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Cape Breton Regional Municipality approves new licensing bylaw for shared dwellings

Cape Breton Regional Municipality's city hall is pictured in Sydney, N.S. Cape Breton Regional Municipality's city hall is pictured in Sydney, N.S.

Cape Breton Regional Municipality (CBRM) says its council has approved a new licensing bylaw for shared dwellings, also known as rooming houses or boarding houses.

The municipality says the bylaw will regulate shared dwellings and establish licensing requirements for their operators.

Under the bylaw, shared dwelling properties will require ongoing yearly inspections and allows the municipality the ability to address any non-compliance issues.

CBRM Mayor Amanda McDougall-Merrill says the bylaw sends the message that “overcrowded and unsafe living conditions will not be tolerated.”

“Landlords must uphold their duty to provide safe and dignified housing for their tenants. It's not just a legal obligation; it's a moral responsibility. Together, we're building a community where safety and decency are non-negotiable,” she said in a release from the municipality.

Shared dwelling owners in the CBRM must obtain a shared dwelling licence by Aug. 20, which comes with a minimum application fee of $200.

“However, if the dwelling has more than four Sleeping Rooms, there is an additional charge of $50 per room. The initial application is valid for one year, after which renewal is required within 30 days of expiration,” the release reads.

The licence renewal fee is $100, according to the municipality, with an additional $25 for each bedroom if there are more than four.

More information on the bylaw can be found on the CBRM website.

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