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Consumer awareness

Information for Tenants

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.

Tenant Responsibilities

  • 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

Landlord Responsibilities

  • 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

  1. Report the issue by calling 3-1-1.
  2. You will need to provide your contact information. This information will not be shared with your landlord. Your privacy will be protected.
  3. You will be provided a Service Request Number. Save this number. You can use it to track your case at any time.
  4. A By-law Officer will contact you to get more details about your complaint and will come to inspect the property as necessary.
  5. If the By-law Officer sees a problem that presents an immediate danger, they will issue an Emergency Order to fix the problem.
  6. 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.
  7. Extensions may be granted, except where there is a public health or safety risk.
  8. 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.

Your privacy

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.

Freedom Information and Protection Privacy

Other Languages

This information is also available (as a PDF document) in the following languages:

Door-to-door Sales: What Consumers Need to Know

The City of Ottawa would like to remind residents that while many people who come to your door offering goods and services are legitimate, you should always be diligent before making a purchase. 

Update: As of March 1, 2018, the Province of Ontario has banned door-to-door sales of the following items and services:

  • Air cleaners
  • Air conditioners
  • Air purifiers
  • Duct cleaning services
  • Furnaces
  • Water filters
  • Water heaters
  • Water purifiers
  • Water softeners
  • Water treatment devices
  • Bundles of these goods and services

For more information, visit: ontario.ca (link is external)

Before you hear a sales pitch, remember:         

  • Always ask a salesperson to identify themselves by showing you company issued identification or some other form of photo identification. Make note of their name and the business they represent. 
  • Never share personal information (for example, a utility bill). 
  • Never leave the salesperson unattended in any room of your home. If you feel threatened or intimidated, ask them to leave. If they refuse, call the police. 
  • Local utility companies, the City of Ottawa and government agencies don’t send salespeople door-to-door.

Always know who you’re doing business with.           

  • Be wary of high pressure sales tactics and “limited time only” signing incentives.   A good company will be willing to give you time to make up your mind. 
  • Go online and look for customer reviews. A reputable company will be registered with the Better Business Bureau and be able to give you strong references. 

 Know the terms of the contract before you sign.   

  • Always make sure you get a detailed contract in writing. Read it carefully before signing anything. Scrutinize the fine print and know your cancellation rights. 
  • Make sure the company name on promotional material matches the company name on the contract. 
  • Be suspicious if a home service company requires payment in full before the work is started. A staggered payment model using post-dated cheques, for example, is considered an industry best practice. 
  • Request a copy of the contract and keep it for your records. 

Having second thoughts? Know your rights.

  • The Ontario Consumer Protection Act gives you special rights when you buy something in your home. For example, you have 10 days to cancel a contract for whatever reason. For more information about your rights, visit the Ministry of Consumer Services website or contact the ministry directly at 1-800-889-9768. 

Tow Truck Operators: What Consumers Need to Know

Consumer Protection

Effective January 1, 2017, the Province of Ontario implemented new rules to protect consumers from unscrupulous vehicle towing practices.

As a result, vehicle tow and storage providers are now required to:

  • have permission from the consumer, or someone acting on their behalf, before towing or storing a vehicle publicly disclose rates and other information, such as the provider's name and telephone number on the tow truck, as well as in places of business 
  • accept credit card payments from consumers, and not insist on cash only 
  • notify consumers where their vehicle will be towed allow consumers to access their towed vehicles to remove personal property at no charge (during business hours)
  • give consumers an itemized invoice listing the services provided and costs before receiving payment
  • disclose if they are getting a financial incentive for towing a vehicle to a particular vehicle storage facility or repair shop, maintain minimum insurance coverage including general liability insurance of $2 million, customer vehicle insurance of $100,000 and cargo insurance of $50,000
  • maintain authorization and disclosure records, invoices, copies of insurance policy, and current statement of rates for three years, among other requirements

As well, tow truck operators must obtain an appropriate license from the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario and are included in its existing Commercial Vehicle Operator's Registration system, which it is responsible for monitoring and enforcing.

If you have a complaint concerning the tow services you have received, please contact Consumer Protection Ontario, online or by calling 1-800-889-9768 (TTY: 1-877-666-6545). Complaints can also be made at any Service Ontario location.

Road Safety

If you witness a tow truck operator driving unsafely, please contact Ottawa Police Service Non-Emergency line at 613-236-1222 (TTY: 613-760-8100).

