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City of Hamilton - Planning & Economic Development

Property Standards

The Property Standards By-law sets minimum standards to ensure that property owners’ maintain their properties. These standards are put in place to protect the health and safety of occupants as well as the general public. The Property Standards By-law  addresses the physical building itself, and areas on and around the land or property.

What is the law regarding Property Standards?
All property owners must maintain and repair the interior and exterior of their property in accordance with the standards of the By-law. The Property Standards By-law covers a large number of subject areas. A few areas include:

  • Exterior of Buildings, Structures, Fences and Retaining Walls
  • Stairways, Landings, Balconies and Porches
  • Floors, Ceilings and Walls
  • Plumping
  • Electrical
  • Lighting
  • Doors and Windows
  • Pests 

Who do I contact if I have a concern about a building's Property Standards?
You can make a complaint about a possible Property Standards violation via phone or email to Municipal Law Enforcement (MLE). If you are a tenant then you need to inform your landlord in writing first by listing the violations and allowing a reasonable time frame for the violations to be corrected. MLE can be contacted and may investigate if there is no action taken in a timely manner. Staff will request a copy of the dated letter that was given to the property owner(s) as a part of their investigation. To lodge a complaint you can contact Municipal Law Enforcement at 905-546-2782 (press "2") or email
mle@hamilton.ca.

Please note vacant buildings and properties that are an immediate health and safety concern should be reported to:

  • Building Services, during regular business hours (Monday - Friday: 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.): 546-2424 ext. 3950
  • Customer Contact Centre, after business hours: 905 546-CITY (2489)

Who is responsible for maintaining Property Standards?
The property owner is responsible for ensuring that violations are corrected however, occupants of a property may also be responsible for the correction of the violation depending on the conditions of their rental agreement.

What could happen if I don't maintain my property to the minimum standards?
If any violations are found, the MLE Officer will contact the property owner(s) to advise him or her of the violation(s) and request that the appropriate actions are taken to resolve the issue(s). If the property owner does not resolve the issue(s) in a timely manner the MLE Officer may:

1. Issue an “Order to Comply”, which will list the violation(s) and provide a deadline date to complete the necessary work.

2. Re-inspect after the compliance date (deadline date) and, if no action is taken, then the Officer may use a number of tools to bring the property into compliance. An Officer can use one or a combination of the following: 

  • Issue a Fee for Inspection cost that will be added to the property taxes
  • Issue tickets
  • Court action: if the property owner is convicted they may be liable to a fine of not more than $25,000 for the first offence and $50,000 for any subsequent offence. The maximum penalty for a corporation is $50,0000 first offence, $100,000 for any subsequence offence(s)

What are my rights as a property owner?
The property owner has the right to appeal the “Order to Comply” to the Property Standards Appeal Committee
 for a decision.  The directions and timelines to make an appeal are noted on the "Order to Comply". The Property Standards Appeal Committee has a specific mandate if you require more information about this Committee.

Contact Information:

Monday - Friday: 8:30am - 4:30pm
77 James Street North (2nd and 4th Floors)
Phone: 905-546-2782
Email: mle@hamilton.ca

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