Landlords - roles and responsibilities
Landlord requirements under the by-law
The City’s Rental Housing Property Management By-law (No. 2020-255) came into force on August 31, 2021.
Landlords are required to:
- maintain a capital maintenance plan
- establish a procedure for tenant service requests
- create and distribute an information for tenants document
- maintain a tenant support registry
- develop an integrated pest management plan
Landlords must provide tenants with the following:
- up-to-date contact information for the landlord or property manager, including mailing address, telephone number, and at least one method of electronic text communication
- information on how tenants can submit service requests
- information on how tenants can submit complaints to the City, if service requests remain unresolved
- site-specific information about fire safety equipment, solid waste management, and where to legally park on-site or nearby
- instructions on how tenants can voluntarily register and de-register their support requirements to the landlord by having their name added or deleted from the tenant support registry
All property owners in Ottawa are also required to maintain and repair their properties in compliance with the standards set out in the Property Standards By-law (No. 2013-416), as amended, and the Property Maintenance By-law (No 2005-208), as amended.
Note: The Rental Housing Property Management By-law (2020-255) does not change or affect any obligations of landlords or tenants under the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006.
Capital maintenance plan
Rental buildings that have 3 or more storeys or 10 or more rental units are required to create a capital maintenance plan.
The capital maintenance plan must include an inspection record for each capital element:
- accessibility features and equipment including ramps, power-assisted doors or elevators
- building-wide electrical distribution systems
- fire escapes
- mechanical systems
- exterior cladding
- balconies and balcony railings
- parking structures
Each inspection record must:
- identify the capital element
- record the date of inspection
- describe the condition and deficiencies
- describe any required remedial action (replace or repair)
- describe a time period for replacement or refurbishment
There is a grace period for new building owners to comply. New owners will have three (3) months from the date of transfer of ownership to develop a capital maintenance plan.
It is important that you keep it up to date and readily available if requested by a City of Ottawa By-law Officer.
Tenant service request
Landlords must develop a process for tenants to make service requests verbally, in writing, and by electronic text.
Landlords must keep a record of all service requests submitted by their tenants. This information must be made available to a City of Ottawa By-law Officer upon request.
Landlord records must include the following:
- date and time of request
- service request address and/or unit
- tenant contact information
- description of the issue
- record of action and outcome
- the date and method used to notify the tenant of the resolution
If a tenant requests a copy of a written record when the service request is made, the landlord must provide it to the tenant within 30 days.
Urgent service requests must be responded to within 24 hours.
Urgent service requests include:
- a loss or interruption in vital services
- security concerns about the rental unit, building or property
- problems with accessibility features and equipment
- any issue that can reasonably be expected to make a unit uninhabitable
Non-urgent service requests must be responded to within 7 days.
- If the service request does not fall into the urgent categories listed above, it is not urgent.
- Landlords should also verify the tenant support registry to determine if the tenant has registered a need for support and what accommodation has been agreed to for that particular circumstance.
Requirements for managing tenant service requests:
- implement a procedure for managing service requests
- establish a means to receive written, verbal and electronic text service requests
- establish a means to maintain records of service requests
- implement a procedure to assess and identify urgent versus non-urgent incoming service requests
- implement a procedure to check if a tenant is registered for a need on the tenant support registry
Tenant support registry
All landlords are required to maintain a tenant support registry which records any request for assistance made by a tenant. Landlords must be able to present this up-to-date support registry for inspection by a By-law Officer if requested.
The tenant support registry must include:
- the name and unit number of the tenant
- a description of the assistance the tenant has requested
- description of the assistance the landlord or property manager has agreed to accommodate
A tenant may voluntarily self-identify as needing support for issues such as:
- evacuation from the building
- periods where a vital service is disrupted (i.e. support in power outages)
- pest control preparation
- assistance in understanding documents due to cognitive or development disability, or language or communication barriers
- any other concern that may require accommodation under the Ontario Human Rights Code, Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 or the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006
Landlords must provide information on the existence of this registry and how a tenant can register or be removed from the registry in the information for tenants document.
A tenant service request is not the same thing as a tenant support request.
A tenant service request outlines requests for service from tenants, such as repairs and refurbishments. A tenant support request is a voluntary request from tenants for support or assistance.
Information for tenants document
At the time the lease is signed, landlords must provide tenants with an information for tenants document.
Landlords have until November 30, 2021 to provide all current tenants with a copy of the information for tenants document.
Information for tenants document must include:
- contact information of landlord or property manager
- tenant service request instructions
- fire safety information
- property maintenance information
- on-site waste management information
- parking information
- tenant support registry
- Residential Tenancies Act statement
- signature of tenant
Delivery of the information for tenants document:
Two (2) copies must be provided with the lease agreement. One copy must be provided to the tenant for their records and one copy must be signed by the tenant and retained by the landlord with the lease agreement.
