Landlords are responsible for ensuring safe and well-maintained multi-tenant (rooming) houses, including maintaining standards to respond to tenant service requests, implementing property management plans, and mitigating the impact of waste and pests by establishing clear processes and responsibilities.

Landlords who operate a multi-tenant house are required to have a City licence. To protect renters and preserve affordable housing, the City will work collaboratively with landlords to bring them into the new licensing regulatory framework.

All landlords in Ontario, including those who operate a multi-tenant house, are required to comply with their obligations under the Residential Tenancies Act.

Operators must have a tenant service request plan, that includes at a minimum, that they will:

  • Respond to all non-urgent service requests within seven days.
  • Respond to all urgent service requests within 24 hours. Urgent requests can include fuel, electricity, gas, heat, cold or hot water issues.
  • Receive and record tenant service requests and details of the operator’s responding action.

If you are renting a room in a multi-tenant house and experiencing a problem, please talk to your landlord first and submit a 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 submit a service request to your landlord or a complaint to the City.

Landlords must have an indoor property management plan that includes information on the cleaning of multi-tenant house rooms or dwelling units and common areas (including bathrooms, kitchens and hallways).

Landlords must have an outdoor property management plan on how they will:

  • Remove snow
  • Maintain yards
  • Maintain fences
  • Clean and maintain balconies, porches and patios
  • Clean windows

Landlords must have a pest management plan that includes that the landlord will:

  • Inspect the property for the presence of pests in common areas at least once every 30 days; and any area within 72 hours of any information indicating the presence of pests.
  • Hire a licensed pest management operator or exterminator to conduct all pest extermination activity.
  • If the operator is aware of the presence of pests at the property, they will take adequate measures to prevent the spread of pests into other portions of the property and eliminate or exterminate the pests in all areas where the presence of the pests is detected.

The landlord must have a waste management plan that includes information on how they will follow the City’s garbage, recycling and organics storage and disposal requirements and mandatory waste diversion requirements.

Landlords must maintain a notice board for tenants within the building, and the notice board must include, but is not limited to:

  • A copy of their licence
  • Most up-to-date property, pest management, and waste management plans
  • Emergency contact information
  • City-issued notices

If a landlord chooses to end the operation of their multi-tenant house, they must notify the City by submitting a transition plan at least 210 days (approximately seven months) in advance, of ending operations. They must notify each tenant in writing, at least 180 days (approximately six months) in advance of the operation’s end date.

If a tenant requests, an operator is required to take reasonable steps to find appropriate alternate accommodation. This can include a list of websites with rental market listings or related agencies that offer alternate accommodation and is intended as a support measure for tenants. The City will be looking for operators to demonstrate that they are taking steps to assist tenants who request help.

In ending operations, a landlord must still comply with rules related to tenant rights in the Residential Tenancies Act.

A landlord cannot end operations or evict a tenant simply because the landlord plans to sell the property. A tenancy may only be terminated based on one of the grounds of eviction set out in the Residential Tenancies Act.