Register for the Multi-Tenant Houses Licence Application portal.

As of March 31, 2024, all multi-tenant (rooming) house operators require a licence. Multi-tenant houses are permitted across all of Toronto and a new Multi-Tenant Houses Licensing Bylaw has introduced consistent standards and regulatory oversight to protect the safety of tenants and respond to neighbourhood concerns. City staff will provide ongoing guidance to operators and sufficient time for them to come into compliance with the new rules. The City will not seek to close existing multi-tenant houses unless an immediate health and safety risk is identified.

Multi-Tenant House Definitions

As per the City’s bylaw:

  • A multi-tenant (rooming) house is a building with four or more rooms, inhabited or intended to be inhabited by people who do not live together as a single housekeeping unit.
  • A multi-tenant house room is a room that is used or intended to be used for living accommodation; is available for rent; and may include a bathroom or kitchen facility but does not include both.
  • A multi-tenant house operator is a person who owns and/or is responsible for operating a multi-tenant house.

Under the Ontario Fire Code, a rooming house has more than four occupants and in these cases the operator must submit a Fire Safety Plan (in addition to other documents required for a licence) to the City.

Situations Not Applicable Under Bylaw

The following are not multi-tenant houses under the bylaw:

  • Shelters and short-term emergency accommodations operated by or on behalf of the City of Toronto or a City agency
  • Student housing operated by a college or university
  • Student housing owned or leased by a non-profit organization or non-share corporation providing housing accommodation on a co-operative basis
  • A student fraternity or sorority house inhabited by students who are members of an active chapter of a bona fide national or international student fraternity or sorority
  • Residential premises licensed by the Government of Canada or Government of Ontario
  • Hotels or motels

    Including Meals & Personal Care (Type B Licence)

    Personal care multi-tenant houses are where meals and services are provided to residents to care for their personal needs and health. Personal care multi-tenant houses must meet additional operating requirements and occupancy standards, such as staffing, meal plans, sanitary conditions, prescription management and more.

    Find out more about personal care requirements in the Operator’s Guide.

    Download the Multi-Tenant (Rooming) Houses: Operator’s Guide for more information on operating requirements, property standards and occupancy standards.

    Multi-tenant houses must be operated according to the Multi-Tenant Houses Bylaw. Operators must comply with enhanced licensing requirements that promote health and safety and new standards for personal care multi-tenant houses. Under the new rules, all operators need a licence and are required to develop property maintenance plans, including processes for tenant service requests, pest management and waste management and collection, to help improve property maintenance standards and ensure that tenant requests are addressed in a timely fashion. Operators also need to comply with the Ontario Building CodeOntario Fire Code and Ontario Electrical Safety Code and continue to meet their obligations to tenants under the Residential Tenancies Act.

    You must:

    • Designate an emergency contact who will be contacted in emergencies or with any inquiries about the operation of the multi-tenant house.
    • Post information for tenants at the entrance of the multi-tenant house, including (but not limited to):
      • The multi-tenant house licence
      • The name and contact details of the owner and agent
      • The fire safety plan and
      • Details of any conditions on which the licence was granted.
    • Allow inspections to ensure compliance with applicable bylaws and legislation.
    • Allow the City to provide notices to tenants.
    • Maintain the multi-tenant house in accordance with all applicable bylaws and legislation.
    • Notify the City of any change in ownership or any change in the contact information of the owner and agent.

    In addition to requirements established by the City, operators are reminded they must continue to comply with all their obligations as outlined in the Residential Tenancies Act. Find more information about landlord & operator responsibilities.

    Penalties and offences

    If you do not comply with the bylaw, you are guilty of an offence and, on conviction, may be fined up to a maximum of $100,000. Violations of other bylaws or legislation may also result in different offences and penalties.

    Licence Types

    There are two types of licences for multi-tenant house operators:

    • Multi-tenant house (Type A)
    • Personal care multi-tenant house (Type B)

    Requirements for All Operators

    All operators must provide details about the multi-tenant house and submit the following:

    • Occupancy Permit (only required for new operators and for existing operators if property has changed)
    • Property Plan
    • Fire Safety Plan Approval Letter (only required for new operators with more than four tenants and for existing operators if occupancy has changed)
    • Floor Plan
    • Waste Management Plan
    • Pest Management Plan
    • Indoor/Outdoor Property Management Plan
    • Tenant Service Request

    Additional Requirements for Type B

    In addition to the above, operators applying for a Type B (personal care) licence must also submit:

    • Personal Care Plan
    • Safety Plan
    • Proof of Age
    • Proof of Education
    • Employment Experience
    • Vulnerable Sector Screening

    Designated Person-in-Charge applying for a Type B (personal care) licence must submit:

    • Proof of CPR and First-Aid Training
    • Proof of Age
    • Proof of Education
    • Employment Experience
    • Vulnerable Sector Screening


    Before you can apply for a multi-tenant house licence, as a new operator you will need to undergo a zoning review to show that the property meets the requirements below. If the property complies with zoning requirements, you will get a Zoning Applicable Law Certificate. If the property does not comply, for example if you exceed the maximum number of rooms allowed, you may have to obtain the approval of the Committee of Adjustment for a minor variance.

