If you are behind in your rent, financial supports exist for renters in financial need.

 

Have you already been evicted or have to leave? Find an emergency shelter or get access to subsidized and rent-geared-to-income housing.


Know Your Rights

Tenant Hotline

Answers questions about your rights as a tenant in Toronto. The extensive Frequently Asked Questions may contain the information you want. Counselors can say what the law is but they do not give legal advice. They may make referrals to community or City of Toronto agencies, legal clinics, or other resources.

Service is available in 150 languages through a telephone interpreting service.

Telephone:  416-921-9494
Email:  hotline@torontotenants.org
Hours:  Monday – Friday 8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Landlord and Tenant Board

This is the body that settles disputes between landlords and tenants. It is part of the Ontario government and its services are accessible to everyone. Decisions are made through mediation—where parties can come to a mutually agreeable decision—or a more formal hearing. At a hearing, both sides can provide relevant information and the LTB representative reviews this evidence, the law that applies, and makes a decision. Tenant duty counsel (lawyers and community legal workers) are normally available to support qualifying tenants appearing at an eviction hearing.

The LTB also resolves eviction applications from co-ops.

An important role for the LTB is to provide information to landlord and to tenants about their rights and responsibilities under the Residential Tenancies Act.

Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. you can call and speak with a customer service officer who can give you information about the law and the processes at the LTB. They cannot provide legal advice. An automated information menu is available at all hours.

Toll-free 1-888-332-3234
Toronto 416-645-8080
TTY Bell Relay service 1-800-268-9242
www.sjto.gov.on.ca/ltb/

If you are living in a subsidized/RGI unit, you must inform your housing provider about changes to your situation that might affect your subsidy. These include:

  • change in income
  • change in assets
  • change in who lives with you
  • change in family status
  • change in citizenship/immigration status
  • absence from your unit, or
  • any other change that might affect your subsidy or housing eligibility.

You also must complete an Annual Review of your income and assets to maintain your eligibility.

If a household does not meet RGI requirements, the household could lose their RGI assistance.  If you receive a Notice of Decision, Loss of Eligibility for RGI Assistance contact your housing provider right away. You may be able to resolve the issue before the effective date (the day your rent will change to market rent). If you can resolve the issue your housing provider will send you a notice that your RGI assistance has been restored.

When you get a Notice of Decision, Loss of Eligibility for RGI Assistance you can request a review of the decision. If you live in a non-profit or co-operative and have not been able to work things out with your housing provider, send the Request for Review form to the City within 30 calendar days. Your housing provider must include the Request for Review Form with their notice.

If your building is subject to a development application here is what you need to know

The development process can take years. Some property owners encourage tenants to leave early. You don’t have to move immediately and you are entitled to compensation. You also have a right to return when the new development opens at a similar rent.

Tenants are entitled to:

  • A minimum of 4 months’ notice to leave
  • Alternative housing or a minimum of 3 months’ rent
  • Return to a similar unit at a similar rent
  • A moving allowance
  • Additional compensation to address the hardship of moving

If you have questions about the development or planning process call 311.

If you want to know more about your rights as a tenant, call the Tenant Hotline at 416-921-9494.

If you would like help to find housing when you are ready to move, contact one of the Housing Help Centres or call 211 for information about other services in your community.

Have you experienced housing discrimination? The Centre for Equality Rights in Accommodation (CERA) can help. CERA is a not-for-profit organization that provides assistance and support to individuals who are experiencing housing issues related to eviction and human rights.

If you have experienced discrimination related to your housing or you are facing eviction, call CERA at the number below or email at intake@equalityrights.org.

Centre for Equality Rights in Accommodation
416-944-0087
Toll free 1-800-263-1139
215 Spadina Ave Ste 164
intake@equalityrights.org
equalityrights.org/cera

If you have a concern about maintenance in your apartment or in the common areas of your building, visit RentSafeTO for Tenants to learn about what to do.

The City of Toronto has noise standards and regulations in place to prevent unwanted noise that may disturb the peace, rest and enjoyment of Toronto residents. For example, construction noise outside of permitted days and times, a barking dog or loud music may fall under the Chapter 591, Noise bylaw.

If you need to make a complaint about a noise disturbance in your area, you can contact 311 by dialing 3-1-1 or email 311@toronto.ca. If the noise is due to construction, you can also fill out an online form to submit your complaint.

Other complaints

For other complaints regarding property issues such as infestation by insects/pests, graffiti, long grass/weeds or property misuse, you can contact 311 or fill out a service request online. If you are a tenant at the property you are filing a complaint about, you should speak to your landlord or property manager first and allow reasonable time for them to fix the problem before reporting it to 311.

