Under and by virtue of the powers vested in it pursuant to the City of St. John’s Act, RSNL 1990 c.C-17, as amended, and all other powers enabling it, the City of St. John’s enacts the following by-law prescribing minimum standards and regulations for the occupancy and maintenance of residential property in the City of St. John’s. (Amended 2019/06/04; #1620)
CITY OF ST. JOHN'S
RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY STANDARDS BY-LAW
1. This By-Law may be cited as The St. John's Residential Property Standards By-Law.
2. This By-Law shall apply only within the limits of the City of St. John's.
3.1 "Accessory Building" means any building or structure used for any purpose that is incidental or secondary to that of a residential use on the same lot. Without limiting the foregoing, such use shall include a private garage, shed, greenhouse
or outside garbage receptacle.
3.2 "Act" means the City of St. John's Act, R.S.N., 1970, Ch. 40 and amendments thereto.
3.3 "Apartment" means a dwelling unit which contains bathroom and kitchen facilities for the exclusive use of the occupant or occupants of the dwelling unit, in which such facilities are contained.
3.4 "Apartment Building" means a dwelling containing three (3) or more apartments and includes a condominium registered in accordance with The Condominium Act, R.S.N., 1970, Ch. 57 and amendments thereto.
3.5 “Bird Feeder” means a single device that meets all four of the following:
(a) it is designed for the purpose of feeding songbirds and no other animals;
(b) it is designed to minimize the spillage of food on the ground;
(c) the seed capacity of the device does not exceed two (2) litres in volume; and
(d) the longest dimension of the base of the device does not exceed thirty (30) centimeters in length or, where the base of the device is circular, does not exceed twenty-five (25) centimeters in diameter;
3.6 "City" means the City of St. John's as incorporated by the Act and includes the Council as defined by the Act.
3.7 "Dwelling" means any house, building, mobile home, trailer or other structure or any portion thereof, which is designed, constructed, or occupied in whole or in part, as the home, residence or sleeping place of one or more human beings.
3.8 "Dwelling Unit" means a building, or part thereof, containing one or more habitable rooms, designed, used or intended to be used together for living and sleeping purposes by humans under a single tenancy and includes an apartment or condominium unit.
3.9 "Egress" - or "means of egress" means a continuous unobstructed way of travel from any point in a building or structure to a public way and consists of three (3) distinct parts:
(a) "Exit Access" which is that part of a means of egress within a floor area that provides access to an exit serving the floor area.
(b) "Exit" which is that part of a means of egress that leads from the floor area it serves to an exit discharge.
(c) "Exit Discharge" which is that part of a means of egress between the termination of an exit and an open public way.
3.10 "Guard" means a protective barrier around openings in floors, or at the open sides of stairs, landings, balconies, mezzanines, galleries, raised walkways or other locations to prevent accidental falls from one level to another. Such barrier may or may not have openings through it.
3.11 "Habitable Room" means, subject to Section 3.13, a room designed for living, sleeping, or eating and includes such rooms as a den, library, sewing room, or enclosed sun room but does not include a room solely used as a kitchen, bathroom, pantry or corridor.
3.12 "Inspector" means any official or employee of the City or other person or persons designated by the City to enforce the provisions of this By-Law.
3.13 "Lodging House" shall mean a building wherein lodging facilities are provided for hire by more than four persons and in which sanitary or culinary facilities are used in common by the occupants of one or more dwelling units, and without limiting the generality of the foregoing, a lodging house includes; a motel, hotel, tourist home, rooming house, boarding house and a multi-use residential building.
3.14 "Non-Habitable Room" means a room other than a habitable room and includes a bathroom or shower room, kitchen (when used solely as such), a toilet room, laundry room, boiler room, furnace room, pantry, closet, corridor, foyer, stairway or lobby.
3.15 "Order" means a notice of violation or, a notice to demolish, vacate, or repair a dwelling served by an Inspector pursuant to this By-Law.
3.16 "Owner" includes any person:
(a) who, alone or jointly or severally with others, shall have the legal title to land, whether in fee simple or under a ground lease, with or without actual possession thereof,
(b) who manages or receives the rent of the land or dwelling whether on his own account or as agent or trustee of any other person, or who would receive such rent if the same were rented,
(c) who is a mortgagee in possession but does not include a mortgagee merely because his mortgage vests the legal estate in him.
3.17 "Person" includes a corporation and heirs, executors, administrators or other legal representatives of a person.
3.18 "Repair" includes taking the necessary action to bring buildings and/or property up to standards.
3.19 "Residential Property" means a dwelling and the yard around it, and all accessory buildings, out buildings, fences, barriers, retaining walls or other erections therein and thereon, or vacant land within a residential zone.
3.20 "Trailer" means a vehicle which has no motive power of its own and is designed to be attached to a truck, tractor or other motor vehicle.
3.21 "Vacant" when applied to dwellings shall include dwellings which are unoccupied and which are no longer used nor intended to be used for the accustomed and ordinary purposes of a dwelling but shall not include dwellings wherein occupants are temporarily absent.
