We need to change the Occupancy By-Law
To keep up with changes in the Co-operative Corporations Act and meet our legal obligations under Ontario’s Human Rights Code we’re revising our Occupancy By-Law. The by-law committee is working with the board and other committees to make recommendations to the membership for changes. We’ll keep you updated about proposals on the web site and in the Weekly.
The Occupancy By-Law is one of the core documents for our co-op and a key by-law. This by-law has priority over any other by-law of the Co-op. No one has any authority to commit the Co-op to any term of occupancy or agreement respecting occupancy, except in accordance with this by-law.
However, the provisions of Ontario’s Human Rights Code and the Co-operative Corporations Act, where applicable, shall have priority over by-laws, policies and rules of the Co-op.
A model occupancy by-law was developed by the Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada (CHFC) with the help of many experts, including CHFC staff and co-op lawyers. In addition to the model by-law, they also developed a Guide that gives the rationale for some clauses and offers alternatives to meet individual co-ops' needs.
Why? There have been changes in human rights legislation and practices, the Ontario Co-op Corporations Act and a significant change in the eviction process. We are now governed by the Residential Tenancies Act (Part V.1) and we would appear before the Landlord and Tenant Board. (We still follow our internal procedures first, but now any eviction decision of the Board is dealt with and enforced by the Landlord and Tenant Board.)
The Occupancy By-Law pulls together in one place some concepts we had spread over several By-Laws. For example, arrears procedures (Arrears By-Law) and minimum household size (Membership By-Law) would be part of our Occupancy By-Law.
You can read the CHFC model occupancy by-law on their site – as a Word or as a PDF document. To see the model occupancy bylaw, please click to go to the https://chfcanada.coop/resources/model-by-laws-policies-rule/#Ontariomodel Please check out the Guide to the new Model Occupancy By-law for Co-ops. Website address: https://chfcanada.coop/resources/model-by-laws-policies-rule/#Ontariomodel
To read or download the model by-law, you will have to create a free account with CHFC and say that you do belong to a co-op. The Resource Centre houses a section "Forms, by-laws and more" where you will find the model CHF Canada by-laws, rules and policies.
It is important for you to know that until the membership approves the new Occupancy By-Law at a GMM, the current (old) by-laws are still in effect.
This Q&A followed the webinar of March 24, 2015 on the new eviction system.