If you are involved in a collision:

In the City of Ottawa, tow truck drivers are prohibited from parking, stopping, or soliciting within 100 metres of the scene of a collision, unless they are there at the request of a police officer, a municipal by-law enforcement officer, a person engaged in highway maintenance, or a person involved in the collision.

The Province of Ontario offers additional Tips for Avoiding Tow Truck and Storage Scams.

Taxis and Private Transportation Companies: What Passengers Need to Know

Taxis and other private transportation companies are an important part of Ottawa’s transportation network.

The City of Ottawa licenses and regulates taxi and private transportation companies to ensure passenger and driver safety, as well as accessibility and quality of service.

Ottawa’s 1,192 licensed taxis, including 191 accessible vehicles, are driven by over 2600 licensed drivers who provide service 24/7, 365 days a year. 

In addition to traditional taxi services, Ottawa has embraced emerging ‘ride-sharing’ services, such as Uber and Lyft, to provide residents and visitors with more transportation options while still ensuring public safety and accountability.

The City of Ottawa would like to highlight to residents and visitors the safety and service benefits of using licensed transportation providers.  

All licensed vehicles-for-hire require:

  • Driver screening: Police Records Check for Service with the vulnerable sector and a Statement of Driving Record
  • Vehicle Age Limit: 10-year-maximum age limit (except classic, vintage and specialty limousines)
  • Safety certification: Annual MTO Safety Standards Certificate and a biannual inspection for all vehicles over five years of age.
  • Insurance:  Minimum of $5-million commercial general liability insurance as well as motor-vehicle insurance of $2 million.

Approved taxi and vehicle-for-hire reforms

The City of Ottawa’s new Vehicle-For-Hire By-law took effect on September 30, 2016. This new by-law delivers an innovative and integrated approach to managing taxi, limousine and private transportation companies. These changes offer improved public safety, accessibility and consumer protection for passengers in a fair and competitive marketplace.

Snow Removal Services: What Consumers Need to Know

As winter approaches, the City of Ottawa would like to remind residents that while many people who come to your door offering snow removal services are legitimate, you should always be diligent before making a purchase. 

Before you hear a sales pitch at your door, remember:  

  • Always ask a salesperson to identify themselves by showing you company issued identification or some other form of photo identification. Make note of their name and the business they represent. 
  • Never share personal information (for example, a utility bill). 
  • Never leave the salesperson unattended in any room of your home. If you feel threatened or intimidated, ask them to leave. If they refuse, call the police. 
  • Local utility companies, the City of Ottawa and government agencies don’t send salespeople door-to-door.

Always know who you’re doing business with.           

  • Be wary of high pressure sales tactics and “limited time only” signing incentives.   A good company will be willing to give you time to make up your mind. 
  • Go online and look for customer reviews. A reputable company will be registered with the Better Business Bureau and be able to give you strong references.

Know the terms of the contract before you sign.   

  • Always make sure you get a detailed contract in writing. Read it carefully before signing anything. Scrutinize the fine print and know your cancellation rights. 
  • Make sure the company name on promotional material matches the company name on the contract. 
  • Be suspicious if the company requires payment in full before the work is started. A staggered payment model using post-dated cheques, for example, is considered an industry best practice. 
  • Request a copy of the contract and keep it for your records. 

Having second thoughts? Know your rights. 

  • The Ontario Consumer Protection Act gives you special rights when you buy something in your home. For example, you have 10 days to cancel a contract for whatever reason. For more information about your rights, visit the Ministry of Consumer Services website or contact the ministry directly at 1-800-889-9768.

Be Aware of Snow Removal Scams

In these scams, a con artist will take payment for a whole season of snow removal and then never return. To avoid being scammed: 

  • Never pay for a whole season of snow removal unless you have a good relationship with a reputable company. If you are required to make a deposit, keep it low and make staggered payments over the term of the contract. 
  • Ask to see proof that the company has an active Snow Plow Contractor business license issued by the City of Ottawa. A listing of licensed snow plow contractors is available. 
  • Check the reputation of the company with your neighbours and go online for customer reviews and ratings. Ask if the company is registered with the Better Business Bureau and able to give you references from local clients.  

All snow plow contractors licensed by the City of Ottawa are required to:

  • Have an active City of Ottawa Business License. 
  • Have a City of Ottawa snow plow numbered plate prominently affixed to every snow plow vehicle. 
  • Have a sign showing the name and telephone number of the business on both sides of every snow plow vehicle. 
  • Ensure that snow removal vehicles do not throw, push, dump or otherwise deposit snow or ice on a street.  
  • Keep a record of all contracts with the entries transcribed in ink in a clear and legible manner, or in a recording system.