3.22 “Wildlife” means an animal that belongs to a species that is wild by nature, and includes songbirds, pigeons, and rodents, but does not include any animal that resides predominantly or exclusively indoors and is kept for the purpose of companionship.
3.23 "Yard" means the land, other than publicly owned land, around and appurtenant to the whole or any part of a dwelling and used or capable of being used in connection with the dwelling, whether or not the land is owned by the owner of the dwelling situated thereon, and includes lawns, courts and driveways.(All Section 3 Amended 2019/06/04; 1620)
GENERAL DUTIES AND OBLIGATIONS
4.1 No person shall use, permit the use of, rent, or offer to rent any dwelling, dwelling unit, or room in violation of any provision of this By-Law or any other by-law or regulation of the City.
4.2 The owner of any residential property shall put and keep in repair and maintain the same in accordance with this By-Law, or demolish the whole or the part thereof that is not in accordance with the By-Law.
4.3 Where an Inspector has placed or caused the placing of a sign, placard, or notice upon any premises under the authority of this By-Law or any other applicable law, by-law, or regulation, no person shall remove such sign, placard, or notice except with the consent of the Inspector.
4.4 The owner and the occupant of a dwelling shall be jointly and severally liable to:
(a) limit the number of occupants thereof to the number permitted by this By-Law;
(b) maintain all plumbing, cooking, refrigerating appliances and fixtures and all storage facilities and other equipment therein in a clean and sanitary condition and in good working order;
(c) keep all exits therefrom clean and unobstructed; and
(d) Maintain the same in a clean and sanitary condition and free from fire and accident hazards.
GENERAL PROPERTY REQUIREMENTS
5.1 (1) All parts of a residential property shall be kept clean and free from
(a) rubbish, garbage, and other debris,
(b) growth of weeds and grass that are detrimental to the health, safety or welfare of the occupants or the public or that by reason of not being cut regularly are excessive when compared with neighbouring properties, and
(c) objects and conditions, including holes and excavations that are or might create health, fire or accident hazards; and
(d) graffiti. (Amended 2007/08/20; #1504)
(2) For new construction commenced after January 1, 2004, the residential property shall be landscaped in accordance with the plans review letter issued with respect to the property.
(Amended 2004/01/26; #1467)
5.1.1 No person shall feed or permit the feeding of Wildlife on a residential property, and/or leave food or attractants out of doors on a residential property in such a manner as to attract or be accessible by Wildlife. (Amended 2019/06/04; #1620)
5.1.1 (1) Notwithstanding section 5.1.1, an organization conducting a feral cat spay and neuter program may leave food out of doors in a feral cat feeding enclosure for the purpose of that program;
(Amended 2019/06/04; #1620)
5.1.1 (2) Notwithstanding section 5.1.1, a person may feed or permit the feeding of songbirds on a residential property owned or occupied by the person, provided that:
(a) The feeding of songbirds is accomplished exclusively through the use of a Bird Feeder;
(b) Each Bird Feeder is kept free of wet and/or spoiled food;
(c) Each Bird Feeder is regularly cleaned and disinfected;
(d) There are no more than two (2) Bird Feeders per residential property, except where the lot area of the residential property is in excess of 465 square meters, in which case one (1) additional Bird Feeder may be erected for each additional 465 square meters;
(e) Any food or other waste deposited on the ground of the residential property is removed and disposed of without delay;
(f) The feeding of songbirds on the residential property does not attract insects, rodents, gulls, crows, birds of prey, or flocks of pigeons.”
(All Section 5.1.1 Amended 2019/06/04; #1620)
5.2.1 No person shall repair, dismantle or scrap a vehicle on residential property.
5.2.2 Repair in Section 5.2.1 shall not apply to repairs of a minor nature such as repairing flat tires, boosting batteries, changing filters or replacing spark plugs, to a vehicle which is owned by an occupant of the residential property on which the repairs are being effected.
5.2.3 (1) No person shall deposit, discard or keep a wrecked, discarded, dismantled, inoperative, unused, or abandoned vehicle, trailer or other machinery or any parts thereof on a residential property.
(Amended 2000/02/14; #1426)
(2) No person shall park, or cause to be parked, a vehicle on the front yard of a residential property unless such vehicle is parked in an approved driveway or parking space.
(Amended 2000/02/14; #1426; Amended 2021/04/12; #1639)
5.2.4 This section shall not apply to any vehicle or parts when:
(i) the vehicle or parts thereof are enclosed within a building on private property, and
(ii) the vehicle or parts thereof are owned by an occupant of the property.
5.3 The provisions of this Section shall apply to vacant lots and to the premises of business establishments located within a residential zone and the owner of such vacant lots or premises shall maintain the same in accordance with this section.
6.1 Vacant dwellings shall be maintained in accordance with this By-law except as it relates solely to the convenient use of the dwelling as a residence.
6.2 The owner of any vacant dwelling shall protect every such dwelling against risk of accident or other danger by effectively preventing the entry thereto by all unauthorized persons.
6.3 Without restricting the generality of subsection 6.2, the protection may include boarding up the dwelling with tight fitting plywood, securely fastened to every doorway, window or wall opening that constitutes a means of access, hazard or an unsightly appearance.
