RentSafeTO is modernizing and improving the evaluation process for apartment buildings. The redesign will create a more comprehensive tool that will prioritize issues that have a greater impact on the health and safety of tenants as well as ensure ongoing violations and issues of non-compliance factor into a building’s evaluation score.
Bylaw enforcement officers conduct building evaluations using a tool to measure how well a building complies with bylaws and to calculate scores for all registered buildings. Evaluation scores are posted on the RentSafeTO interactive web page and the results determine next steps for the City to action.
Currently, all buildings registered with RentSafeTO are evaluated at least once every three years to identify issues and bring apartment buildings into compliance with City bylaws. Starting in 2023, buildings will now be evaluated every two years to ensure that they are measured consistently and evaluated at the same frequency. This will help to simplify the scheduling of building evaluations, better allocate staff resources, and improve service delivery.
|New (2023 to 2025)
|Rating scale 1 to 5
|Rating Scale 1 to 3
|New weighting based on health and safety risks. Each category to be rated as High (3%), Moderate (2%) or Cosmetic (0.5%)
|If the RentSafe score is:
|Buildings will now be evaluated every two years
|All buildings that score 50% or below
|All buildings that score within the bottom 2.5 %
|In-suite violations not factored into the buildings score
|Active violations will reduce the building evaluation score
At its meeting in December 2020, City Council directed staff to improve the evaluation tool and criteria for building evaluations. In 2022, staff began working on the redesign. The changes will prioritize issues that have a greater impact on the health and safety of tenants as well as ensure ongoing violations and issues of non-compliance factor into a building’s evaluation score. The updated evaluation tool has been applied to a pilot sample of RentSafeTO buildings to test its impact and inform the final design. The new tool will be phased in for building evaluations over the next two years with full implementation expected in 2025.
The City has been engaging with various stakeholders to understand their lived experiences and provide buy-in. To inform of the redesign, staff hosted stakeholder engagement sessions in 2022 and 2023 with tenants, social housing providers, tenant advocates, the Tenant Advisory Committee, building owners/operators, City staff and councillors.
In 2023, staff will deliver a report to the Planning & Housing Committee and City Council, which will include an update on the program and outstanding directives, and additional details on the ongoing improvements to the evaluation tool.
Tenants who have issues with their apartments, should speak with their landlord first. If problems persist, a service request can be submitted to 311 to initiate an investigation by the RentSafeTO team. More information and resources is available on the Tenant and Landlord Rights and Responsibilities webpage.
If you submit a complaint (service request) to the City through 311, you can check the status using the reference number provided to you. Enter your reference number in the Status Tracking box at the bottom of the toronto.ca and click “GO.”
You can also check the history of bylaw violations at an address.
Information about the evaluation process and inspection criteria is available on the Get to Know Your Building Score webpage.
Starting on June 1, 2023, the RentSafeTO team will begin evaluating apartment buildings every two years using the revised evaluation tool. All apartment buildings registered with the program will receive an evaluation and a new score within the next two years. Buildings have been systematically selected for evaluation – this means that if your building is selected, you will still be required to complete a building evaluation this year, even if your building was evaluated last year.
Evaluation scores are available on the RentSafeTO interactive webpage.
Building information for properties registered with RentSafeTO including building evaluation data and investigation activity can also be found on the City’s Open Data portal.
The City does not share personal details of individual complaints made by members of the public.
Buildings that score in the bottom 2.5% will be required to undergo an audit. Learn more about the evaluation and audit process.
Reactive data includes any confirmed Notices of Violation, Orders to Comply or Emergency Orders. Proactive data is based on the scores of the 50 categories used when evaluating a building.
Make sure you are familiar with the bylaws that govern the RentSafeTO program. The Building Owner’s Handbook provides information about bylaw standards and how your building should be maintained.
You are also required to address tenant complaints and comply with any Orders or Notices of Violation issued to your building.
The focus of the RentSafeTO program is to bring building owners and operators into compliance, using progressive enforcement action if compliance is not achieved. Officers may issue a Notice of Violation and/or an Order to Comply to notify a building owner and/or operator that they must correct any property violations.
Ongoing violations and issues of non-compliance will be factored into a building’s evaluation score.
If an immediate health and safety risk or high priority risk is identified, an order will be issued, and the related evaluation category will receive a rating of one.
The Order or NoV will still reduce the score. If the Order or NoV receives an extension, or if Order or NoV is overturned the reduction to the score will be removed.
The changes to the evaluation tool are meant to enhance the ways in which the program brings building owners and operators into compliance. It is the goal of the program to improve how buildings are pro-actively maintained, and how owners and operators address complaints. With regards to timelines, the time for a service request to be resolved depends on a number of factors, including the nature of the request.
A two-year evaluation cycle will ensure that buildings are measured consistently and evaluated at the same frequency. Being able to plan for and conduct the same number of evaluations each year will help simplify the scheduling of building evaluations, better allocate staff resources, and improve service delivery.
Targeted tenant engagement means that Bylaw Enforcement Officers will inspect any buildings whose score has dropped by 5 per cent for two consecutive months. Staff will attend the building, set up an information kiosk, go door to door, and talk with tenants and ask them if they have any in-suite issues/complaints.
You can take the survey to provide your comments and feedback on the revised evaluation tool.
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