Bed bugs are small, oval insects that feed on human blood. If you have bed bugs you may notice bites on your body, especially your arms and back. The bites may be itchy but bed bugs do not spread disease. You may also notice blood stains and reddish brown or black spots (waste matter) on your bed sheets or bed bug eggs or eggshells. If you aren’t sure if you have bed bugs, call Toronto Public Health at 311.

If you find them:

  • Contact your landlord immediately and ask for your unit to be treated
  • Your landlord is responsible for treating your unit
  • You are responsible for preparing your unit for the treatment
  • If you need extra help with preparing your unit and don’t know what to do, call Toronto Public Health

Monitor for bed bugs regularly. Use a flashlight to see into cracks and corners. Check:

  • The creases and folds of mattresses and box springs
  • At the joints in bed frames or head boards
  • In and under upholstered furniture and rugs
  • In curtains
  • In drawers and closets
  • The casings of doors of windows
  • Behind baseboards and electrical plates
  • Behind peeling wallpaper or loose plaster
  • In electronics such as clock radios and computers

How to prevent bed bugs:

  • Keep your unit free of clutter (if you are vulnerable and need help with this, contact TPH)
  • Make sure you inspect any items you bring home
  • Be aware that furniture put out for removal may be infested with bugs. Think twice before bringing it home
  • Use bed bug proof covers for your mattress, box spring and pillows
  • Remove bed skirts and make sure bed sheets do not touch the floor

If you have bed bugs:

  • Vacuum your bed, furniture and carpet daily and empty the vacuum immediately
  • Wash linens and dry in a hot dryer for at least 20 minutes to kill the bugs
  • Remove clutter
  • You will be asked to prepare for spraying by removing items from dressers, closets and cupboards and moving furniture away from the walls
  • If you are not able to manage this physically, and don’t have anyone who can help you, contact Toronto Public Health.

What your rights and responsibilities are:

  • You cannot be evicted for reporting bed bugs
  • The landlord is responsible for the cost of the treatment
  • Landlords have a right to enter units to inspect and maintain them
  • Tenants must be given notice 24 hours in advance and can only enter units between  8 am and 8 pm for bed bug treatment
  • You are responsible for cooperating with the landlord to treat the unit and preparing your unit
  • Tenants who receive Ontario Works or Ontario Disability Support Program should talk to their worker about possible supports
  • If you are unable to prepare your unit, and don’t have anyone who can help you, contact Toronto Public Health

For more information contact:
Toronto Public Health
Toronto Health Connection
416-338-7600
toronto.ca/health

  • Calls may be forwarded to a Public Health Inspector for follow up

Resolving Conflicts outside of the Courts

If you are experiencing a disagreement or problem with a neighbor or landlord, there are alternatives to legal action or a Landlord and Tenant Board hearing. Most housing help centres offer an informal mediation service, or you can contact one of the agencies below who offer free and confidential community mediation and conflict resolution services.

St. Stephen’s Community House
Community Mediation Services

Serves Mississauga to the west, Steeles Avenue to the north, Victoria Park Avenue to the east and south to Lake Ontario.
Call the downtown number if you live outside of this area for information about local service providers

416-925-2103 ext 1229 (Downtown and Etobicoke)
416-663-2733 ext 255 (North York and Rexdale)

Warden Woods Community Centre
Scarborough Conflict Resolution Services

Serves all of Scarborough
416-694-1138 ext 127
(Toronto):  416-645-8080
100 Consilium Pl Ste 200
wardenwoods.com

Taking Legal Action

Landlord and Tenant Board

This is the body that settles disputes between landlords and tenants. It is part of the Ontario government and its services are accessible to everyone. Decisions are made through mediation—where parties can come to a mutually agreeable decision—or a more formal hearing. At a hearing, both sides can provide relevant information and the LTB representative reviews this evidence, the law that applies, and makes a decision. Tenant duty counsel (lawyers and community legal workers) are normally available to support qualifying tenants appearing at an eviction hearing.

The LTB also resolves eviction applications from co-ops.

An important role for the LTB is to provide information to landlord and to tenants about their rights and responsibilities under the Residential Tenancies Act.

Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. you can call and speak with a customer service officer who can give you information about the law and the processes at the LTB. They cannot provide legal advice. An automated information menu is available at all hours.

Toll-free 1-888-332-3234
Toronto 416-645-8080
TTY Bell Relay service 1-800-268-9242
www.sjto.gov.on.ca/ltb/

Legal Services for Tenants

These services offer free legal advice to low income tenants. If you do not have legal representation on the day of your hearing at the Landlord Tenant Board, you can ask for assistance from the Tenant Duty Counsel Program.