Failure to comply with these requirements may constitute a violation. If you suspect a snow removal contractor does not have a City of Ottawa License, or has failed to comply with the abovementioned requirements, please call 3-1-1.

Snow plow - List of licensed contractors

As of February 11, 2019

1838663 Ontario Inc.

2650541 Ontario Ltd

360 Landscaping (Ottawa) Inc.

7905190 Canada Inc.

A & B Paving

A. Brian's

A. Quality Roofing

A. Wintergreen Landscaping

Aa Landscaping Ltd.

Accented Lancescaping Designs

Adam Kittle Enterprises Ltd.

Advanced Landscaping Inc.

Alan's Plowing

All Constructions Pro Inc.

All Seasons Property Maintenance

Allan Mccoy Contracting Inc.

Al'seasons

Always Growing Inc.

Amisco Maintenance

Andre Taillefer Ltd

Andy's Home Renovations

Artistic Landscape Designs Ltd

Auer General Renovation & Landscaping

Aw Vaughn Maintenance

B & C Landscaping Limited

B & M Services & Sons

B C Landscaping

B.G. Gorham Construction Inc.

Bakker Trucking Corporation

Barrhaven Landscaping & Snow Removal Inc

Bauer's Landscape & Garden Maintenance

Bcc Corp

Bellissimo Dreamworks Inc.

Ben's Snowblowing

Bergeron Construction 2010 Inc

Bernwood Contractors & Consultants Inc.

Bettencourt Multi-Maintenance

Big Easy's Lawn & Snow Service

Bilodeau Excavation

Blackforest Contractor Inc.

Blanchard Landscaping And Design

Blooming Gardens

Blue Teal Construction Ltd

Bluegrass Landscaping

Bpm Inc.

Brad Quinn

Braden Construction

Brenning Construction (1986) Ltd.

Brite Nights Inc.

Brown & Associates Ltd

Bryan Lance

Budd Gardens

Burns Landscape Maintenance

Caltrio Company Ltd

Capital Properties Landscaping Inc.

Capital S.L.C. Inc.

Care Free Property Maintenance

Carlsbad Paving

Cecil Butler Farms Ltd

Cedar Springs Landscape Group Ltd

Centennial Construction Rockland Ltee/Ltd.

Central Snow

Centretown Road Service

Champagne Construction And Interlocking

Chris Smith Canada Court

City Paving And Interlock

City Scape

Classic Interlock Inc.

Claymark Corporation

Clean Cut Lawn & Lot Maintenance

Clintar Landscape Management

Cn Plowing

Cn Plowing

Cornerstone Canada Contractors Inc

Coss Construction And Snow Removal

Cricket Cartage & Construction Inc.

Ctm Sweeping & Snow Removal

Cumberland Kanata Landscaping

D & R Maintenance Solutions

D&G Landscaping Inc

Dale Argue Equipment

Dale& Co Snowblowing Services

Daniel Marier

Daniels Landscaping

Darcy Gaudreau

Dave Plowing

David Ananny

De Marinis & Son Inc

Dean Ryan Enterprises Inc.

Dei Gloriam Property Maintenance

Denali Landscaping And Snow Removal

Denis Ladouceur Excavation Ltd

Dgc Maintenance

Dgm Landscaping

Diamond Cut Lawncare Services Inc.

Diamond Excavating

Dig We Do Ltd

Double C Farm

Douglas Dorion

Dreamscape Landscaping

Dtw Snow And Lawn Care

Dufresne Piling Co

Dunright

Dura-Pave Snow One

E.C. Carruthers & Sons Ltd

Enterprise Nolet

Entretien De Pelouse Lafontaine

Exact Interlock Ltd

Exact Post Ottawa Inc.

Excalibur Backhoe Rental

Exel Contracting Inc.

Exterior Solutions

Extreme Yard Solutions

F.A.S.R.S. Entretien J.G.P.

F.M. Interlock Inc.

Fb Construction

Flynn Landscaping

Fortin Landscaping Inc.

Four Seasons Property Maintenance

Franick Road Service Inc.

Fraser Wilson Incorporated

G. Dupuis Paving And Interlock Inc.

G. Saumur Maintenance Inc.

Gemma Property Services Inc.

George W. Drummond Ltd

Gerard Meloche Forming Inc.

