Property owners in Ottawa say they'll fight the city if new bylaws that punish owners of vacant buildings are created.

Some proposed regulations would raise maintenance standards and annual fees of up to $6,000. The city's community and protective services commitee voted Thursday to enforce current laws to the letter and examine the possibility of new tougher rules.

Community associations are happy with the decisions, but they have upset groups who represent property owners.

"I don't think bullying property owners into improving their properties is the way to go," said Shirley Dolan of the Carleton Landowners Association.

She said the city has done a good job of getting the word out that council does not want eyesores in Ottawa.

"People have an emotional reaction to buildings that don't look very good, that are considered to be derelict but I don't really think that the other side of the story has been out there that much. And I think they're missing the point that people own these buildings and they have rights as well," she said.

Mayor Jim Watson doesn't sit on the community and protective services committee but he took the opportunity to champion his recent crusade against derelict properties.

"I think we've found that trying to be nice about this is not having the intended impact," said Watson.

But Dolan said the city's hasn't properly enforced existing rules.

If adopted, tougher regulations could be implemented by summers end.