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Rental Housing Enforcement Unit

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Ontario’s Rental Housing Enforcement Unit (formerly called Investigation and Enforcement Unit) is a regulatory entity in the residential rental tenancies sector in Ontario.

The Landlord and Tenant Board is another body in the sector. The Landlord and Tenant Board works to resolve a wide variety of disputes between residential landlords and tenants. It also provides information to landlords and tenants about their rights and responsibilities. Visit their website to learn more about their services including application and hearing processes.

The Rental Housing Enforcement Unit is separate from the Landlord and Tenant Board and deals only with enforcement of offences.  The Unit takes complaints from landlords and tenants for offences committed under the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 (the Act). 

If you are a landlord or tenant of a rental property in Ontario, the Rental Housing Enforcement Unit can help you by: 

  • listening to your complaint 
  • explaining your rights and responsibilities under the Act
  • working with you and your landlord or tenant to resolve issues 
  • carrying out formal investigations when issues cannot be resolved 

It is important to know your rights and responsibilities  as a landlord or tenant. 

How complaints are handled 

When a landlord or tenant files a complaint with the Rental Housing Enforcement Unit, a Compliance Officer may follow these steps, depending on the situation:

  1. Confirm that the complaint relates to an offence under the Act        
    • If your complaint is related to an offence, the Compliance Officer will explain your rights and responsibilities under the Act.
    • If your complaint does not relate to an offence, or it is clear that an offence has not been committed, the Rental Housing Enforcement Unit will not take further action.
    • A Compliance Officer may provide you with other options or refer you to other agencies such as the Landlord and Tenant Board, Small Claims Court, or a legal clinic.
  2. Gather your landlord’s or tenant’s contact information (e.g. name, address and telephone number) and details regarding the alleged offence.

  3. Contact the alleged offender, with your consent, and attempt to resolve the issue directly.

  4. Send the alleged offender a letter outlining the complaint. The letter would provide details of the complaint but would not imply guilt. The letter may include:
    • options on how to correct the alleged problem
    • the relevant sections of the Act
    • the maximum penalties in the case of conviction
  5. Follow up with you and the alleged offender to confirm whether the complaint has been resolved.

If the alleged offender refuses to comply with the Act, the case may be referred for investigation. This may lead to prosecution in the Ontario Court of Justice (Provincial Offences Court).

Contact us

Landlords and tenants in Ontario may report any offence under the Act by contacting our call centre. There is no cost to file a complaint.

Telephone: 416-585-7214
Toll-free telephone: 1-888-772-9277
Fax: 416-585-6464
Toll free fax line: 1-866-321-4127

Call centre hours:
Monday – Friday
8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. 

If you feel that you are owed money, you need to submit an application to the Landlord and Tenant Board. They have the power to order payment.

About the Residential Tenancies Act

The Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 (the Act) sets out the rights and responsibilities for landlords and tenants in most residential properties in Ontario. The Rental Housing Enforcement Unit enforces offences under the Act

The Act covers offences committed by persons, including:

  • landlords
  • tenants
  • sub-tenants
  • people who act on behalf of a landlord (e.g. a superintendent, caretaker, property manager or agent)
  • a tenant’s agent

It is possible to commit on offence even if you are not aware that what you did was against the law. 

Penalty for committing an offence

If convicted of an offence under the Act, the penalty is a fine of up to $25,000 for an individual and up to $100,000 for a corporation.

Common offences under the Act 

The following offences are reported most often:

For landlords:

  • disconnecting or interfering with a vital service that the landlord is required to supply to tenants (e.g. heat, electricity, fuel, gas or water)
  • failing to provide rent receipts to tenants who request them
  • illegally evicting a tenant without following the eviction process
  • failing to make a tenant’s belongings available within 72 hours of eviction
  • collecting unlawful security deposits
  • altering the locking system for a rental unit or residential complex without giving the tenant replacement keys
  • providing false or misleading information in documents filed with the Landlord and Tenant Board

For tenants:

  • interfering with or trying to stop a landlord from entering a rental unit when proper notice has been provided
  • altering the locking system in a rental unit without the receiving the landlord’s consent
  • providing false or misleading information in documents filed with the Landlord and Tenant Board

It is important for landlords and tenants, especially those who are new to the rental housing market, to become familiar with the offences  under the Act. Knowing your responsibilities can help you avoid committing an offence.

Learn more about the rental housing offences, the rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants, and get quick tips:

Complaints about maintenance issues in your rental property

The Rental Housing Enforcement Unit takes complaints from tenants about maintenance issues in residential rental properties in certain jurisdictions in Ontario. Ontario has residential rental property maintenance standards, which are outlined in Ontario Regulation 517/06 under the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 (the Act).

Who can I contact if I have a complaint about maintenance?

If you are a current tenant in a residential rental property in Ontario, complaints about maintenance issues may be handled by either your local municipality or the Rental Housing Enforcement Unit. 

Does your municipality have a property standards bylaw covering residential rental maintenance?

  • Yes: your complaint may be handled by your local municipality
  • No: your complaint can be handled by contacting the Rental Housing Enforcement Unit

To find out whether your municipality has a bylaw covering residential rental maintenance, contact our call centre at 1-888-772-9277 or your municipality

Reporting a residential rental property maintenance complaint to the Rental Housing Enforcement Unit

Before reporting a complaint, talk to your landlord about the maintenance issue. It is recommended that you document in writing any requests that you make to your landlord about maintenance issues. Give your landlord a reasonable amount of time to perform the repairs. 

If the issues you are experiencing are not resolved, complete the Tenant Complaint about Maintenance Form [PDF] and mail or fax it  to the Rental Housing Enforcement Unit.

You may also choose to report a residential rental property maintenance issue by filing an Application about Maintenance form (T6) with the Landlord and Tenant Board. Filing a complaint with the Rental Housing Enforcement Unit or your local municipality, and filing an application with the Landlord and Tenant Board are all separate processes.

How complaints are handled 

When the Rental Housing Enforcement Unit receives your completed form, the following steps may take place: 

  1. The Rental Housing Enforcement Unit will arrange for a provincial inspector to visit your rental property. The inspector will contact you to arrange a date and time to complete an inspection.

  2. The inspector will issue a work order if a violation of the provincial maintenance standards is found.

    The work order will specify the required repairs. The landlord must make the required repairs within an assigned timeline.

    A landlord may file an Application for Review of a Provincial Work Order (L6) with the Landlord and Tenant Board. The application must be filed with the board no later than 20 days from date the work order is issued.

  3. The inspector will re-inspect the rental property to confirm compliance when the compliance period has passed, or if requested by the landlord.

  4. If the landlord complies with the work order, the RHEU will close the file. A compliance letter will be sent to the landlord, tenant and municipality.

  5. If the landlord does not comply with the work order, the file may be referred for investigation. It is an offence for a landlord to fail to comply with a work order. This may lead to prosecution in the Ontario Court of Justice (Provincial Offences Court).