Mississauga considers move to crack down on illegal rooming houses


Published December 5, 2022 at 7:08 pm

A Mississauga city councillor says illegal rooming houses are unsafe and create big problems in too many neighbourhoods.

Ward 5 Councillor Carolyn Parrish says the illegal residences are an increasing concern across the city particularly in Malton, the area she represents.

While it is not illegal to rent out space in a home, Parrish believes too many landlords go beyond what is allowed and use houses to cram in as many people as possible. This has led to excess partying, noise, garbage and cars parked on lawns.

She also believes the conditions at some of the locations are unsafe with landlords taking advantage of foreign students by putting them in cramped and unsanitary rooms.

Current bylaws aren’t effective enough to combat the problem, Parrish says adding she will ask Mississauga city personnel to look into the problem.

She says Mississauga bylaw officers are frustrated in their attempts to enforce the rules because they cannot routinely go in and inspect the houses.

“We have to do something about it before it gets too far out of hand,” she says.

At present inspectors can only go into residences if they believe there is a fire hazard, otherwise court orders take months before access is granted.

In a notice of motion she will put before council on Wednesday Parrish will ask for a report on the success rate for inspections, to find out how other jurisdictions handle the issue, and what can be done to tighten and enforce local bylaws.

Parrish says she receives numerous complaints about overcrowding in single family homes that are rented out to university students, but she points out that while Malton is a hotspot, the problem plagues neighbourhoods throughout the city.

“Landlords are buying houses, putting locks on the doors, and having 15 tenants sometimes,” she said. “It wrecks neighbourhoods. It’s mostly young kids and they are partying and causing all kinds of problems.”

The councillor said she intends to see if the problem exists throughout the province and if it does, she will ask the Ontario government to help strengthen the enforcement rules.




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