Everything you need to know to make Toronto Community Housing your home, from setting up utilities, phone, cable or internet to requesting accessible accommodations.
Before you move in, your home is cleaned, repaired and inspected. It is also sprayed for pests, if needed. Your Superintendent will do a move-in inspection with you and note any repairs that you point out.
The Superintendent will go through the types of changes you can and cannot make to your home. The superintendent will also note any repairs that you point out, explain to you what chargebacks are and give you a list of chargebacks for your home. The process of assessing a charge requires the Superintendent to identify the repair and determine if it is due to normal wear and tear or tenant misuse or negligence.
Elevators and deliveries
Each Toronto Community Housing property is different.
- If you are moving into an apartment building, speak with your superintendent to reserve an elevator for your move-in day. You can also contact the Client Care Centre at 416-981-5500. An agent will give you a reference number and arrange with your superintendent to put the elevator on service.
- On the day of your move, you must contact the Client Care Centre two hours before you move to have someone put the elevator on service.
If you have large items (ex. furniture) delivered to the building, ask your superintendent about how deliveries are handled.
Under the terms of your lease, permanent changes are not allowed when decorating. For example, you cannot:
- Use nails or hooks. Use only sticky picture hooks that will not damage walls.
- Change the flooring
- Remove doors, cabinets, plumbing, or light fixtures
If you do make permanent changes, you will be charged for the cost of returning your unit to the way it was when you moved in.
You can discuss possible changes with your Tenant Services Coordinator or Tenant Service Hub staff.
When you are ready to move out, you must give notice in writing 60 days (two full calendar months) before you plan to move. Please give your move-out notice to staff at your Tenant Service Hub.
You will sign a form called an N11 (“Agreement to End the Tenancy”) when vacating your unit. If you are removing yourself from your household and other parties are still going to live in the unit, you must sign and date a letter confirming the date you will vacate the unit and give the letter to your Tenant Services Coordinator. The remaining household members may need to sign a new lease with Toronto Community Housing once you have removed yourself from the household.
Returning keys and fobs
Before you leave, return all unit keys. This includes mailbox keys, key fobs, parking garage keys, and parking stickers. Give them to your Superintendent. If you do not return these items, you may be charged for replacements.
Final rent payments
You will be charged for rent up to the end of the month that you move out. You are charged rent up to the end of the month that your tenancy ends. For example:
- If you gave written notice on March 1st, you will pay rent for March and April and will move out just before May 1st.
- If you gave written notice on February 15th, you will pay rent for February, March, and April and move out just before May 1st.
Toronto Community Housing staff will inspect your unit shortly after you give written notice. They will inspect it again after you move out. You will be charged for any damage to your unit, beyond normal wear and tear.
You are responsible for the cost of repairing any damage you caused to the unit. If your unit requires cleaning when you leave, you will be charged for this.
Your unit must be returned to its original condition. For example, if you put up wallpaper, you will have to remove it. If you painted the walls a different colour, you will have to return them to the original colour.
Access to your unit
Your unit is your home and we respect this fact. However, there may be times when Toronto Community Housing staff and contractors need to enter, such as: during an emergency, making repairs, inspecting your unit, or showing it to new tenants if you are moving out.
The Residential Tenancies Act requires that we give you at least 24 hours written notice before entering your unit except in the case of an emergency.
Toronto Community Housing accommodates tenants with physical disabilities through upgrades to units (like installing grab bars, door widening, etc.) and improvements to common areas in buildings. In some cases, accommodating tenants with physical disabilities may mean moving them to a more suitable unit. To learn more, visit the Accessibility Program for Tenants section or talk to your Tenant Services Coordinator about completing the necessary paperwork to request accessibility accommodations.
Window air conditioners are not allowed on Toronto Community Housing property. Portable floor-model air conditioners are allowed if they do not create a safety hazard.
Annual unit inspections
Once every year, your superintendent will inspect your unit to make sure:
- Your unit’s combination smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are working
- Window screens are not damaged and window locks are in place and not tampered with
- There is no excessive clutter or fire hazards
- There are no major repairs needed
The annual unit inspection is a time to check for capital repair needs and compliance with municipal licensing standards. For example, during the annual unit inspection, staff will make sure there are no unauthorized modifications in the unit.
Every month, Toronto Community Housing staff test fire alarms and other life safety systems in the common areas of your building.
Toronto Community Housing provides each home with a fridge and stove. If your fridge or stove needs to be repaired, call the Client Care Centre at 416-581-5500 or use the online form. Staff will arrange for service during regular business hours.
Many buildings have common laundry rooms that open and close at specific times. Tenants are not permitted to install a washing machine, dryer or dishwasher in their own units. Installing these machines can damage the plumbing in your building, cause floods or loss of water for you or your neighbours, or create other problems.
If you install appliances without written consent, Toronto Community Housing will have to remove them and charge you for any repairs.
These items are not allowed on your balcony:
- Carpets: Wet carpets can damage concrete and wood.
- Barbecues: They are fire hazards.
- Items you are storing: Using your balcony for storage creates a fire hazard.
Never throw anything off your balcony. You can seriously injure people below or damage property. You can be fined for throwing cigarette butts off your balcony. Cigarettes are the leading cause of balcony fires. They also start fires below on the grass.