6.4 All materials used for boarding up vacant buildings shall be covered and maintained with a preservative which is colour coordinated to the exterior of the building.
6.5 Where a dwelling remains vacant for a period of more than 90 days, the owner shall ensure that all utilities serving the dwelling are properly disconnected or otherwise secured to prevent accidental or malicious damage to the property or adjoining premises.
6.6 Subsection 6.5 shall not apply where such utilities are required for the safety or security of such building.
7.1 Except for the purpose of composting, all garbage, rubbish, waste and other debris from a residential property shall be promptly stored in regulation receptacles and made available for removal in accordance with the Act, and any regulation or by-law made thereunder. (Amended 1993/05/10; #1307)
7.2 Where garbage and refuse storage rooms and shutes are provided they shall be maintained at all times in a clean and sanitary condition and shall be provided with adequate ventilation.
7.3 All bins and receptacles used or intended to be used for the purpose of storing garbage during periods between collection, which are not contained within a building, shall:
(a) be liquid tight;
(b) be provided with a tight-fitting cover; and
(c) be completely lined with a minimum of 24-gauge galvanized steel or equivalent, and
(d) be located to the rear of the building line.
7.4 (a) All exterior bins, receptacles or dumpsters shall be surrounded by an enclosure or vegetation that effectively screens such bin, receptacle or dumpster from view. (Amended 1995/14/14; #1359)
(b) The design, construction and location of the enclosure or vegetation referred to in section 7.4(a) shall be approved by the Inspector. (Amended 1995/11/14; #1359)
7.5 Composting means the storage and controlled biochemical decomposition of vegetables, fruit or garden waste. (Amended 1993/05/10; #1307 & 1995/11/14; #1359)
7.6 All composting must be carried out in a suitably maintained container which may be commercially or owner constructed and which must be rodent proof and properly vented. (Amended 1993/05/10; #1307 & 1995/11/14; #1359)
7.7 All composting must be carried out in such a manner as not to attract rodents, flies, or animals nor to cause an unpleasant odour and shall be maintained so as not to be a nuisance to neighbouring properties. (Amended 1993/10/25; #1318 & 1995/11/14; #1359)
7.8 Composting containers shall be located in the rear yard no closer than 2 feet to a lot line. (Amended 1993/10/25; #1318 & 1995/11/14; #1359)
8.1 All residential property shall be graded and drained in such a manner as to prevent excessive or recurrent ponding of storm water or the entrance of water into a basement or cellar and shall be cultivated or protected with a suitable ground cover to prevent erosion of the soil.
8.2 Drainage water from a roof surface and surface drainage shall not be discharged directly or indirectly onto a sidewalk, walkway, driveway, stairway or an adjoining property nor in such a manner as to cause soil erosion.
8.3 Ground cover in Section 8.1 means organic or inorganic material and includes concrete, flagstone, gravel, asphalt, grass or other form of landscaping.
FENCES AND ACCESSORY BUILDINGS
9.1 All fences, barriers, accessory buildings and outbuildings forming part of a residential property shall be kept:
(a) weather resistant by the application of appropriate materials including paint and preservatives,
(b) in good repair,
(c) structurally sound, and
(d) free from health, fire and accident hazards.
9.2 No fence, barrier, accessory building or outbuilding shall be placed or permitted to remain on any part of a residential property where by reason of its height or location it creates an accident hazard to motorists.
9.3 Except with the consent of Council, the use of barbed wire is prohibited on residential property. (Amended 1999/05/10/31; #1420)
9.4 Where a mobile structure has been modified to create an accessory building the resultant accessory building shall comply with the National Building Code of Canada and its architectural style shall conform with that of the primary structure to which it is subordinate. (Amended 2006/06/27; #1496)
10.1 Retaining walls shall be maintained in good repair, structurally sound and free from hazards.
10.2 Without restricting the generality of Section 10.1, the maintenance of retaining walls includes:
(a) repairing or replacing deteriorated, damaged or missing portions,
(b) installation of subsoil drains,
(c) grouting, and
(d) applying paint or a preservative to metal or wooden parts.
WALKS, DRIVEWAYS, STEPS, ETC.
11.1 Every dwelling unit shall have a surfaced walk connecting the entrance thereto with a public sidewalk or street or with a surfaced driveway that connects with a street.
11.2 All exterior steps to a dwelling and all walkways, driveways, parking spaces and similar areas of a yard shall be kept in good repair so as to provide safe passage under normal use.
11.3 (a) Where, in the opinion of the Inspector, a safety hazard, or nuisance, exists, every walkway, driveway and parking space connecting to a public sidewalk or street shall be paved with concrete, asphalt or equivalent suitable material.
(b) A safety hazard referred to in section 11.3(a) shall include, but not be limited to, gravel or stone tracking onto the sidewalk or street. (Amended 2000/04/10; #1430)
12.1 Every roof including the fascia board, soffit, cornice and flashing of every dwelling and accessory building shall be kept weather tight and free from leaks.