Gilles St-Pierre

Glacier Snow Plowing Inc

Glenn  Wright Excavation

Gmg General Contracting

Grassmasters

Greely Sand & Gravel Inc.

Green Acres Landscape Maintenance Inc.

Green Works Contracting Inc.

Greenstar Landscaping Inc.

Gro, Mo & Sno Inc.

Ground Control

Grounds Work Property Services Ltd.

Guy Courchesne Excavation Ltd

Guy Robert Landscaping Design

H & B Contracting

H& E Contracting

H. Harper Enterprises

Habitat Enviroscaping & P.M.

Hanna's Property Maintenance

Hansen Lawn & Gardens

Harmony Gardens Landscaping

Henry Benoit Equipment Rentals

Hickory Dickory Decks

Hunt Club East Snow & Lawn

Ian Jones

Impressions Group

J A T. Lawn Maint. & Snow Plowing Inc.

J&S Landscaping

J. Philip Young Enterprises Ltd

J.D. Sparling Cartage Ltd.

J.R. Lawn Maintenance & Snow Removal Inc.

Jack Equipment Inc.

Jacques Bedard Excavation Limited

Jara Services

Jason Ierullo

Jason Mackenzie General Contracting

Jc Enterprises

Jean Marcel Filion & Son Inc.

Jean-Claude Levesque Cartage

Jerome Landscaping

Joel's Line Painting Inc

John Cundell

Jsf Snow Blowing

Junkhaul

K. Joly Contracting

K. Leduc Property Services

Kanata Landscaping Inc

Karson Kartage & Konstruction

Kerwin Property Maintenance Inc.

Kevin Brooks Landscaping Services

Kevin Hanna The Snow Man

King Concrete Ottawa Inc.

Kluke's Roofing

Kodiak Snow Blowing Inc

Kodiak Snow Removal

Lancosa Landscaping & Snowplowing

Land'n Scape Inc.

Landscape Concepts

Landstorm Contracting Ltd

Landtech Inc.

Latcon (2009) Ltd.

Laurent Leblanc Limited

Lawncare

Lawnscape

Lb Cleaning

Leeside Snowblowing

Lenco Snow Plowing

Leo Landscaping

Les Entreprises Marc Dube Inc.

Les Entreprises Prebbel Inc.

Life Long Landscaping

Lima Construction

Lindsay Landscape Enterprises Inc.

Local Boys Snow Blowing

Local Paving & Construction Inc.

M & M Yard Services Ltd.

M. Bray Construction

M. Davis Landscape & Design

M.A.G. Property Maintenance

Macplow

Mallette Landscaping Inc.

Mario Ouellette

Marsten Equipment Rentals

Mask Landscaping

Maurice Yelle Snow Removal Ltd.

Max' S Tree Services

Mccadden Landscaping

Mcd Contracting Inc.

Meagher Snowblowing

Metro Snow And Ice Management

Michael Radbourne

Milner & Sons Excavating

Moose & Sons Property Maintenance Limited

Moose Contracting

Morewood Sand & Gravel

Mountainview Turf Farm Ltd

Munro & Scullion Contracting Inc.

Murray Lawn And Landscape

N.S. Rivington Cartage Ltd

Natures Right Hand

Nepean North Carlingwood Snowblowing

Neuwirth Landscaping

Nicash Maintenance

No Limits Maintenance & Snowplowing

Noble Contracting

Noel's Snow Plowing

Odie's Landscape & Snow Removal

Osgoode Sand & Gravel Ltd

Ottawa D-Squared Construction

Ottawa Interlock

Ottawa Pavemaster

Ottawa Residential Consultants

Paquette Excavation & Renovation Inc.

Parkway Landscaping

Pat's Plowing / Ps Contracting

Peartree Property Services Inc

Peloso Construction

Peloso Landscaping

Peter Smit & Sons Inc.

Pfc Property Management

Pgr Equipment Repairs

Picture Perfect Landscaping

Pierce Hill Farms

Precision Snow Removal

Premier Property Services Inc.

Pride Landscaping & Maintenance

Primrose Cartage & Excavating Ltd.

Pro Pavingstone Inc

Prodigy Property Maintenance

Pro-Tek

Proulx Lawn & Shrub Care

Pro-X Excavation Inc.

Queen's Property Services

R&S Snow Services Ltd

R. Pomerleau Ltd.

R.S. Property Management

R.W. Foster

Rabb Construction

Ray St-Louis Inc.

