Register a By-law Complaint

You can register a municipal by-law complaint by:

  • Fill out the online complaint form
  • We monitor online complaints during regular business hours, Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm
  • If your complaint is urgent and is an immediate health and safety concern, call instead of using the online form
  • Call 905-546-2782 from Monday to Friday 8:30 am to 4:30 pm

You will receive a recorded message that will prompt you to select one of five options:

  • Press option 1 for environmental complaints such as long grass and weeds, garbage and debris, snow removal or graffiti
  • Press option 2 for zoning and property standards complaints such as plumbing, vacant buildings or mobile signs
  • Press option 3 for business, mobile or taxi licences
  • Press option 4 for lottery licences
  • Press option 5 for Project Compliance - inquiries on the Project Compliance Program, or for information related to a recent visit by our Project Compliance Enforcement Team

Your call will be directed to staff who will  ask you for the following:

  • Your contact information including name and phone number. This information is kept confidential. It is important to collect in case staff need additional information from you.
  • Address of complaint.
  • Details about complaint including dates and times.
  • Nature of the complaint.

Include the following information in your email:

  • Your contact information including name and phone number. This information is kept confidential. It is important to collect in case staff need additional information from you.
  • Address of complaint.
  • Details about complaint including dates and times.
  • Nature of the complaint.

You will receive an email acknowledging that we have received your email.

After hours or urgent complaints

If you have an urgent complaint regarding private property that is an immediate health and safety concern such as inadequate heat or open to trespass, call us immediately at 905-546-2782 or after business hours at 905-546-2489.

For noise complaints after business hours, call Hamilton Police Services at 905-546-4925.

By-law Violations

Municipal law enforcement officers investigate all complaints to determine if there is a by-law violation.  If no violation is found, the file is closed.

If a violation is found, the officer posts an Order to Comply or mails a Notice to Comply.  The Order or Notice to Comply includes:

  • a list of violations
  • what needs to be done by the property owner and/or occupants to correct the violation
  • specific time frame for work to be completed
  • name and contact information of the investigating officers

The officer does another inspection after the deadline listed on the Order or Notice to Comply. If no action has been taken, the officer may:

  • Issue a ticket to either the property owner(s) or occupant(s)
  • Charge a Fee for Inspection. The property owner is responsible for this fee that is added  to the property taxes.
  • Send a contractor, working on behalf of the City, to bring the property into compliance. The property owner is responsible for these costs that are added to property taxes.

The property owner(s), occupant(s) and the officer named on the Order or Notice to Comply must have good communication to avoid costly fines.

Appeal a Property Standards Notice to Comply

A property owner has the right to appeal the Order to Comply to the Property Standards Appeal Committee for a decision.

How to submit a notice to appeal

  1. Read an outline of how the appeal process works (PDF, 53 KB)
  2. Complete the Notice to Appeal (DOC, 52 KB)
  3. Include the non-refundable fee of $131. Cheques or money orders are payable to the City of Hamilton. Do not send cash in the mail.
  4. Submit any documents that support your grounds of appeal, such as photographs to:
    Janet Rutherford

    Adjudicator
    Licensing and By-Law Services
    #250 – 77 James Street North, Hamilton, Ontario L8R 2K3
    Email: janet.rutherford@hamilton.ca

  5. Send the completed notice and fee by registered mail or deliver in person to:
    City of Hamilton
    Office of the City Clerk
    Attention: Property Standards Committee Secretary
    71 Main Street West, 1st Floor Hamilton, Ontario L8P 4Y5