Guest Policy Development Tool
Developed by the City of Toronto
A Guest Policy contains written processes and procedures that govern the temporary accommodation of guests.
The Housing Services Act (HSA) requires housing providers to have a Guest Policy. [See O. Reg. 367/11, s.96 (4)]
- Establish a Guest Policy that outlines the rules governing the temporary accommodation of guests in rent geared-to-income units.
- Provide a copy of your Guest Policy to the City of Toronto.
- Provide a copy of your Guest Policy to tenants.
Although you are not required to establish a Guest Policy for your market rent units it would be good business practice to have a Guest Policy for these units. Don’t forget to ask staff regularly if the guest policy is being followed.
- How long a tenant/member may allow a guest to stay in their unit before they must inform the corporation that they have a guest?
- What must a tenant/member do to inform the corporation that they have a guest living in their unit? Should they phone the property manager, write a letter to the property manager, write a letter to the board of directors, or visit the management office? The City recommends that this communication is always documented.
- If a tenant/member wishes to have a guest stay longer than permitted by your Guest Policy will you allow extensions? If you will, how does a tenant/member apply for an extension? Who is authorized to give an extension? What criteria are used to decide if a tenant/member will get an extension?
Sample guest policies are available from the Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association (ONPHA) and the Co-operative Housing Federation of Toronto (CHFT). You should review these samples to help you develop your own policy.
The policy should be adapted to the specific circumstances of your corporation, and you should ensure that it clearly spells out the specifics of “who” will take the actions in the policy. “Who” does not have to be a person’s name but the policy should be clear on the staff position responsible for a task and give an expected time frame for completion.