The City of Regina says it's reviewing its rooming house regulations after some people renting out rooms received letters threatening fines.

Under current city bylaws, rooming houses are not allowed in solely residential areas. But, Mayor Michael Fougere told CBC's The Morning Edition that the bylaw is outdated.

"It's a 1992 bylaw. It's old," Fougere. "We want to update it to make it fair and reasonable." "We don't want to prosecute people who are doing the right thing, that are helping out and providing rental accommodations around the city."

Fougere said the letters were sent out in error and people won't be penalized.

"We apologize for that and will make sure there's no enforcement of that bylaw until the review's done in July," he said.

More than 200 people gathered Thursday night for a heated discussion on the bylaw.

In Regina, rooming houses are defined as situations where a homeowner lives in the home and rents rooms to tenants. Current bylaws allow them in one neighbourhood, just south of Regina's downtown.

Jan Cox lives in the south end and said people have been buying up homes in her neighbourhood and sub-dividing them.

"We have maintenance issues," she told CBC News. "These houses are not being maintained by the landlords. It's purely a money grab."

Adam Knutson was one of the few landlords at the meeting on the other side of the debate. He rents a number of rooms in his house in the city's south end. He received one of the letters warning him to move his tenants out, or risk a hefty fine.

"They've backed off and they won't enforce it this time, but the big question is, what policy will they put in place," said Knutson. "That's what we need to see now. Where is this going to go?"

Fougere said he believes the city's concern should be safety and what happens outside the home — such as congested street parking, litter and noise.

The city said it will continue to seek residents' input until it takes its report to council in July.


Here's an example of the letter some Regina residents received warning of fines. (CBC)