Raymond And Sam Snowplowing And Landscaping

Red's Property Maintenance

Rene Dieudonne

Riopelle Property Maintenance

Robert Alford

Robert Bisson

Robert D. Munro

Robert Marion Cartage

Robert Mitchell

Rtremblay Contracting

Ruppert Snow Adventures Inc.

Ryan Kelly

Rystenbil Custom Services

S & M Contractors

Sam Dagg

Samarn Son

Sauve Carpentry/Driftwood

Schell Snow Plowing

Scottys Snow Clearing

Sharpwork's Landscaping Inc.

Sky High Enterprises Ltd

Smilies Home Services

Snow Force Plowing

Snow N' Grow

Snowbusters Ottawa

Snow-Care Works

Southpaw Property Maintenance Ltd.

Speedy Snow Blowing Service

Steve Barrie Equipment

Stone Edge Snowblowing

Stonehurst Associates Ltd.

Stonewood Landscaping

Storm Chaser

Strathmar Trenching Ltd.

Sunshine Snow Service Inc.

T.Q. Landscapes Inc

Tall Order Lawn & Snow

Tarstone Canada Ltd.

Taylor Contracting

Tazco Equipment Rentals Co Ltd.

The Better Look Service

The Gardener

The Labrash Group Inc

The Patch And Seal Team

The Silverstone Group

The Snow Terminator

The Squires Lawn And Garden

Thomas Cavanagh Construction

Thomas Snow Blowing

Thunderbolt Contracting Ltd.

Tlc Maintenance

Top Hat Black Coat

Trillium Lawn & Snow

Truelock Interlock Inc.

Twinbros Co

Ugc Services

Ultimate Sealing

Ultimate Site Services

Utopia Landscaping

Virtucar

Vivid Contracting

Walter Cousins

Westend Snoworks

Wild Ridge Landscapes Inc.

William Makinson

Williams Landscaping

Woodlawn Contracting Inc.

Worry Free Snow Blowing Inc

Yanic Dufresne Excavation

Yards Unlimited Landscaping Inc.

Yates Exterior Services Inc.

Your Home Investment

Your Way Snow And Lawn Inc.

Zagros Property Management

Zero Tolerance Construction

Zoryk's Property Maintenance

Parking in Private Lots

The City of Ottawa’s Deputization Program aims to address parking violations on privately owned parking lots by authorizing Private Parking Enforcement Agencies (PPEAs) to issue City of Ottawa Parking Infraction Notices (a parking ticket). This protects the public by providing access to the Court processes that are available to contest any City of Ottawa parking ticket.

As part of the current Private Parking Enforcement Agencies program, PPEAs deputized by the City are not permitted to tow or move vehicles without the presence of a City of Ottawa Parking Control, By-law Enforcement Officer or a Police Officer.

Starting April 1st, 2019, on a one-year trial basis, *qualifying PPEAs will be permitted to tow vehicles from the private properties for which they provide enforcement , without having a Parking Control, By-law or Police Officer on-site.

The following are the minimum requirements for participation in the pilot:

  • The PPEA* must be licensed in accordance with Schedule 30 to the Licensing By-law, relating to Private Parking Enforcement Agencies, unless exempted under the by-law, and must have entered into a Cost Recovery Agreement with the City;
  • The owner or occupier of the relevant property must consent to such services on the property from which the tow is to occur;
  • The tow may occur only upon the third private property parking infraction on the same property for the same plated motor vehicle;
  • Upon the third offence, in addition to the tow, a City of Ottawa Parking Infraction Notice (a ticket) must be issued; and,
  • The tow request must be arranged through By-law & Regulatory Services, which will dispatch a City of Ottawa contracted tow truck (Metro or Gervais).

*PPEAs eligible to participate in the Towing Pilot:

  1. Algonquin College
  2. Capital Parking
  3. Capital Security
  4. Capital Systems
  5. Carleton Parking
  6. CHEO
  7. Garda Security
  8. Indigo
  9. La Cite Collegiale
  10. Macdonald-Cartier Ottawa Airport
  11. Murray & Murray
  12. Ottawa Community Housing
  13. Ottawa Hospital
  14. Park Safe Inc.
  15. Phoenix Security
  16. Praetorian Garde
  17. Precise ParkLink
  18. Queensway Carleton Hospital
  19. Response Security
  20. Royal Ottawa Hospital
  21. University of Ottawa

For more information, please contact Sherri Anderson, Public Engagement & Stakeholder Relations Officer at sherrileigh.anderson@ottawa.ca.

Consumer Protection Ontario offers additional tips to motorists whose vehicles have been towed.