential areas.

On November 7, 2016, council directed staff to draft a residential rental housing licensing by-law. The proposed by-law would create categories of licenses for residential rental housing. These categories could include single housekeeping units as well as lodging houses. The expanded licensing program can improve the town’s ability to ensure residential rental housing is safe, suitable and well maintained.

Possible classes of licences include

Whole Home (Class A) – The entire home is rented out under a single lease.

Non-Owner Occupied (Class B) – Rental units in a house not occupied by the owner.

Owner Occupied (Class C) – Owner rents out one or more units in a house they are living in.

Lodging House (Class D) – A building, or part of a building, in which people rent rooms, with or without meals included.