Overview

The Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 sets out landlord and tenant rights and responsibilities. It also sets out rules for landlords and tenants. It is an offence to break certain rules.

For example:

  • a tenant would be committing an offence if they stopped their landlord from entering the unit after the landlord provided a lawful notice to enter
  • a landlord would be committing an offence by shutting off water, heat or electricity in a unit

If you have a dispute with your landlord or tenant related to the offences, you can work with the Rental Housing Enforcement Unit to solve the problem. We first assess whether your issue is an offence under the act.

If the issue is an offence under the act, we will take action.

If the issue isn’t an offence under the act, we:

File a complaint

What to do first

The first step is to let your landlord or tenant know about your concern. We recommend writing a letter or email so that you can have records.

You should also:

  • keep a copy of your written requests and any responses
  • note how long it took your landlord or tenant to address your concerns
  • check the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 to see if your concern is an offence

How to file a complaint

If you tried to contact your landlord or tenant and still can’t solve the problem, call us at:

You will need to give us:

  • your name and contact information — we do not take anonymous complaints
  • the name and contact information of the landlord or tenant you’re complaining about
  • details of the complaint, for example the date and what happened
  • supporting documentation, for example notice of entry or relevant emails

After a complaint

If the issue is an offence under the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 we will:

  • contact your landlord or tenant to try to resolve the issue with your consent
  • send them a letter with details about the complaint and options to fix the problem
  • follow up to see if the issue was resolved

If the issue is not resolved we may start a formal investigation. This may result in charges.

If charges are laid, the landlord or tenant must appear before a Justice of the Peace in the Ontario Court of Justice. You may have to attend court as a witness.

If convicted, the landlord or tenant will usually have to pay a fine.

Fines and penalties

If you’re convicted of an offence under the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006, you may have to pay a fine up to:

  • $50,000 for an individual
  • $250,000 for a corporation

Convictions

The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing will make certain conviction information available to the public. The following convictions will be published:

  1. Corporate landlords
    • every corporate conviction will be published
    • individuals convicted along with a corporation would not be named
  2. Repeat offenders
    • if convicted more than once of the same offence, individual names would be posted

The court bulletin will include:

  • description of the offence
  • the penalty
  • the name of the offender

The bulletin will be distributed to local community media.

This process applies to new cases received by the Rental Housing Enforcement Unit on or after August 17, 2017.

More help for landlords and tenants

The Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB):

  • deals with a wide variety of landlord and tenant disputes
  • arranges for mediation and hearings to resolve disputes
  • educates the public about their rights and responsibilities
  • deals with non-profit cooperative housing (co-op) eviction issues

The main difference between us and the Landlord and Tenant Board is that we immediately intervene to resolve complaints that may involve offences under the act without an application process.

If you are unsure of where to start, either Rental Housing Enforcement Unit staff or LTB staff can guide you on your options.

Notice of collection

We are committed to ensuring the privacy of your personal information. 

The Rental Housing Enforcement Unit is delegated by the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing (MMAH) to collect personal information under Part XV of the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006. We may use this information to undertake authorized activities to resolve disputes and for the purposes of law enforcement under Part XVI of the act.  

Personal information collected is only used to resolve landlord and tenant matters and to investigate where there may be violations concerning offences under the act.

Information collected that is relevant to a landlord and tenant dispute may be shared with the opposing party as part of the process of resolving the dispute.

Your complaint may be referred to the Investigations Section of the Rental Housing Enforcement Unit if compliance efforts have not been successful. Investigators may collect personal information from other provincial and municipal government institutions as well as third parties without your consent in order to gather evidence to support a prosecution.

For further information on the collection of your personal information, please contact:

Manager — Rental Housing Enforcement Unit
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
777 Bay Street, 14th Floor
Toronto Ontario M7A 2J3 
Email: RHEU.info@ontario.ca
Phone: 1-888-332-3234