Under the RentSafeTO program, building owners and operators are required to:

  • Register their apartment buildings with the City and renew annually
  • Have a process for tracking and responding to tenant service requests
  • Conduct regular inspections in common areas for cleanliness and pests
  • Post plans for maintenance, waste, cleaning and disruptions to vital services such as water, heat and electricity on a Tenant Notification Board
  • Notify tenants of service disruptions
  • Undergo routine building evaluations
  • Comply with all applicable bylaws, including Property Standards Bylaw.

Below you will find detailed information about building maintenance standards and requirements under the RentSafeTO program.

A unit cannot be rented if there are outstanding issues. 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

Landlords/property managers are required to inform new tenants about the following when signing a lease agreement:

Indoor Temperature

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

If outdoor weather raises in the spring or fall, or is expected to raise the temperature of apartment units above 21 degrees Celsius, the City encourages landlords and property owners to use their best judgement and consider turning 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).

Air Conditioning

If a building has air conditioning, the Property Standards bylaw requires for it to be turned on between June 2 and September 14.  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 Skilled Trades Ontario 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.

Landlords and property owners are required to create a hot weather plan to protect tenants from heat-related illness.

Under the Apartment Buildings Bylaw,  information on air-conditioned locations or cool locations must be accessible to tenants.

To assist with the requirement, the City’s Heat Relief Network has more than 300 locations to help residents stay cool during the summer and during Heat Warnings which 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 also available to help people find a Heat Relief Network location near them.

More information about this requirement is included under Tenant Notification Board.

Services must be provided by tradespeople that are members in good standing of Skilled Trades Ontario (STO).

There are 23 trades where certification and STO membership are legally required. Visit the Skilled Trades Ontario public register to find out if a tradesperson is certified and for more information about compulsory trades..

Compulsory trades include:

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

Landlords and property owners are required to 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

Landlords and property owners are required to develop an electrical maintenance plan with a licensed electrical contractor. Information on how to create a plan can be found on the ESA (Electrical Safety Authority) website (opens in new window).

Records must be maintained and be made available upon request.


Landlords/property owners are required to develop and maintain a State of Good Repair (Capital) Plan using the City’s State of Good Repair (Capital) Plan template. A plan must be created for every apartment building.

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

A copy of the Capital Plan must be provided to tenants within 60 days of request.

Landlords/property owners are responsible for maintaining a unit and making sure it is free of pests, such as ants, cockroaches, bedbugs, spiders, mice and rats.

When the landlord/building owner made aware of pests at the property, they must:

  • take measures to eliminate pests and prevent their spread into other portions of the property
  • inspect the common areas of the property at least once every 30 days, and any area of the property within 72 hours of receiving any information about pests
  • hire the services of a professional pest control company licensed by the Ministry of Environment, if required
  • keep pest management records and post them on tenant notification boards
  • stop renting any units with pests to new tenants

Landlords/property owners are also required to post the following on the tenant notification board: pest management plans including documentation of pest control services and schedule, service standards and product information related to pest control activity.

Toronto Public Health will work with landlords/property owners to respond to bed bug infestation complaints, where it may be a health hazard.

Tenants who have concerns about pests, should speak to the landlord or property manager and submit a service request. If issues are not addressed, tenants can contact 311 and submit a service request for the RentSafeTO team.

What Tenants Can Do About Pests

While pest management is the landlord or property managers responsibility, the following tips can help prevent pest infestations:

  • keep apartment unit free of clutter
  • clean kitchens and bathrooms regularly
  • keep kitchen countertops clean and free of crumbs
  • vacuum regularly under rugs and beneath furniture
  • rinse containers before putting them in the garbage or in recycling bins
  • empty kitchen garbage containers often
  • avoid picking up mattresses and other furniture from sidewalks or the trash
  • store foods (grains, legumes, sugar) in sealed plastic or glass containers in kitchens
  • after travelling, check luggage carefully for spread of pests
  • learn how to prevent, identify and treat bed bugs in your home

Tenants must allow landlords to treat their unit for pests. Tenants must be notified by the landlord ahead of time about what is required to prepare the unit for treatment, such as emptying cabinets, removing furniture from walls, etc.

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.

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.

Read more about the requirements below.

RentSafeTO Program Information

RentSafeTO program information must be posted to inform tenants that they can contact the RentSafeTO team by connecting with 311.  The RentSafeTO: Apartment Building Standards Program brochure can be downloaded for tenants.

Building Evaluation Result

Copies of the most recent building evaluation result received from the City must be posted on the tenant notification board. This can be a printed copy of the most recent evaluation letter that is available through the RentSafeTO Online Portal. Evaluation results can also viewed and printed  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 a sign to be posted with emergency contact information. If  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.

Landlords or property manageres can download, fill-in and print this Emergency Contact Information template or create their own emergency contact sign.

Nearest Cooling Location

Landlords/property managers are required to 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.

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 Word file 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 PDF 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 PDF bylaw.

Landlords/property managers 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 with this task.

The list must be kept in a secure area and a place where it can easily be found during an emergency.

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

As fees can vary from case to case, there are no set amounts that  will be charged. See the see the Canadian Red Cross Disaster Response Individual and Family Assistance Standards webpage for a general idea of costs for providing direct aid.