12.2 Every eaves trough, roof gutter and downpipe shall be kept:
(a) in good repair,
(b) in good working order,
(c) water tight and free from leaks, and
(d) free from health and accident hazards.
12.3 Every roof shall be kept free from:
(a) loose or unsecured objects and materials,
(b) dangerous accumulations of snow or ice, and
(c) all other accident hazards.
13.1 Every exterior wall of a dwelling and the components thereof shall have a suitable cladding or covering free of holes, cracks, or excessively worn surfaces and shall be maintained:
(a) in good repair,
(b) weather tight,
(c) free from loose or unsecured objects and materials,
(d) so as to prevent the entrance of insects and animals, and
(e) so as to prevent deterioration due to weather, insects or animals.
13.2 Without restricting the generality of Section 13.1, the maintenance of an exterior wall includes the painting of all exterior wood and metal work and restoring, repairing or replacing the wall and the components thereof.
FOUNDATION WALLS AND SUPPORTS
14.1 Every foundation wall and every foundation support forming part of the residential property shall be maintained in good repair so as to prevent settlement thereof or the entrance of moisture, insects, or rodents therein or thereto.
14.2 Without limiting the generality of subsection 14.1, the maintenance of a foundation wall and foundation supports includes:
(a) jacking up, underpinning or shoring the walls where necessary,
(b) installing subsoil drains at the footing,
(c) grouting cracks,
(d) waterproofing the wall and joints,
(e) repairing or replacing decayed, damaged or weakened sills, piers, posts, or other supports,
(f) making sills, piers, posts or other supports waterproof and insect-proof by the application of paint or other suitable materials and using suitable means to jack-up or support the building where necessary.
15.1 Every part of a residential property shall be maintained in a structurally sound condition so as to be capable of sustaining safely its own weight and any load to which it may be normally subjected.
16.1 Every basement, cellar, crawl space and other spaces subject to high moisture levels shall be drained and shall be adequately ventilated to the outside air.
16.2 Every floor, every ceiling, both sides of every interior wall and the interior side of every exterior wall in a dwelling shall be free from dampness.
16.3 Every dwelling shall be so constructed and protected as to prevent the passage of noxious gases from a part of the dwelling that is not used, designed or intended to be used for human habitation into other parts of the dwelling.
DOORS AND WINDOWS
17.1 All windows, doors and hatchways in a dwelling or accessory building shall be maintained in good repair, weathertight and so as to prevent the entry of insects and animals.
17.2 Without restricting the generality of Section 17.1, the maintenance required includes:
(b) repairing or renewing damaged, decaying or rotten:
(ii) door frames and casings,
(iii) window sashes, and
(iv) window frames and casings.
(c) refitting doors and windows,
(d) weather stripping,
(e) repairing or replacing defective or missing door hardware and defective or missing window hardware,
(f) reglazing, and
(g) using other suitable means of weatherproofing.
17.3 Every room used for sleeping purposes and every dwelling unit shall have at its entrance a door that closes securely and is fitting with proper hardware in good repair.
17.4 Every opening in an exterior wall that is required for ventilation or illumination and which is not protected by a window or door and could permit the entry of animals or insects shall become and shall be:
(a) screened with wire mesh, metal grill, or other durable material, or
(b) otherwise protected so as to effectively prevent the entry of animals or insects.
17.5 Where storm windows are installed in a dwelling, such windows shall be kept in good repair and properly glazed.
17.6 All shutters in a dwelling shall be maintained in good repair.
17.7 Where screens are installed on a dwelling, such screens shall be maintained in good repair so as to effectively prevent the entry of insects.
18.1 Every dwelling and every dwelling unit within a dwelling shall have a safe, continuous, and unobstructed passage or means of egress from the interior of the dwelling and dwelling unit to the exterior of the dwelling at street or grade level.
18.2 The means of egress required in Section 18.1 shall not pass through a room in another dwelling unit or through an area not under the immediate control of the occupants of the unit which that means of egress serves.
19.1 At least one approved U.L.C. listed smoke alarm is required in every dwelling unit.
19.2 Smoke alarms shall be located adjacent to sleeping rooms, or between sleeping rooms and the remainder of the dwelling unit, so that when activated, the detector will initiate an alarm which is clearly audible in all sleeping rooms.
19.3 Smoke alarms shall be properly mounted and placed so as to afford maximum protection and must be maintained in an operable condition.
19.4 Notwithstanding Section 19.1, smoke alarms in apartment buildings and lodging houses are required to be installed with permanent connections to an electrical circuit and shall have no disconnect switch between the overcurrent device and the smoke alarm.
STAIRS, BALCONIES AND PORCHES
20.1 Every stairway, balcony or porch in, on or appurtenant to a dwelling or dwelling unit shall be maintained:
(a) in good repair, and
(b) free from:
(iii) excessive wear and warping,
(iv) other hazardous conditions.
20.2 Without restricting the generality of the foregoing, the maintenance includes:
(a) repairing or replacing treads, risers or floors that show excessive wear or are broken, excessively warped or loose.
(b) repairing, renewing, or supporting structural members that are rotted, deteriorated or loose, and
(c) painting, or other acceptable finish.
