RentSafeTO works to ensure that owners and operators of apartment buildings meet building maintenance standards through initiatives like evaluations. Use this interactive map to look up the evaluation results of buildings across Toronto.
Building owners/operators are required to post the location on the property that tenants can use to keep cool and the closest publicly accessible air-conditioned location on the Tenant Notification Board. Find cool spaces near you.

RentSafeTO: Apartment Building Standards is a bylaw enforcement program ensuring that building owners and operators comply with building maintenance standards. As part of the program, bylaw enforcement officers conduct building evaluations, audits and investigate complaints submitted to 311, so that Toronto residents living in rental buildings have clean, safe and secure homes.

If you own one or more rental apartment buildings with three or more storeys and 10 or more units, you are required to register and renew annually to comply with the program. See Interpretation Bulletin: Apartment Building Definition.

During registration, building owners and/or operators are required to provide an email address that will be used to provide written communication and notices related to the property. This information must be kept up-to-date. Learn more about RentSafeTO registration and renewal.

Download the Building Owner Handbook for an overview of the bylaw and summary of key regulations. The handbook was last updated on May 2022.

Read the 2021 RentSafeTO Year in Review and Infographic to learn more about the advancements in the program since 2017, including key performance data on building evaluations and audits, service requests, investigation and enforcement action.

Program Details

You must develop a process for receiving and tracking tenant requests for repairs and other issues, such as graffiti, long grass and weeds, litter and garbage, etc.

Requirements for Building Owners

  • Keep records of requests and the responses for 24 months, and show them to City staff if requested
  • Respond to urgent requests within 24 hours. Requests are urgent if they are related to the disruption of the following vital services:
    • hydro (electricity)
    • gas
    • heat
    • water
    • breach of building security
    • problems with the outside of the building
  • Respond to non-urgent requests within seven days
  • A record should be created for each request and must include:
    • date and time of service request
    • location of issue (including unit number)
    • nature of issue
    • tenant name and contact information
    • determination of whether it is an urgent or non-urgent request
    • details of response and action taken by building owner
  • You must be able to provide a copy of the information collected from the tenant
  • You must keep copies of all responses made by the owner or operator in relation to the service request

Example of an urgent service request:

At 8 a.m., a tenant notices that the lock on their door is broken. The tenant fills out a service request form. This will be an urgent request based on the safety and security of the unit. The landlord communicates with the tenant that this will be fixed by 12 noon on the same day as it is an urgent matter. The landlord also provides a copy of the service request form and response to the tenant, and keeps a copy for his/her records.

Indoor Temperature

Landlords are responsible for providing heat to a minimum air temperature of 21 degrees Celsius from September 15 to June 1.

Please use your judgement. If outdoor weather raises or is expected to raise the temperature of apartment units above 21 degrees Celsius, you can turn the heat off.

Learn about the heat bylaw and heating in your building during the “shoulder seasons” (May 1 – June 1 and September 15 – October 15).

As an owner or landlord of a residential building, you play an important role in protecting tenants from extreme heat. You can help protect your tenants and prevent heat-related illness by creating a hot weather plan.

Under the Apartment Buildings Bylaw, you are also required to post information on air-conditioned locations that are accessible to tenants. See more under the “Tenant Notification Board” tab.

Air Conditioning

If a building has air conditioning provided by the landlord, the Property Standards bylaw requires that landlords turn it on between June 2 and September 14. But, if it is hot outside, landlords can turn it on earlier and keep it on longer, as long as the temperature does not go below 21 Celsius.

The Property Standards bylaw also requires building owners to ensure that all supplied facilities (including window air conditioning) are installed and maintained in a safe way.

Window Air Conditioning

City of Toronto bylaws do not prohibit window air conditioning units in apartment buildings.

