The Renting Racket of 1942

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The Renting Racket of 1942

Renting rooms in a house at a total revenue of more than is being paid for the whole place seems to be developing into a racket”.

One such case bared the fact that a tenant of a nine-roomed house in Overbrook, for which he was paying $27, asked the committee to allow him an increase of $4.25 from $21.75 for three rooms. The increase was disallowed.

A landlord in the West End who had converted a single house which formerly rented at $45, into a duplex and was occupying the lower half himself, sought permission to charge $65 for the upper duplex. He was allowed $50.

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The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
29 Jul 1942, Wed  •  Page 18

However, all landlords were not unreasonable, by any means, and wherever increases were justified in 1942, they were given–of 17 cases heard, increases were allowed to tally or partially on 15.

A summer cottage in Woodroffe renting at $175 for the season was allowed a $25 boost to $200 instead of to $250 as sought. The present lease expires this month and the increase was for next year. The judge remarked that it was early to ask for next year’s rental. “Not at all,” replied the land lady. “We have people wanting to rent it in January for the summer.” There is a cabin and garage on the property, for the same rental, and the cottage is furnished.

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The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
29 Aug 1942, Sat  •  Page 29

A single house in Lower Town which had been gutted by fire was made into three apartments. The landlord occupies one and wanted $45 each a month on the other two, claiming he spent $8,000 in remodelling. A tenant argued that it was not worth the price since there was no electric stove or refrigerator and she had to buy ice. The walls are gyproc and we hear all the noise. The rooms are small the bathroom is only 4 1-2 by feet and it has no window, so have to pay extra electricity for the ventilator,” she said, and enumerated several other things which were wrong with the apartment. When she stopped talking Judge Daly remarked dryly “Aside from all that, though, the place is all right?” Everyone, including the landlord, laughed heartily. Rental was set at $40

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The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
23 May 1942, Sat  •  Page 25
"I rented three rooms in the lower part of the house believing I'd pay half the rent, lights, heat, etc. I've got in two tons of coal already for it." . . . "You've got two tons of coal?" interrupted Judge E. J. Daly during a fiery case at the Rentals Committee session last night. "That's no way to do. You should pay the landlady rent and let her pay expenses. I think I'll fix it that way." The tenant got excited. "If you do. I'll never have any life with her." she said emphatically. Her landlady, who asked a boost from $15 to $30 a month for the winter months, remarked, "It used to be rooms. Then she padlocked the door so we couldn't get through, so it's a flat now. I'm supposed to be the landlady but at times I feel like the tenant." The rental was set at $23 a month the year round."

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The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
11 Dec 1942, Fri  •  Page 24



The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
27 Mar 1942, Fri  •  Page 22


A tenant of two rooms in Center Town won a $5 a month reduction from $15 when he explained that others in the house had to pass through the room he ate in on their way to the toilet which was just beside his room. "There's no light and no ventilation in it." he said. "You'd better have the sanitary inspector there." J. C. G Herwig told him. "The Same Thing." Explaining that his tenant expected to be married but went to war instead, "it's about the same thing." a lawyer sought a changeover from $10 a month with $4 worth of services, to $25 a month without services. The tenant who had a three-year lease helped fix up the place and agreed to pay SI 8 a month before he discovered ht'd have to go before the committee to have it ratified. "But you're asking $23 a month?" the judge asked the landlord's mother. "Yes," she replied, "when my son found I'd have to come here for him he said I'd better ask more to pay for my trouble." The judge chuckled, "Well, well, ask and ye shall receive, eh?" The tenant said the place was not worth any more. "It's on posts. It has no foundation, the walls are not finished and there's no furnace or hot water . . . but there are cockroaches!" Rental was set at $20 a month. Judge Daly encountered some more interesting cases.

In April of 1946 she bought a house on Frank Street in Carleton Place complete with hardwood floors. They really enjoyed the new space after dealing with three people in one bedroom for a few years. Marian and I both smiled as we talked about the first electric (mechanical) washing machine she bought. I remember my Grandmother telling me the same story about hers and how it made life easier for a lot of women. Her sister babysat and lived with Marian until Muriel married in June of 1947. When her sister minded her son, Marian played cards, bowled, and enjoyed fellowship with women her own age at our local Zion Memorial Church. Marian MacFarlane

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The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
10 Dec 1942, Thu  •  Page 14

Houses of Almonte

We will build Brick Houses in Rideau Heights For $900 to $1200!

Smiths Falls Woman Built House With Her Own Hands — McNeil

Documenting Houses -Almonte — 133 Marshall Street

The Brick Houses of Carleton Place

Win a House in Carleton Place!

The Little Red House– Dinner Parties were Frequent and the Wine Flowed Freely

Dim All The Lights — The Troubled Times of the Abner Nichols Home on Bridge Street

About lindaseccaspina

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

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