RentSafeTO is the first program of its kind in Canada and aims to improve the living conditions within apartment buildings. The program's objectives are to strengthen the enforcement of City bylaws, enhance tenant engagement and access to information, and promote proactive maintenance in apartment buildings to prevent the deterioration of critical housing stock.

RentSafeTO is a registration, audit and enforcement program enabled by Toronto Municipal Code Chapter 354, Apartment Buildings, and applies to all apartment buildings with three or more storeys and 10 or more units. This accounts for more than 30 percent of Toronto's residents who live in approximately 3,500 apartment buildings across the City.

Under RentSafeTO, building owners and operators must:

  • Register their buildings with the City, then 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 City bylaws, including Chapter 629, Property Standards

As part of the program, Bylaw Enforcement Officers conduct building evaluations, audits and investigate service requests submitted to 311.

Evaluations: All apartment buildings registered under the RentSafeTO program are subject to a building evaluation at least once every three years to ensure that properties comply with City bylaws. This results in a final evaluation score (from 0 to 100%) that is used to determine the next steps, including the next scheduled evaluation and whether the building requires an audit.

Audits: Buildings that do not pass their evaluation are subject to a building audit. An audit consists of a more comprehensive inspection, additional enforcement action, and an engagement component for tenants to submit service requests for issues in their units. The current threshold is a score of 50 percent or less.

Service Requests: Bylaw Enforcement Officers (BEOs) respond to service requests received through 311 for in-suite and common area property standards issues within registered apartment buildings. BEOs will take progressive enforcement action if a violation is found, which nay involve fines, charges, or remedial action if required. If a concern is found that falls outside of the bylaw parameters that RentSafeTO enforces, such as structural concern. In that case, the file is referred to the appropriate division/agency to follow-up.

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