Under the Property Standards Bylaw, landlords are responsible for ensuring window air conditioning units are installed and maintained to function safely and effectively. If the City determines that a window air conditioning unit may be unsafe, it may require the landlord to prove that a qualified tradesperson has installed, or confirmed proper installation and maintenance of, the window air conditioning unit. The City considers qualified tradespersons to be members certified under Ontario College of Trades and a City of Toronto business licence where required, or an accredited professional.

There are no City bylaw provisions requiring this proof from tenants or allowing landlords to require this proof from tenants. However, the terms of the lease agreement between the landlord (apartment building owner) and tenant may include requirements concerning air conditioning in the rental unit. Landlords and tenants may want to seek legal advice and information on how the Residential Tenancies Act applies.

Download the frequently asked questions on window air conditioning in apartment buildings.

Contractors for Maintenance

When servicing certain systems in your building, you must use tradespeople that are members in good standing of the Ontario College of Trades (OCOT).

There are 23 trades where certification and OCOT membership are legally required. Visit the Ontario College of Trades public register to find out if your tradesperson is certified and information about compulsory trades.

Compulsory trades include:

  • electricians
  • plumbers
  • air conditioning and heating systems mechanics
  • sprinkler and fire protection installers
  • boiler mechanics

You must keep logs of service and maintenance conducted on:

  • fuel burning appliances, such as furnaces and boilers
  • heating systems
  • cooling systems
  • ventilation systems and plumbing systems
  • electrical systems

The log must include:

  • the date and nature of service
  • the name of the certified tradesperson who performed the work

You must develop and maintain a State of Good Repair (Capital) Plan using the City of Toronto’s State of Good Repair (Capital) Plan template. A plan must be created for each of your apartment buildings.

Plans should include a five year forecast of  major building repairs. Details should include when “the element” is expected to be replaced or updated.

Capital elements include, but are not limited to:

  • roof
  • elevators
  • building façade
  • windows
  • mechanical systems, including heat, air conditioning
  • underground garage
  • interior flooring
  • interior wall finishes (plaster, drywall, stucco, etc.)
  • balcony guards
  • guardrails
  • handrails in stairwells

You must provide a copy of the Capital Plan to tenants within 60 days of receiving a request for a copy.

You are required to develop an electrical maintenance plan with a licensed electrical contractor. Tips on how to create a plan can be found on the ESA (Electrical Safety Authority) website.

You must maintain any information and records to show that you have complied with the plan, and have them available when requested.

You must develop and implement a cleaning plan and keep records of cleaning activity to ensure buildings are clean and safe. Post a copy of this plan on the tenant notification board.

You are required to inspect all common areas daily for cleanliness.

Cleaning Plan Requirements

The plan must list all common areas and how often they will be cleaned, including:

  • garbage storage area
  • walls
  • floors
  • laundry room
  • washrooms
  • items or equipment in these common areas, such as counters, washers and dryers, garbage chutes, sinks and toilets, etc

In an emergency situation (e.g. chemical spill, biohazard waste or any situation that would make the common areas dirty), you must state how and when the emergency will be resolved and keep a copy for your records. Include:

  • the process and details of how the common area will be cleaned up
  • how many hours it will take to clean up

Keep a copy of the cleaning plan and have it available for inspection upon request.

You are required to take timely actions to remove pests, such as rodents, vermin, insects and bedbugs, from your building.

Pest Inspection Requirements

  • All common areas (inside and outside) must be inspected at least once every 30 days
  • If a complaint is received about pests, the area must be inspected within 72 hours

If pests are found:

  • You must hire a pest management operator licensed by the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks
  • Take action to:
    • prevent the spread of the pests into other portions of the property
    • exterminate the pests in all areas where the presence of the pests is detected
  • Do not hide the presence of pests
  • You cannot rent to a new tenant if you are aware of pests in the rental unit
  • Pest inspection and treatment records must be made available to tenants and prospective tenants, upon request
  • Post a copy of the pest management plan on the tenant notification board including:
    • documentation of pest control services and schedule
    • service standards and product
    • information related to pest control activity

Create a plan for your building and maintain any information and records necessary to show that you are following that plan. Learn more about waste collection for multi-unit dwellings.