GUARD AND HANDRAILS
21.1 Every open side of a stairway, stairwell, balcony or landing where the difference in elevation between adjacent levels exceeds 600mm is required to be protected by a suitably constructed and maintained guard and handrail system.
WALLS AND CEILINGS
22.1 Every wall and ceiling in a dwelling shall be maintained in good condition and free from holes, cracks, loose coverings and hazards.
22.2 The surface of every wall and ceiling in a dwelling shall be maintained in a clean condition.
22.3 Every ceiling, both sides of an interior wall and the interior side of an exterior wall in a dwelling shall be finished with suitable materials.
23.1 All dwelling units shall be effectively separated from one another so as to retard the spread of fire.
23.2 All fire separations shall be installed and maintained such that no cracks, holes, openings or other defects exist which could reduce the effectiveness of the fire separation.
24.1 All floors in a dwelling shall be maintained so as to be free from
(a) loose, excessively warped, protruding, broken or rotted boards or components,
(b) holes or cracks,
(c) defective or rotted structural members, and
(d) other hazardous conditions.
24.2 All floors in a dwelling shall be finished with a suitable material.
24.3 Floors in bathrooms, shower rooms, toilet rooms, kitchens, laundry rooms and entrance hall, foyers or vestibules shall be maintained reasonably impervious to water and in such condition as to permit such floor to be easily kept in a clean and sanitary condition.
24.4 Without restricting the generality of Section 24.3, the maintenance includes installing, repairing, refinishing and replacing a floor or floor covering to provide the required condition.
HEATING SYSTEMS, FUEL BURNING EQUIPMENT, FIRE-
PLACES, CHIMNEYS, AND RELATED ACCESSORIES
25.1 Every fireplace used, capable of being used or intended to be used in a dwelling for burning fuel in an open fire and all other fuel burning equipment in a dwelling shall be maintained in good repair and so as to prevent the heating of adjacent combustible material or structural members to unsafe temperatures and shall be effectively and safely vented to the outside air.
25.2 In every dwelling, fuel burning equipment, heating equipment, and every vent pipe, smoke pipe, chimney, flue or duct connected to such equipment, shall be constructed, placed, protected and maintained in good repair so as to prevent the heating of adjacent combustible materials and structural members to unsafe temperatures and the leakage of backing up of smoke or noxious gases into the dwelling.
25.3 Without restricting the generality of Section 25.1 and 25.2, the maintenance includes:
(a) lining, repairing and re-lining the fireplace and chimney with fire resistant materials,
(b) installing, repairing and replacing the hearth of the fireplace,
(c) cleaning and clearing obstructions from the chimney, flue, smoke pipe or other duct,
(d) sealing open joints and repairing masonry, and
(e) using piping or ducts of adequate size for a chimney, flue, smoke pipe, vent pipe or a similar duct.
25.4 All chimneys, solid-fuel burning appliances, fireplaces and oil burning equipment used, capable of being used or intended to be used in a dwelling shall be inspected annually by qualified service personnel and a copy of the report of such service personnel shall be provided to the Inspector upon request.
25.5 Every dwelling shall be provided with a heating system capable of maintaining a room temperature of not less than 20oC (70oF) in all parts of all habitable rooms, kitchens, bathrooms and toilet rooms, in the dwelling at all times.
25.6 The heating system shall be maintained in good repair and working condition and capable of heating the dwelling safely to the required temperature.
25.7 A furnace or combustion heater that serves two or more dwelling units shall be located so as to comply with the National Building Code.
25.8 A furnace or combustion heater located in a means of egress or adjacent to a means of egress serving a sleeping area, shall be separated from the means of egress by a partition having at least an hour fire resistance rating. Any doors in the partition must have a fire resistance rating of at least 1/3 hour. (Amended 2002/08/19; #1456)
25.9 No space heater shall be placed so as to cause a fire hazard to walls, curtains, furniture or other combustibles, nor to impede the free movement of persons within the room or area where such heater is located.
25.10 No stove or combustion heater shall be located so as to block escape in case of fire arising from malfunctioning of the stove or heater.
25.11 Where in a dwelling or dwelling unit, a heating system or auxiliary heating system burns or is intended to burn solid or liquid fuel, a place or receptacle for the storage of such fuel shall be provided and maintained in good condition and properly constructed so as to be free from fire or accident hazards.
25.12 No combustible storage of any kind is permitted within 3 metres of a furnace or fuel storage receptacle.
25.13 When a furnace or fuel storage receptacle is required to be enclosed, storage of any kind in that enclosure is prohibited.
25.14 Storage of fuel or combustible liquid shall be in a suitable container or tank.
25.15 All connections between heating equipment or cooking equipment that are fuelled by liquid or gas, and the source of fuel shall be maintained rigid and in good repair and shall be located or protected so as to avoid damage.
25.16 Notwithstanding Subsection 25.15 a flexible connector that has been approved by the Inspector may be used to connect a gas stove used only for cooking purposes to its source of fuel.
