Property Standards Bylaw sets the standards for all properties in Toronto. All property owners are required to repair and maintain their property including owners of properties that are rented out.

If you have concerns about your rental unit, speak to your landlord or property manager and submit a service request. If this issue is not resolved in a timely manner, contact 311.

Air Conditioning

Chapter 629, Section 38: If a building has air conditioning provided by the landlord, the bylaw requires that landlords turn it on between June 2 and September 14. But, if it is hot outside, landlords can turn it on earlier as long as the building does not go below 21 Celsius. The bylaw also requires building owners to ensure that all supplied facilities (including air conditioning) are constructed, installed, and maintained to function safely and effectively. All air conditioners and other water-cooled equipment must be equipped with proper devices for the prevention of condensation drainage or discharge onto sidewalks, walkways, driveways and entrance areas or other areas used for pedestrian or vehicular traffic.

Washroom/Water Facilities

Chapter 629, Section 37: Every rental unit must have at least one toilet, one wash basin, one kitchen sink and one bathtub or shower.

Doors, Passageways and Exits Maintenance

Chapter 629, Section 28: Doors, passageways and exits must be free from hazardous conditions and obstructions.

Hot Water

Chapter 629, Section 37: There must be an adequate supply of hot water with a temperature ranging from 45 degrees to 60 degrees Celsius.

Pests

Chapter 629, Section 9: All properties have to be kept free of pests, including rodents and insects.

Property Cleanliness

Chapter 629, Section 10 B: All parts of a property, including the yard must be kept clean and free from accumulations of litter, brush or garbage, and any conditions that are health or fire hazards.

Room Size Minimums

Chapter 629, Section 25: Each room must have at least nine square metres of floor area for each person.  Minimum height is 1.95 metres over at least half of the floor area.

Ventilation

Chapter 629, Section 39: There has to be adequate ventilation in all areas of a building.  Every ventilation system or unit must be regularly cleaned, kept in good repair and maintained in good working condition.

Stairs and Handrails

Chapter 629, Section 19A: All stairs, verandas, porches, decks, loading docks, ramps, balconies, fire escapes and other similar structures and all treads, risers, guards, handrails, and supports have to be kept in a safe, clean, sanitary condition and in good repair.

RentSafeTO: Apartment Building Standards is a bylaw enforcement program that ensures apartment building owners comply with building maintenance standards.

The program applies to apartment buildings with three or more storeys and 10 or more units. Condo buildings, townhomes, or units in a private home (basement or main floor apartment) are not part of the RentSafeTO program.

Tenants

If you are a tenant in a RentSafeTO building, learn more about RentSafeTO for tenants.

Landlords

Owners of rental apartment buildings are required to register and comply with the RentSafeTO program. Learn how to register or renew your property with RentSafeTO.

Multi-tenant houses are commonly known as rooming houses. If you are renting a room in a multi-tenant house and experiencing a problem, such as pests, low or no heat, plumbing problems, leaky ceilings, please talk to your landlord first and submit a service request to your landlord. If you get no action from your landlord and problems persist, contact 311 to have the City investigate.

Learn how to make a service request to your landlords or submit a complaint to the City for multi-tenant houses.

If the condo unit is owner-occupied, the City will not investigate a complaint about the condition of that unit. If you are renting an apartment in a condo building and are experiencing a problem, please talk to your landlord first. If the problem is not addressed, you can contact 311 to have the City investigate.

When it comes to co-operative housing, the co-op board and its members are responsible for ensuring that the units are maintained according to the Property Standards bylaw. The City will investigate complaints only about the common areas of a co-op housing.

A co-op building is not considered to be a residential rental accommodation due to the fact that co-op members are deemed to be owners. The Co-operative Housing Federation of Toronto provides more information regarding co-op housing and how members are not considered tenants.

The Vacant or Hazardous Property Bylaw, applies to all vacant buildings and hazardous properties in Toronto. Hazardous properties are unsafe properties those that pose an immediate danger to the health or safety of people. In addition to the requirements of the Property Standards Bylaw, the owner of a vacant property must:

  • Protect the building against risk of fire, accident or danger by preventing the entrance of all unauthorized persons. This may be done through normal locking and securing methods, or by the installation of physical barriers such as plywood or bricks on windows or doors.
  • Ensure that all materials used to secure a vacant building must be compatible in colour to the exterior finish of the building.
  • Disconnect utilities serving the building if the building is vacant for more than 90 days.
  • Designated heritage properties may have exemptions to protect the heritage aspects of the building, including different requirements for securing the building and disconnecting utilities.

Vacant residential buildings may be subject to the Vacant Homes Tax.

By renting out and allowing the general public to use your private residential swimming pool, you may be in violation of provincial regulations and municipal bylaws, such as the City of Toronto’s Zoning Bylaw and Property Standards Bylaw. Learn more about the regulations for renting out your home swimming pool and the enforcement actions that may be taken.

The Property Standards bylaw is about ensuring properties are properly maintained and repaired to protect the health and safety of people living, working or travelling in Toronto.

Residents can contact 311 to submit a complaint about a bylaw violation. If there is a complaint or information about a possible violation, Bylaw Enforcement Officers will review the complaint and if validated, investigate, educate and/or take enforcement actions.

The goal is to resolve issues and ensure that property owners/operators and occupants are following the bylaws. Each issue is addressed on a case-by-case basis to make sure reasonable, fair and appropriate actions are taken. For example, in some cases the issue may be resolved through education. In other cases, further enforcement action is required.

If a property owner/operator or occupant does not comply with the Property Standards Bylaw, they are guilty of an offence. They may be issued an Order to Comply, a set fine or a summons to appear before the Court. If property owners/operators do not comply, the City may carry out maintenance work to ensure compliance. The cost of the work will be added to the property tax bill.

The City began reviewing the Property Standards bylaw in 2019 in response to Council directives, but work was paused during the COVID-19 pandemic as resources needed to be redirected to emergency response and recovery. This work included extensive consultations and outreach through public opinion research, community pop ups, meetings with tenant and landlord associations and advocacy and housing interest groups.

The City is now continuing the review using a phased approach and has completed Phase 1 of the review. Phase 1 has modernized outdated elements of the bylaw and explored priority topics such as:

  • improving and enhancing enforcement of regulations
  • snow clearing on private property
  • vacant and derelict properties
  • dormant development sites
  • surveillance cameras on residential properties
  • standards for elevator repairs
  • right of entry to make repairs or alterations to properties

The Review of Chapter 629 and Other Property Maintenance Regulations staff report was adopted by City Council at its meeting on June 15. Learn more about the council decision.

Phase 2 of the property standards review will address long-term directives and will aim to align regulations with City strategies such as the Resilience Strategy, Biodiversity Strategy and Toronto Green Standard. Please continue to check the webpage for more details, including consultation opportunities.

Stay Informed

Type (don’t copy and paste) your email address into the box below and then click “Subscribe” to receive information related to the City of Toronto’s review of the bylaws governing housing, apartment buildings (RentSafeTO) and property standards.

 

You can unsubscribe at any time.

The personal information on this form is collected under the authority of the City of Toronto Act, 2006. The information is used to allow the City to send you an email to confirm your wish to subscribe to a City of Toronto e-notice. Questions about this collection may be directed to the ListServ Administrator, Strategic Communications Division, City of Toronto, Toronto City Hall, 7th floor, West Tower, Toronto M5H 2N2. Email: webfeedback@toronto.ca. By subscribing to one of the City of Toronto’s e-updates you are providing express consent, as defined by the Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL), to receive email updates from the City of Toronto.