Your home is your home, regardless if you rent or own.
As a tenant, you have rights.
The same rights apply, no matter where you live, how much you pay for rent, your age, gender, cultural background or citizenship status.
While you have certain responsibilities as a tenant as well, your landlord also has responsibility towards you.
- Pay your rent
- Don’t damage property
- Keep your place clean
- Report problems about your place promptly
- Respect the rules of the building
- Follow City by-laws
- Ensure the property is safe and well maintained
- Ensure common areas are clean
- Provide proper heat whenever required
- Keep property pest and rodent free
- Respect tenant rights
- Follow City by-laws
When you have a problem
The Landlord and Tenant Board resolves most disputes between landlords and tenants. However, there are many cases where the City of Ottawa can also help you.
Each year, the City helps hundreds of tenants deal with issues like:
- Not enough heat
- Bed bugs, cockroaches, other pests
- Exterior waste and debris
- Building maintenance issues
- Water and plumbing problems
How to get help
- Report the issue by calling 3-1-1.
- You will need to provide your contact information. This information will not be shared with your landlord. Your privacy will be protected.
- You will be provided a Service Request Number. Save this number. You can use it to track your case at any time.
- A By-law Officer will contact you to get more details about your complaint and will come to inspect the property as necessary.
- If the By-law Officer sees a problem that presents an immediate danger, they will issue an Emergency Order to fix the problem.
- If the problem is not an emergency, the By-law Officer can issue a Notice of Violation or a Property Standards Order for the landlord to fix the problem. Because of limitations on the City’s authority given by provincial law, a minimum of 19 days must be given to the landlord to do the necessary work.
- Extensions may be granted, except where there is a public health or safety risk.
- The By-law officer will return to re-inspect the property. If the problem has not been fixed, the City can do the necessary work and bill the landlord, and/or the landlord can be issued a fine for not complying.
Please note that under the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (“MFIPPA”), your personal information will never be shared or used for any other purpose other than the reason for which it was provided. Staff may need to share the information internally in order action your complaint or concern. For example, in order to rectify a by-law complaint that was called into 311, your complaint will need to be shared with By-law & Regulatory Services in order to provide the service that you requested. Caller identification is considered personal information and is kept confidential.
There are specific and limited circumstances where personal information may be disclosed. This could be where consent has been provided, or in the case of an active police investigation. The list of circumstances where disclosure of personal information is allowed can be found under Section 32 of the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.
The City of Ottawa takes the privacy of personal information very seriously. If you believe that your personal information has been inappropriately shared or breached, please report this to the Access to Information and Privacy Office by calling 613-580-2424 ext. 21898.
For more information regarding your privacy, please see the links provided below.
This information is also available (as a PDF document) in the following languages: