RentSafeTO: Apartment Building Standards is a bylaw enforcement program that ensures owners and operators of apartment buildings with three or more storeys or 10 or more units comply with building maintenance standards.
Building evaluations identify issues and bring apartment buildings into compliance with City bylaws. Each building registered with RentSafeTO is evaluated at least once every three years. Evaluation scores can be viewed on the City’s interactive webpage. The dataset can also be downloaded from Open Data. Details about the most recent building evaluation must be posted on the Tenant Notification Board. They must also be shared with all prospective tenants.
Buildings that score 50 per cent or less on the evaluation must undergo a comprehensive inspection and audit of all common areas. Staff are also onsite during audits to engage with tenants and document concerns regarding property standards within units.
Every year, the City compiles a list of all buildings that require an evaluation that year. A Bylaw Enforcement Officer is assigned for each building evaluation and building owner/operators are notified when their building requires an evaluation.
The evaluation is scheduled so that the property owner, or a designate can be present to provide the bylaw enforcement officer access to locked common areas and/or facility amenities.
During the building evaluation, a bylaw enforcement officer will complete an inspection of the apartment building, including but not limited to:
The bylaw enforcement officer will take notes and photographs of their inspection to upload to the City’s mobile investigation application. After the inspection, the total building evaluation score is calculated and made available to the building owner and operator to review and post on the Tenant Notification Board. If any health and life safety concerns were found during the evaluation, the officer will issue an Order to Comply or Notice of Violation.
The building owner will be provided with a report of the inspection findings and the building’s evaluation score. Details about the most recent building evaluation must be posted on the Tenant Notification Board. They must also be shared with all prospective tenants.
The overall evaluation score will determine next steps for City action. If a building fails its evaluation and scores 50 per cent or below, the building must undergo a comprehensive inspection and audit of all common areas. The building owner will be notified when the full building audit is scheduled to occur.
If buildings score 65 per cent or less, then the next evaluation will take place within one year. If the score is between 66 – 85 per cent, the next evaluation will take place within two years and if buildings score 86 percent and above the next evaluation with be within three years.
There is no cost to the building owner for a City-initiated RentSafeTO building evaluation, as it is included in the registration and yearly renewal fee.
An apartment building audit is conducted if a building fails its evaluation and receives a score of 50 per cent or less. Audits include a comprehensive inspection of all common areas from rooftop to basement, underground elements (such as parking garages) and exterior grounds.
Once buildings requiring audits are identified, a bylaw enforcement officer is assigned to lead the audit team comprised of two or three officers. The building owner/operator is notified about the audit date and time and asked to be present to provide access to all common areas, facilities and amenities, and make available all the required plans. Information advising tenants of the upcoming building audit must be posted 30 days before on the Tenant Notification Board.
On the day of the audit, bylaw enforcement officers set up a tenant engagement station to educate tenants on RentSafeTO and document concerns they may have regarding issues in their unit or common areas of their building. After the audit, investigations are opened for all service requests received.
The exterior of the building, interior common areas and facility amenities are audited by two bylaw enforcement officers who document and photograph all issues. Depending on the result of the building audit, the City may issue take enforcement action, including issuing Orders and Notice(s) of Violation.
All Orders issued are sent by registered mail and/or hand delivered to the building owner/operator and must be posted on the Tenant Notification Board. When the Order expires, the Officer will follow up to inspect if the work was completed and in compliance with the City’s bylaws.
Information about audit-related fees can be found on the RentSafeTO Fees & Fines webpage.