KITCHENS AND GENERAL STORAGE
26.1 Every kitchen or room in which meals are prepared shall have a sink that:
(a) is set into a countertop made of material impervious to water,
(b) is served with hot and cold running water,
(c) is connected to the drainage system for the dwelling, and
(d) is in good repair and working order.
26.2 Every kitchen or room in which meals are prepared shall be equipped with adequate storage facilities and counter top area.
26.3 Every dwelling unit shall have adequate space provided for laundry facilities, clothing, linen storage and general storage.
LIGHTING AND VENTILATION
27.1 Every habitable room in a dwelling unit shall contain one or more windows or skylights that have a total light transmitting area of not less than 5 percent of the floor area of the room.
27.2 All skylights and windows shall:
(a) be glazed,
(b) be provided with proper and suitable hardware,
(c) be maintained in good repair, and
(d) be easily opened and closed at all times.
27.3 Adequate lighting shall be provided in all areas of a dwelling.
27.4 Every habitable room and every bathroom, shower room, and toilet room in a dwelling shall be provided with an adequate natural means of ventilation unless the same is adequately ventilated by means of a mechanical or other ventilating system.
27.5 Where any system of mechanical or other ventilation is provided in any room in a dwelling, it shall be:
(a) maintained in good repair and working order; and
(b) connected by a duct leading to the outside of the building.
27.6 Where range hoods are provided, the vents must be of suitable non-combustible construction.
27.7.1 Every attic, crawl space and other enclosed space shall:
(a) be vented to the outside air, and
(b) have an access opening thereto measuring at least 508mm x 712mm.
27.7.2 Notwithstanding Section 27.7.1(b), where mechanical equipment is enclosed in such a space, the access opening thereto shall be sufficiently large to permit the maintenance, removal and replacement of such equipment.
27.7.3 Notwithstanding Section 27.7.1(b), such access shall not be required when the height to the highest point in the enclosed space does not exceed 600mm.
27.8 Where a laundry room is used by the occupants of three or more dwelling units, such room shall be provided with a system of mechanical ventilation.
28. Thermal insulation shall be required when heat loss or heat gain or air infiltration is sustained to the extent that excessive room temperature variations are caused, thereby preventing the heating system from maintaining normal room temperature as required by Section 25.5, under normal operating input.
29.1 No owner or occupant of a dwelling shall disconnect, shut off, remove or otherwise discontinue or permit the disconnection of any utility serving a dwelling unless:
(a) the dwelling is vacant, or
(b) such action is necessary to safely make repairs, and then only during the reasonable minimum time required to safely make such repairs.
29.2 Section 29.1 does not apply:
(a) where Council, the Inspector, or the utility supplier has ordered the disconnection of the utility, or
(b) where a person liable for utility rates has failed to make payment, resulting in the disconnection of the utility by the supplier.
OCCUPANCY, USE, ROOM HEIGHT AND SPACE REQUIREMENTS
30.1 No person shall use or permit the use of a non-habitable room in a dwelling as a habitable room.
30.2 No person shall occupy or permit the occupancy of a dwelling, a dwelling unit or a room in a dwelling in contravention of the provisions of this section.
30.3 Where a room is less than 2 metres in width or has a floor area of less than 6 square metres exclusive of closet space, no person shall use or permit the use of the room for sleeping purposes.
30.4 Where a room in a dwelling is used for sleeping purposes by two or more persons simultaneously, the total number of persons using the room for sleeping purposes shall not exceed the floor area of their room in square metres divided by 4.6.
30.5 Where a room or part of a room in a dwelling does not exceed 1.5 metres in height, the floor area under a ceiling that is not more than 1.5 metres above the floor shall not be counted in computing the floor area of the room for the purposes of Section 30.3 and 30.4.
31. Where the floor of any space in a dwelling is below the finished grade of the adjoining yard, no person shall use or permit the use of that space or any part thereof as one or more habitable rooms except where in addition to the other standards prescribed in this by-law, the following requirements are met:
(a) the floors and walls are constructed so as to be impervious to water leakage and are treated against dampness by the provision of an adequate vapour barrier,
(b) the floors are damp proof and are covered with a permanent floor covering material other than paint, that prevents condensation.
32.1 Every dwelling shall be connected to an electrical supply system and shall be wired for electricity.
32.2 An adequate supply of electric power shall be available at all times in all parts of every occupied dwelling.
32.3.1 Every dwelling unit shall have a panel board containing overcurrent devices.
32.3.2 Notwithstanding Subsection 32.3.1, special permission may be given by the Inspection Department to accept a panel board which is located outside of the dwelling unit which it serves, if:
(a) the occupant has access to the area where the panel board is located, and
(b) the installation had previously been inspected and accepted by the Inspector.
32.4 The capacity of the consumer service to the dwelling and the system of circuits distributing the electrical supply within the dwelling, shall be adequate for the use and intended use in the dwelling and shall be in compliance with Electrical By-Laws and Regulations of the City and all other applicable regulations.
32.5 In every dwelling unit, overcurrent devices protecting system circuitry must be suitable for their use or intended use.
32.6 In every dwelling the electrical service supply shall be effectively grounded and the non-current carrying parts of the service equipment shall be bonded to ground.