Waste Management

The plan should include the information on how you intend to follow the City’s garbage, recycling and organics storage and disposal requirements. These requirements are outlined in the Apartment Standards Bylaw, the Property Standards Bylaw and mandatory waste diversion requirements.

Waste Diversion

You are required to:

  • Post information on garbage, recycling and, if applicable, organics diversion, such as accepted items and location of collection bins, on the tenant notification board
  • Download and post posters and stickers to clearly identify the correct place to deposit garbage, recycling and, if applicable, organic materials

If your building receives the City’s garbage, Blue Bin recycling and Green Bin organics collection services, contact 311 to order print resources to help promote reduction, reuse and waste diversion programs.

You must create and maintain the following records/logs for two years (24 months):

  • Information regarding tenant service requests and responses
  • Log of scheduled and unscheduled waste management activities, including the date and location
  • Log of scheduled and unscheduled pest inspections, including:
    • date and location of proactive and reactive inspections
    • name of pest management operator
    • inspection results
    • recommended treatment, if any
  • Log of all pest treatment activities, including:
    • date and location of treatment
    • name of pest management operator
    • nature of the treatment
  • Log of service and maintenance of appliances that burn fuel, such as hot water furnaces or boilers, and heating, cooling, ventilation and plumbing systems including:
    • date and nature of service
    • name of licensed contractor
  • Log of service and maintenance conducted on building electrical systems including:
    • date and nature of service
    • name of certified tradesperson, agent or Licenced Electrical Contractor
  • Log of scheduled and unscheduled cleaning activities, including:
    • the nature of the activity
    • the date and location where it occurred
  • Information regarding the following fire safety elements:
    • approved fire safety plan
    • annual fire alarm and voice communication system test records
    • annual sprinkler test records (if applicable)
    • emergency power supply test records
    • annual fire pump flow test records for elevators
  • If you have questions regarding fire safety elements, contact 311 to speak to Toronto Fire Services

In order to keep tenants up-to-date, a notification board must be posted in a central location within the building. See Tenant Notification Board Interpretation Bulletin.

A sample Tenant Notification Board is available to illustrate the information that must be posted. This is not a mandatory layout but an example that can be customized.

RentSafeTO Program Information

You must post information on the RentSafeTO program and inform tenants that they can contact the RentSafeTO team by calling 311. Download the RentSafeTO: Apartment Building Standards Program brochure for your tenants.

Building Evaluation Result

You need to post copies of the most recent building evaluation result received from the City on the tenant notification board. You can print a copy of the most recent evaluation letter through the RentSafeTO Online Portal. You can also view and print the evaluation results from this interactive webpage.

Planned or Unplanned Service Disruptions

This includes heat, water, security systems, electricity, and elevators. Details must include: what is out of service, how long it will be out of service, and which units are affected.

Emergency Contact Information

The Property Standards Bylaw requires you to post a sign with emergency contact information. If the contact information changes, the sign must be updated within one week of the change.

Signs must

  • display the name, address and phone number of the owner, manager, or other person who is available 24 hours and responsible for the property
  • feature lettering that is at least 12.7 millimetres high
  • include a phone number provided that does not have a charge back fee.

You may create your own emergency contact information sign, or download, fill-in and print this Emergency Contact Information template.

Nearest Cooling Location

You must post the following:

  • the location of an air-conditioned place (cooling room) in the building and other locations on the property (i.e. a shaded area) that may offer relief from uncomfortably warm indoor temperatures, if accessible to all tenants
  • the name, address and map to the nearest location of a publicly accessible air-conditioned place (i.e. a community centre, shopping mall, library, etc.)

The following resources have been created to help with this requirement:

Information on cooling locations in the City are subject to change so ensure that the information is up-to-date before posting.