Refer to the City of Ottawa Rental Housing Property Management By-law (No. 2020-255) for further details on requirements for delivery when a tenant refuses to sign the document.
Updating the information for tenants document:
The information for tenants document must be kept up-to-date and tenants shall be notified within 30 days when there are changes to the document.
Contact information notification within 24 hours:
Property managers and landlords are required to provide or report a change of contact information within 24 hours following the change in information.
Integrated pest management plan
Integrated pest management plan must include:
- schedule of preventative inspections
- infestation prevention educational information for tenants
- reporting processes for suspected infestations
- standing pest treatment plans for bed bugs, cockroaches, ants, rats, mice, and any species known to cause re-occurring infestations in the building
Requirements of landlords when treating rental units for pests:
- provide tenants with the standing treatment plan prior to treatment of their unit
- re-inspect area treated between 15-30 days following initial treatment
- treat area again if an infestation continues
- post treatment plan in the lobby of the building if the pest treatment is in an area of the building other than a rental unit
Additional information on pest identification, prevention and treatment:
- Ottawa Public Health home safety webpage provides information on bed bugs, cockroaches, and rat control
- Orkin Canada pest library provides information on a variety of pest and how to treat and prevent infestations
- Ottawa Community Housing pest management webpage provides a checklist for pest prevention for tenants
- Canadian Food Inspection Agency pest control webpage provides guidelines on pest prevention and pest control measures
- Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 - Provincial law that sets out the rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants in Ontario. The guide to the residential tenancies act brochure is a great resource to summarize the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 for landlords and tenants.
- Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 - The main purpose of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act is to improve accessibility standards for Ontarians with physical or mental disabilities to all public places by 2025.
- Ontario Human Rights Code - Guarantees equality before the law and prohibits discrimination in specific areas such as housing or employment.
- Landlord and Tenant Board - This tribunal resolves disputes between landlords and tenants. It is like a court and through mediation or settlement, it will help the landlord and tenant come to an agreement. The Landlord and Tenant Board also provides information about the rights and responsibilities of landlords under the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006.
- City of Ottawa 3-1-1 - Tenants can dial 3-1-1 and press 4 to receive information on social assistance benefits, emergency heat and social services, childcare assistance, Ontario Renovates Program, and other programs and services offered by Community and Social Services Department.
- Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation - The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation is a national housing agency who aim to help Canadians meet their housing needs and advise on the housing industry. They offer capital replacement planning resources, including access to free capital planning software.
- Canadian Federation of Apartment Associations - Canadian Federation of Apartment Associations advocates the interests of the rental housing industry to the Federal Government of Canada.
- City of Ottawa Consumer Awareness - The City of Ottawa provides basic information for tenants available in Arabic, Hindi, Indonesian, Mandarin, Spanish, and Urdu.
- Eastern Ontario Landlord Organization (EOLO) - Represents owners and managers of residential rental buildings and suppliers to the rental housing industry. Eastern Ontario Landlord Organization members own and manage over 40,000 rental units in the Ottawa Area.
- Federation of Rental-housing Providers of Ontario - Federation of Rental-housing Providers of Ontario works to promote a balanced and healthy housing market with a vital rental-housing industry, choice for consumers, adequate government assistance for low-income households, and private sector solutions to rental-housing needs.
- Landlord Self Help Centre - Landlord’s Self-Help Centre is the only community clinic funded by Legal Aid Ontario that provides services to small landlords across Ontario.
- Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing - Working with local governments and partners across Ontario to build safe and strong urban and rural communities with dynamic local economies, a high quality of life and affordable and suitable homes for everyone.
- Ottawa Region Landlords Association - Ottawa Region Landlords Association provides information seminars and links to resources for landlords.
- Ottawa Small Landlord Association - The Ottawa Small Landlord Association supports small landlords through its advocacy efforts, by improving public awareness and perceptions about landlords, and by offering landlord education that assists landlords in operating successful businesses (no website).
- Renting in Ontario – Province of Ontario - The Province of Ontario provides useful information about tenant and landlord rights.
Public Policy Development
613-580-2400 ext. 29529
If you or your tenant would like a printed copy of the guide for landlords or guide for tenants document, please contact us by phone at 613 580 2400 ext. 29529.
Notice: This page is for information and convenience only, and while every effort has been made to include relevant resources City staff recognize that this page does not capture all available sources of information for landlords. Some of these links may take you to an external website that is not owned by the City. Your access to and use of any external site is subject to that website’s own rules and regulations.