32.7 Every habitable room in a dwelling shall have a sufficient number of electrical duplex receptacles in good working order to supply the demands, but in no case shall the number be less than:
(a) two, for the first 11.15 square metres (120 sq. ft.) or less of floor area, plus
(b) one, for each additional 9.3 square metres (100 sq. ft.) or less of floor area.
32.8 A kitchen in a dwelling unit shall have a sufficient number of duplex receptacles to supply the demand but in no case less than:
(a) one split duplex receptacle on a separate 3-wire branch circuit in good working order and located along the wall behind counter work surface, or
(b) two duplex receptacles each on a separate branch circuit in good working order and located along the wall behind counter work surface, or
(c) where the counter space is required to have only one receptacle it shall be one duplex receptacle on a separate branch circuit in good working order and located along the wall behind the counter work surface.
32.9 At least one duplex receptacle shall be provided in each laundry room or area, each utility room or area, or combined laundry/utility room. When grouped laundry facilities are provided, sufficient outlets shall be provided to adequately serve the equipment to be installed by the building owner or tenants.
32.10 At least one branch circuit shall be provided solely for receptacles installed in the laundry room or area and the utility room or area.
32.11 An electrical light fixture shall be permanently installed and maintained in good working order in every water closet, compartment, toilet room, bathroom, shower room, kitchen, kitchenette, cooking space, laundry room, furnace room, hall, stairway and basement in a dwelling.
32.12 An exterior lighting outlet with fixture controlled by a wall switch located within the dwelling shall be provided at every entrance.
32.13 Every stairway shall be lighted.
32.14 Except as provided in Section 32.15, three-way wall switches shall be located at the head and foot of each stairway having four or more risers, to control at least one lighting outlet with fixture.
32.15 Stairway lighting for basements or cellars that do not contain finished space nor lead to an outside entrance or built-in garage and which serves not more than one dwelling unit may be controlled by a single switch located at the head of the stairs.
32.16 A lighting outlet with fixture shall be provided for each 30 square metres (323 sq. ft.) or fraction thereof of floor area in unfinished basements or cellars. The outlet nearest the stairs shall be controlled by a wall switch located at the head of the stairs.
32.17 Every furnace serving a dwelling unit shall be provided with a suitable device for disconnecting the furnace, which:
(a) shall be located so as to be readily accessible,
(b) shall be located between the furnace and the point of entry to the area where the furnace is located,
(c) shall not be located on the furnace nor in a location which can be reached only by passing close to the furnace, and
(d) shall be marked to indicate the equipment it controls.
32.18 Wiring devices shall be contained in suitable boxes.
32.19 No person shall place an extension cord directly beneath a floor covering or through a doorway, transom, wall, ceiling or floor for use on a semi-permanent or permanent basis and no person shall use, cause or permit the use of an extension cord so placed.
32.20 The electrical wiring, circuits, fuses, circuit breakers, and electrical equipment in a dwelling shall be maintained at all times:
(a) in accordance with the Electrical By-Laws or Regulations of the City and any other applicable regulations,
(b) in good repair and working order, and
(c) free from fire and accident hazards.
32.21 In dwelling units that require emergency power circuits and equipment, in compliance with City By-Laws, the installations shall be made and maintained in accordance with applicable Codes.
32.22 Notwithstanding any of the provisions of this section all electrical work and electrical installations in dwellings or portions thereof hereafter constructed or renovated shall be made or done in accordance with the Canadian Electrical Code.
33.1 All plumbing, plumbing equipment and fixtures in a dwelling shall be maintained in accordance with City By-Laws and Regulations and in good operating condition and repair and shall be kept free from leaks and other defects.
33.2 Every dwelling and every dwelling unit shall be provided with:
(a) at least one water closet that is connected to the drainage system and cold water supply system serving the dwelling,
(b) at least one washbasin, located in every room that contains a water closet or urinal, which washbasin(s) shall be provided with hot and cold running water and shall be connected to the drainage system serving the dwelling,
(c) at least one bathtub or shower or combination thereof, provided with hot and cold running water and connected to the drainage system serving the dwelling.
33.3 Water closets, urinals and bathtubs or showers shall be located in rooms within the dwelling unit which they serve. Such rooms shall have acceptable doors, fitted with lockable hardware.
33.4 In Lodging Houses, separate facilities as required in Section 33.2 shall be available for every ten (10) persons occupying the dwelling. The facilities shall be located on the same floor or the next floor immediately above or below the floor where the lodgers are located.
33.5 Where a dwelling is not connected to the water and sewer system of the City, the water closet and bathroom facilities mentioned in this section shall be properly connected to a water and sewer system or septic tank and absorption bed approved by the Department of Health for the Province of Newfoundland and the City Plumbing Inspector and be in good condition and all other subsections of this section shall apply thereto.
33.6 Where plumbing penetrates required fire separations it shall meet non-combustibility requirements set forth in the National Building Code.
QUALITY OF REPAIRS
34. All repairs to a dwelling shall be made in a manner accepted as good workmanship in the trade concerned and with materials suitable and sufficient for the purpose.