The City’s Heat Relief Network has more than 300 locations to help residents stay cool during the summer and during Heat Warnings. This includes locations such as libraries, community centres, pools/wading pools/splash pads, civic centres, drop-ins and several private and non-profit organizations, including some shopping malls and YMCA locations. An interactive map is available to help people find a Heat Relief Network location near them.

Upcoming Building Audit Dates

The City of Toronto will notify the building owner of any upcoming building audits. This information must be posted on the tenant notification board at least 30 days prior to the audit date.

Major Capital Projects

Information on major capital projects must include: name of the project, how long it will take, and which units are affected.

Capital elements include but are not limited to: roof, elevators, façade, windows, mechanical systems, underground garage, interior flooring, interior wall finish, balcony guards, and handrails.

Pest Inspections and Treatments

Post details of any pest treatment activities, including:

  • date of the treatment
  • name of the licensed pest management operator doing the treatment
  • type of the treatment
  • pest management plans, including
    • documentation of pest control services and schedule
    • service standards and product
    • information related to pest control activity.

Cleaning Plan

The cleaning plan is a list of all common areas (such as the garbage and recycling storage area, walls, floors, and laundry room etc.) in the building and how often the areas will be cleaned.

City-issued Notices and Orders

A copy of any notice and order issued by the City for common areas of the buildings such as property standards, graffiti, or waste must be posted on the tenant notification board.

Post information related to any violations of the Ontario Fire Code, as identified by Toronto Fire Services.

Appeals to Property Standards Orders

You must post the following

  • notifications that an appeal has been submitted to the Property Standards Appeal Committee (PSAC)
  • confirmation that the appeal has been received by the City, and
  • copy of the letter received by the City confirming the date of your appeal to the PSAC

Waste Management

You need to post information about waste management on the tenant notification board.

  • You need to post information on garbage, recycling and, if applicable, organics, such as accepted items and location of collection bins.
  • Download and post posters or stickers to clearly identify the correct place to deposit garbage, recycling and, if applicable, organic materials.

Vital Service Disruption Plan

Vital services are essential services that you must provide to keep tenants healthy and safe. Vital services include water, fuel, electricity, natural gas, and heat.

A vital service disruption is an event where any of these services is disrupted.

You are required to develop and maintain a Vital Service Disruption Plan for your building. This plan must be implemented when there is an unplanned vital service disruption in your building.

Download the Vital Service Disruption Plan Form and complete this for each registered apartment building in Toronto. The form provides minimum requirements for the Plan, including the timeframes in which you must take specific actions. A Guidance Document is also available to help you complete the form.

Failure to develop, maintain and implement this plan during a vital service disruption is a chargeable offence under the Apartment Buildings bylaw.

Voluntary Tenant Contact List

You are required to maintain a contact list of tenants who voluntarily self-identify as requiring assistance during evacuations or a temporary discontinuance of a vital services.

The following sample Voluntary Tenant Contact List has been created to help you with this task.

Keep the list in a secure area and ensure you can easily find it during an emergency.

If a substantial portion of your building needs to be evacuated and you do not provide re-housing for tenants, a fee will be charged to recover the costs of providing Emergency Social Services (for example, temporary lodging).

Given how these fees can vary from case to case, there are no set amounts that you will be charged. However, for a general sense of cost of providing direct aid, see the Canadian Red Cross Disaster Response Individual and Family Assistance Standards.

You cannot rent a unit to a new tenant if there are any outstanding issues with that unit. This includes:

  • outstanding property standard orders with the unit
  • suspension of fuel (oil or propane), electricity, gas, heat, or hot or cold water in the apartment building
  • presence of pests in the rental unit

You are required to inform new tenants about the following when signing a lease agreement:

Type (don’t copy and paste) your email into the box below, check the box next to the e-update description and then click “Subscribe”. You will receive an email with instructions to confirm your request.

Subscribe to receive updates related to the City of Toronto’s review of the bylaws governing housing, apartment buildings (RentSafeTO) and property standards. You can unsubscribe at any time.
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