    • Multi-tenant houses will be permitted in all areas of Toronto zoned for residential uses.
    • Multi-tenant houses with six rooms or fewer will be allowed in all neighbourhoods.
    • Multi-tenant houses must have a minimum of one bathroom for every four rooms.
    • Minimum parking requirements for multi-tenant houses depend on location:
      • No parking spaces are required in former Toronto or the Zoning Bylaw’s parking policy areas.
      • In all other areas, they must have a minimum of one parking space for every three rooms, rounded down.
    • Depending on the location, multi-tenant houses may have up to 12 or 25 rooms.
      • In Etobicoke, North York, and Scarborough, a maximum of six rooms is allowed in all zones.
      • In Toronto, East York and York, a maximum of 6, 12 or 25 rooms is permitted depending on the location and zone type.

    Building Code

    Once you have received an approved Zoning Certificate, you may need to apply online for a Building Permit. A building permit is also required when changing the use of a building (e.g., single dwelling unit house to multi-dwelling unit house); even if no construction is proposed.

    A building permit is required for the construction and/or demolition of a new building, an addition, or material alteration of any building or structure.

    Fire Safety Plan

    Under the Ontario Fire Code, if a multi-tenant house has more than four tenants, the operator must submit a Fire Safety Plan to the City at Once the plan is approved, Toronto Fire Services will inspect the property.

    Licence Fees:

    • Application/renewal fee $25 per room and per application
    • Inspection fee $150 per house

    *Toronto Community Housing and other non-profit social housing providers are exempt from fees.

    Inspections & Licence Issuance

    Once the licence application and licence fee payment are received, the City will conduct inspections of the multi-tenant house. If all criteria are met, your licence will be issued. If one or more clearances are not met, the City will inform the operator via written notice and may refer your application to the Multi-Tenant House Licensing Tribunal.

    Note: If you decide you no longer want to operate your multi-tenant house, you will need to take a series of steps to notify the City and your tenants to minimize the impact.

    Preparing Operator Licence Application

    Register Through Multi-Tenant Houses Licence Application Portal

    Register your intent to apply.

    Zoning Review

    Ensure the house meets zoning requirements. If required, zoning adjustments may be made through the Committee of Adjustments.

    Obtain Building Permit

    A building permit is required when changing a single dwelling unit house to multi-dwelling unit house; even if no construction is proposed. Toronto Building will schedule an inspection.

    Submit Fire Safety Plan (if occupancy of more than four people)

    Fire Services will schedule an inspection.

    Submitting Operator Licence Application

    Apply Through Portal

    Login to portal. If required, payment should be submitted with application.

    Building Inspections

    Will be scheduled with Municipal Licensing & Services (and Fire Services if occupancy of more than four).

    Licence Issued

    Download the Multi-Tenant (Rooming) Houses: Operator’s Guide for more information on how to apply.

    Licences must be renewed annually. A renewal notice will be sent to you about three months in advance of the renewal date. The licence renewal application follows the same process as an initial application.

    A licence can be refused, revoked or suspended if an owner:

    • Fails to comply with the bylaws or applicable law
    • Denies the City’s entry and inspections
    • Fails to manage the property with proper management, honesty and integrity or in accordance with the conditions attached to their licence
    • Does not pay renewal fees 90 days after the renewal date

    The Multi-Tenant House Licensing Tribunal is an independent quasi-judicial body consisting of locally appointed members who will make decisions about multi-tenant house applications and licences that are appealed or referred to the Tribunal.

    The Tribunal has the authority to:

    • Uphold a refusal or recommendation
    • Issue (with or without conditions), refuse, suspend or revoke a licence
    • Add conditions to a licence

    The Tribunal does not address issues between landlords and tenants. Issues between multi-tenant house landlords and tenants may be referred to the Landlord-Tenant Board.

    Find out more about filing an appealhearings and the Tribunal.