What is a rooming house and what are the rules?

Rooming houses have been making headlines lately for all the wrong reasons.

On Wednesday, the owner of an illegal rooming house in Toronto was fined $75,000 after being found guilty of numerous fire code violations following a fatal blaze two years ago.

Officials with the city of Toronto also revealed that a rowhouse that went up in flames in Kensington Market early Thursday was being investigated last year as a possible rooming house. It was later determined by Toronto Fire that it wasn’t.

And a story in Toronto Life magazine outlined one couple’s nightmare story about how the home they rented out was turned into a rooming house without their knowledge.

What is a rooming house?

According to the city of Toronto: “Rooming houses can include a house, apartment or building where you share a kitchen and/or washroom with four or more people that pay individual rent.”

Current rules and regulations:

Rooming houses are only permitted in the former cities of York, Toronto and Etobicoke. Rooming houses that operate in Toronto and Etobicoke must be licensed.

How to apply for a rooming house licence:

Etobicoke:

Contact Toronto Building to confirm zoning. Etobicoke York District, 2 Civic Centre Court, 1st Floor, 416-394-8002 Once zoning has been confirmed, you can apply for a rooming house licence. Applications can be picked up at the Toronto Public Health office at Etobicoke Civic Centre, 399 The West Mall, 4th Floor, North Building

Toronto:

Contact Shanta Persaud at spersaud@toronto.ca or 416-392-7594

How many rooming houses are there in Toronto?

According to the city, 328 properties are licenced, or seeking a licence to become a legal rooming house.

The city of Toronto recently funded a review, including public consultations on rooming houses. Read the full report here.

Source; 680 News 

Posted Aug 27, 2015 4:11 pm EDT

Last Updated Aug 27, 2015 at 4:22 pm EDT

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