35.1 The National Building Code of Canada, 2020, any Supplements to the National Building Code of Canada, 2020 and the Administrative Requirements for use with The National Building Code of Canada, 2020, are hereby declared to be, and shall be taken as part and parcel of this By-Law from the date of passing of this By-Law as if same were repeated herein in full. Provided that if any section or part thereof of the said Code and Supplements shall conflict with any other section of this By-Law, then the provisions of the said Code and Supplements shall prevail. (Amended 2011/04/18; #1544); (Amended 2018/05/14; #1612); (Amended 2023/04/03; #1658)
35.2 The National Fire Code of Canada, 2020, is hereby declared to be, and shall be taken as part and parcel of this By-Law from the date of passing of this By-Law as if same were repeated herein in full. Provided that if any section or part thereof of the said Code shall conflict with any other section of this By-Law, then the provisions of the Code shall prevail. (Amended 2011/04/18; #1544); (Amended 2018/05/14; #1612); (Amended 2023/04/03; #1658)
35.3 Sections 35.1 and 35.2 shall apply to buildings erected prior to the date of passing of these regulations only in so far as they are intended to apply to existing buildings. (Amended 1994/09/06; #1341)
35.4 The Life Safety Code, 2021, being Document 101 prepared by the National Fire Protection Association of the United States of America is hereby declared to be and shall be taken as part and parcel of this By-Law as if the same were repeated herein in full. Provided that if any section or part thereof of the said Code shall conflict with any other section of this By-Law, then the provisions of the Code shall prevail. (Amended 1994/09/06; #1341; Amended 1997/05/12; #1388; Amended 2000/11/14; #1437; Amended 2018/05/14; #1612); (Amended 2023/04/03; #1658)
35.5 Notwithstanding sections 35.1, 35.2, 35.3 and 35.4 day care occupancies will be treated as Class A occupancies. (Amended 2005/10/03; #1483)
35.6 Where the requirements of the Life Safety Code, 2021 conflict with the requirements of the National Building Code of Canada, 2020 then the National Building Code of Canada, 2020 shall prevail. (Amended 2011/04/18; #1544); (Amended 2018/05/14; #1612); (Amended 2023/04/03; #1658)
36.1 Any person who contravenes the provisions of this By-Law shall be guilty of an offence and liable upon summary conviction to a penalty as provided for in Section 403 of the City of St. John’s Act, or where a violation notice is issued, to a penalty as provided for in Section 403.2 of the City of St. John’s Act. (Amended 2007/11/05; #1508)
36.2 Where any dwelling or dwelling unit is not kept in repair and maintained in accordance with the By-Law, and thereby in the opinion of the Inspector, the dwelling or dwelling unit is unfit for habitation, the said dwelling or dwelling unit shall, if Council so orders, be vacated within a period designated by Council after the delivery of an order to the owner or the posting of a notice in a conspicuous place on the dwelling or dwelling unit stating that the same is unfit for human habitation, and such dwelling or dwelling unit shall not thereafter be used for habitation again until the placard or notice is removed by the Inspector and he issues a certificate that the dwelling or dwelling unit conforms to the standards.
36.3 Where any dwelling or dwelling unit is not kept in repair and maintained in accordance with the standards, and thereby in the opinion of the Inspector, the dwelling or dwelling unit is unfit for habitation and constitutes an immediate hazard to life, the said dwelling or dwelling unit shall be vacated by order of the Inspector after the delivery of an order to the owner or the posting of a notice in a conspicuous place on the dwelling or dwelling unit stating the same is unfit for human habitation and constitutes an immediate hazard to life, and that such dwelling or dwelling unit shall not after such date stated in such notice be used for habitation again until the placard or notice is removed by the Inspector and he issues a certificate that the dwelling or dwelling unit conforms to the standards.
36.4 Where any residential property falls below the standards herein prescribed, the City shall cause the Inspector to send by registered mail to or serve on the owner and all persons known to Council to have an interest in such residential property and upon the occupant thereof, if any, a notice stating that the residential property does not conform with the standards and that repairs are required to be made thereto, giving reasonable particulars of the repairs required to be made, or that the land must be cleared and left in a graded condition and stating the period of time within which the repairs are to be made or the clearing is to be done, which period of time will be such period of time as the Inspector sees fit, and that if the repair or clearance is not so done within the period of time specified, the Council may carry out the repair or clearance and the cost of the work done may be levied against the residential property as a debt due to the City or charged against the land concerned as taxes due and owing in respect of that land and Council may sue for and recover the cost of such repair or clearance.
36.5 Nothing in this Section shall or shall be deemed to alter, amend, abrogate or restrict in any way the powers conferred on the City or its officials or servants by the Act and in particular without limiting the generality of the foregoing, Sections 387, 388, 389, 395 and 404 of the Act, but such powers shall continue in full force and effect notwithstanding the enactment of these by-laws.
36.6 (Repealed) (Amended 2006/04/10; #1490)
37.1 The St. John's Maintenance Housing By-Law, passed by the St. John's Municipal Council on the 31st day of October, A.D. 1973 and all amendments thereto, are hereby repealed.