The Condominium Act allows condominiums to limit the numbers of people who can occupy a unit in a corporation. To do this the standard must be set by by-law. We recommend that any buildings near educational institutions include such provisions in their by-laws as doing so provides the corporation with the ability to control the numbers of people living in a unit. The current maximum provided in these by-laws is two persons per sleeping room as set out in the Ontario Building Code. There are two ways to deal with overcrowded units.
First, is when the overcrowding is a result of people occupying the unit who are not family related members, for example a group of students. One student signs the lease for a two bedroom unit and 5 extra students then move in. With an occupancy standard by-law, the corporation can seek the removal of the two extra people. If the unit is rented, the corporation will be able to add the landlord to the proceedings and if successful recover the costs from the landlord or the unit owner if the unit is overcrowded and the owner lives in it. We find the latter not to be a common occurrence.
Second, if the overcrowding is as a result of children or extra family members occupying the unit, then the Human Rights Code family status provision will not allow the enforcement of the occupancy by-law provision, but the corporation can levy a surcharge against the unit. The surcharge is intended to reflect the extra wear and tear and use of the utilities and facilities by having extra people in the unit. Once the by-law is in place, the corporation can then levy the surcharge. Without the by-law it cannot be levied.