Developed by the City of Toronto
A documented process for filling RGI units outlines the steps that you take to rent a unit to an RGI household. The process starts when you first receive notice from a household that it is moving out, and ends when the lease or occupancy agreement is signed.
It is important to keep all your units occupied so that you do not lose revenue by incurring vacancy loss. You can avoid unnecessary vacancies by developing and adhering to an ongoing marketing strategy for your market units and by developing clear procedures to follow when filling an RGI unit. Keep in mind that you must always follow rules set out in the Housing Services Act (HSA) and City Guideline 2012-1 when selecting a household for an RGI unit.
Detail steps that need to be taken when a unit becomes vacant
- The procedure should tell staff to check the targeting plan to determine if the vacancy will be filled by an RGI or market rent household.
- The procedure should state that all units will be inspected before being vacated. Document the pre-move out inspection and provide a copy of the report to the household.
- Ensure that the unit is cleaned and repaired (if necessary) once vacated so it can be occupied by new household immediately.
- Set time frames for each step in the process. For example, set a time frame for how many days you will give a household to respond to a telephone message about a unit offer.
- Identify who is responsible for each step, and how each step will be done. For many small providers, the Property Manager will perform all the duties related to selection of a household for an RGI unit. However, some larger housing providers may break down the functions among different staff members.(See Sample Process Template)
Some things to include in your procedure for filling RGI units
- The process for offering vacancies first to victims of abuse (SPP) or Overhoused internal transfer households.
- A reference to using the centralized waiting list. You can incorporate the procedures for using Access to Housing (formerly Housing Connections’) online vacancy management system into the procedure, or have it as an addendum
- A reference to the targeting plan and how you stay on target.
- The requirements related to Access Priorities, as per City Guideline 2003-4.
Ensure that staff are following the corporation’s procedure for selecting households for RGI vacancies
- Monitor the “Arrears and Vacancy Report” which your staff prepare and submit to the Social Housing Unit every three months.
- Have “vacancies” as a standing item at every meeting of the Board of Directors
- Ask questions when units are not rented in a timely manner.
Sample Process Template
- Receive notice of vacancy
- Get Unit Ready
- Notify maintenance staff (immediately).
- Send letter to household acknowledging the notice, confirming the move-out date, and booking pre-move-out inspection (as soon as possible).
- Book move-out appointment with household for return of keys, and move-out inspection. (give as much notice as possible).
- Conduct move-out inspection. Receive keys, and have household member(s) sign off on final inspection
Rent Vacancy – Internal Transfer
Compliance with legislation
- Review internal transfer list. If unit is suitable for household on internal transfer list (SPP or Overhoused household) make offer. If there are no eligible internal transfer (SPP/Overhoused) households, offer to another internal transfer household, or make decision to offer to an outside applicant.
- Check Targeting Plan and make decision to offer to market household or RGI.
- If RGI, is it internal or external?
- If decision is to rent to market, see Corporation’s Marketing Policy.
- If decision is to rent to RGI, add vacancy to the Access to Housing (formerly Housing Connections) Vacancy Management System.
- Run the waiting list for the vacancy.
- Select applicant for offer, according to the City’s Local Priority Rules, City Guideline 2003-4.
- Call applicant. If leaving message, give 48 hours* for applicant to return call.
- Match applicant to vacancy so that applicant is removed from subsidiary waiting list(s) while waiting for response.
- Book appointment to show unit, if applicant is interested. Give applicant 48 hours* to view unit.
- If applicant not interested in viewing, or doesn’t return call within 48 hours*, Withdraw or Refuse offer on system. Record reason(s) on the system. Start offer process again.
- For interested applicant, once they have viewed the unit, give them 48 hours (suggested time frame) to make decision. If they decide not to accept, follow Step #9. If they want to accept unit, update system to Verbal Acceptance, and make appointment for leasing interview.
- Make final decision about occupancy date based on unit issues and when the household can move in.
- Sign lease, arrange for applicant to pick up keys, and update Access to Housing (formerly Housing Connections) system to Accepted status.