Rooming houses
First, I underestimated the effects of middle-class stagnation.
With wages flat and families squeezed, many people have to return to the boarding house model of yesteryear. They have to rent out rooms to cover their mortgage or rent.

—David Brooks

They exist in many condo corporations everywhere but are in very large numbers near colleges and universities, in the downtown core and in condos that are along the subway and street car lines.

Renting a bedroom is a lot easier than having a boarder and is a lot more common in condominiums. It is the reason some condo owners can afford to buy and keep their units.

Most likely, the majority of condo townhouses have separate basement apartments and roomers sharing two-bedroom units are quite common in many condo towers.

Serious overcrowding
In the summer 2014 issue of Condovoice. a lawyer wrote:
"Unlicensed rooming houses are operating in many condominiums in Ontario.

We recently toured a 4-bedroom townhouse which had been converted into a
12-bedroom rooming house. While a 12-bedroom condominium unit may be
hard to picture, unscrupulous unit owners with an imagination and a desire to collect large sums of rental income each month can create rooming houses that shock even the most seasoned property managers."

Here are a couple of listings (Feb 2015) for condo townhouses that have been converted to rooming houses situated just south of York University.

This condo townhouse is listed as a Great Investment For Student Shared Accommodations. How many students/sardines are packed in this "investment" is not mentioned.

This four-bedroom residential condo townhouse that has five bedrooms and five bathrooms, two fridges, cameras for security and three televisions. Lots of parking too.

Who has ever heard of a townhouse with five bathrooms? Wonder which room was converted into the fifth bedroom and bath?

This little rooming house business sold for $425,000—just over asking.

Stacked townhouses

Think the federal and provincial governments support the small business owner? Sure they do but not as much as some condo owners.

Here is a recent listing for a unit in a Mississauga stacked townhouse condo that has been converted into a seven-bedroom unit by enclosing the two balconies and converting them into bedrooms.

This illegal business has a cash flow of $2000+ a month.

The single-family units are subsidizing this unit through higher water, heating, garbage disposal costs and higher maintenance costs. That is so nice of them.

Signs of overcrowding

In condo townhouse complexes, the most obvious sign of boarders is when there are too many cars to fit in the exclusive use driveways and there no longer is any empty spots in the Visitor's Parking lots.

In condo towers, overcrowding becomes obvious when far too many people want to have the lobby door opened, and elevator access, because they don't have Fobs.

People moving their personal items in and out of units without booking the elevator is another sign that a condo may have overcrowded units.

The most obvious physical sign that a non-related roomer is sharing a condo unit is to see keyed locks on the bedroom doors.

Detached rooming houses
Toronto has clusters of detached rooming houses in Toronto and their neighbours don't like them. Most of the largest complaint clusters about illegal rooming houses in the city’s inner suburbs are near post-secondary campuses, where supplies of cheap student housing haven’t kept up to demand.

This includes York University Heights, Smithfield near the Humber College North Campus, and Highland Creek near University of Toronto Scarborough.

It is common to see detached and semi-detached rooming houses for sale on MLS. In February 2015 there was semi-detached home just south of York University for sale that featured seven bedrooms and seven bathrooms.

A second semi-detached that was for sale at the same time offered:
Fantastic Investment!! Steps Away From York U Campus, Future TTC Subway, 11 Bedroom Semi-Detached Home, Fully Tenanted, Monthly Rental Income Over $5500/Month, Great Investment, Start Collecting Rent Today!!! Tons Of Upgrades To Many To List, Prime Location, Make This Gem Yours Today!!! We Can Help With Financing, Call Us Today For More Info!!!
**** EXTRAS **** 2 Fridge, 2 Stove, 2 Washer, 2 Dryer,

I wonder if those appliances are coined-operated.

Legal rooming houses
Rooming houses in areas such as Parkdale, Cabbagetown and South Riverdale are legal if they are licensed and inspected by the city.

However in 2015, the city is looking at increasing the number of areas that licensed rooming houses will be allowed to operate.

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