Toronto Introduces New Rooming House Laws

New legislation aims to streamline the process for landlords and seeks to ensure tenant safety. 

The City of Toronto is revamping its Rooming House rules as a response to recent accidents at rooming houses that were not following the City guidelines. Starting March 31, 2024, all operators of rooming houses will be required to obtain a license from the city. The city hopes to address a myriad of issues regarding unregulated rooming houses that have been a source of problems for neighbours who live near them and the tenants who call them home. 

Here is the new proposed regulatory framework as is posted on the City of Toronto website: 

  • Permit multi-tenant houses across the city and set standards such as maximum number of rooms and parking requirements: Multi-tenant houses with up to six dwelling rooms will be allowed in all neighbourhoods. Depending on the location and the zoning, multi-tenant houses may have up to 12 or 25 rooms in the former cities of Toronto, East York and York. 
  • Introduce enhanced licensing requirements for multi-tenant house operators that promote health and safety and new standards for personal care multi-tenant houses:?Under the new rules, operators will be required to develop property maintenance plans, including processes for tenant service requests, pest management and waste management and collection, to help improve property maintenance standards and ensure that tenant requests are addressed in a timely fashion. Operators will also need to comply with the building, fire, and electrical safety codes. 
  • Put in place an effective enforcement and compliance program: This will include a dedicated enforcement team, annual inspections, increased fines, a new Multi-Tenant House Licensing Tribunal, and other enforcement tools. 
  • Preserve affordable housing and support tenants:?This will include developing a multi-tenant house retrofit and repair program to preserve affordable multi-tenant houses. The city will also ensure that supports are put in place for tenants should they face eviction from a multi-tenant house or require emergency relocation. 
  • Roll out comprehensive communications and engagement strategies: This will include educating owners, operators, tenants and communities about the new regulations and the resources available to them as the new framework comes into effect. 

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