With St. Patrick’s Day just over a month away, the City of Kingston is poised to take further steps to tackle student parties.
City council will look at expanding its nuisance party bylaw next week that would shift some of the cost of dealing with nuisance parties to landlords.
“The idea here is so that the Kingston taxpayers aren’t on the hook,” says Mayor Bryan Paterson.
Almost two months after it was revealed that Kingston police spent nearly $1 million responding to parties in the University District last fall, the City of Kingston is looking at ways to recoup some of those costs.
“One of the key amendments that we’re looking at for this nuisance party bylaw is the ability to charge back for city services to the property owner where a nuisance party occurs,” says Paterson.
This means landlords would pay the cost of any and all emergency services required at their property.
“If there is a huge party, and as a result, a huge numbers of officers have to respond to it and you have public works or fire or other emergency services, that it will basically say, we will work out what the cost of that response was and then charge it,” says Paterson.
The proposed changes have some property owners worried.
“While I understand the city is trying to recoup some of these extraordinary costs associated with these nuisance parties, I do worry about how landlords will recover from these costs,” says Shasta Person, leasing manager with Limestone Property Management.
Limestone Property Management says about 20 per cent of its clients own student housing.
“A landlord might not necessarily know their property is involved in these nuisance parties until the fine has been served,” says Person.
Limestone Property Management already requires students to have a co-signer or guarantor, and says it will be adding extra clauses to leases outlining exactly what a nuisance party is and the fines involved.