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Godfrey urges that landlords be licensed

Toronto Star - Friday, August 1, 1975

The Ontario government should license all landlords in the province, with the cabinet having the power to lift the licenses of rent gougers, Metro Chairman Paul Godfrey said today.

"Where there is actual proof of extreme gouging, the threat of losing one's license would be power enough to keep people in line," Godfrey said today. "You cold put them out of business."

He described the proposed system as "similar to the Liquor License Board which has the power to license hotels, and if you step out of line you possibly could lose your license."

In an interview, Godfrey opposed rent controls as unworkable without wage and price controls, adding: "I think rent controls have failed everywhere." He supported rent review boards of the type proposed yesterday by Housing Minister Donals Irvine, but went further to suggest licenses and the power to lift them in the event of excessive rents.

Godfrey didn't define "excessive rents," but felt they could be determined through all-encompassing guidelines.

Irvine said yesterday the province would provide rent review boards for those low-vacancy municipalities which request them. He said the boards would investigate tenants' complaints of unreasonable rent increases and try to shame into setting reasonable landlords through publicity rates.

The City of Toronto now requires absentee owners of rooming houses with more than four tenants to license them. But apartment buildings and owner-occupied rooming houses are not licensed.

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