Please use a drying rack to dry clothes on your balcony instead of a clothes line.
Do not leave children or pets alone on your balcony.
If you want to install pigeon netting on your balcony, call Client Care at 416-981-5500 to make this request. You must get written permission from your Tenant Service Hub or Tenant Services Coordinator. There may be a cost.
Garbage, organic waste and recycling
Rules about waste disposal may vary by property. Please be sure to separate your recycling items and your organic waste from the garbage. Check the signs at your property or ask your superintendent. Take your waste to the right chutes or containers in your building, or to the bins outside your building.
Please do your share and:
- Tie all garbage in small plastic bags and place them down the garbage chute.
- Double-bag cat litter and diapers, and place them with the organic waste.
- Avoid putting glass, aerosol cans or large items down the garbage chute. Ask your superintendent about where and how to dispose of these items.
- Ask your superintendent about where to bring furniture or other large bulky items for the garbage.
- Avoid placing household hazardous waste, such as toxic cleaning chemicals, into the garbage. Ask your superintendent about where and how to dispose of these items.
- Reduce, recycle and reuse, as much as you can.
We are making changes to our buildings to help save energy and water. Lowering energy costs and use, and reducing our carbon footprint, are priorities for Toronto Community Housing.
To conserve energy and natural gas, you can:
- Use cold water when doing your laundry.
- Use a drying rack (not a clothesline) to dry clothes on your balcony instead of using the dryer.
- Keep windows closed in winter. Report windows that do not close properly to Client Care. If you find it too warm in winter and you have a thermostat, turn it down. If you do not have a thermostat, talk to your Superintendent.
- If you find it too cold in winter, do not use your oven to warm up your home. It wastes electricity and it is unsafe. Talk to your Superintendent so we can find the problem and fix it.
- Do not leave the fridge door open. Keep the fridge cool but not too cold.
- Turn lights off when you leave a room.
- When buying electronics, look for Energy Star labels. Electronics with this label use less energy.
- Turn off TVs, stereos, and computers when they are not being used. Or use a power bar so you can turn them off with one switch.
To conserve water, you can:
- Take shorter showers.
- Turn off the water while brushing your teeth.
- Run full loads of laundry in the washing machine instead of several smaller ones.
- Report leaky taps and toilets to Client Care and site staff.
Visit our Conservation page if you want to learn more about Toronto Community Housing’s conservation efforts.
Building staff monitor the temperature in all buildings. Toronto’s bylaw requires the temperature in apartment buildings to be at least 21o Celsius from September 15 to June 1. We follow this bylaw when we turn the heat on and off.
There is no maximum temperature bylaw. Toronto Community Housing monitors conditions during periods of extreme heat. If you are concerned about the temperature inside your unit, please call the Client Care Centre at 416-981-5500.
Under your lease, you are responsible for getting insurance for your belongings. This type of insurance is usually called contents insurance or renters’ insurance.
Toronto Community Housing’s insurance will not pay to replace your belongings if something such as a fire, flood or other emergency, damages your home.
If some or all of your income is from Ontario Works or the Ontario Disability Support Program, these programs may cover the cost of contents insurance. Please speak with your case worker to learn more.
What is covered under renters’ insurance?
A general renters’ policy will offer contents coverage as well as liability coverage.
- Content coverage offers you confidence that your personal belongings are covered in the event of a fire, theft or other accidental damage.
- Liability coverage offers protection for any damage you cause to any part of your building and for unintentional harm caused to others who live in or visit the property.
What will insurance do?
Insurance can help you pay to replace your belongings if your home is damaged by flood, fire or any other incident.
Insurance may help to cover legal costs associated with a claim that you were found responsible for, such as a kitchen fire or if your pet bites someone.
Insurance may also cover the cost of a hotel stay or a replacement unit if you have to vacate your home because of damage in a fire, flood or other emergency.
What happens when you do not maintain tenant’s insurance?
If you do not have a tenants’ insurance policy, there will be no coverage for contents. As well, if you are found responsible for causing damage to the property or for causing an injury to another person, you may be responsible for any and all legal costs. This could include potential settlements or court judgment costs.
Housing Services Corporation offers a Tenant Insurance Program serviced by Marsh Canada. You can get information about rates and coverage from their website or by calling 1-866-940-5111.
If you have questions about what kind of insurance is right for you, call the Insurance Bureau of Canada at 416-362-9528, Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Other insurance claims
As a property owner, Toronto Community Housing is responsible for making sure its properties are well-maintained and safe, within reasonable standards. This legal responsibility is referred to as a “duty of care” under the Occupier’s Liability Act.
Toronto Community Housing is not automatically responsible for your damages. Tenants are responsible for purchasing insurance coverage. In the event of a claim, contact your insurer first because your policy will offer you more coverage.
If you feel you need to file an insurance claim against Toronto Community Housing, please visit the Insurance Claims section for more information.
Keys and fobs
Toronto Community Housing will give you keys or fobs for your home. If you live in an apartment building, you will get keys for your mailbox. You may also get fobs for the building’s main entrance and other common spaces.
Talk to your Superintendent if you need extra copies of a key, or if you have lost keys and need to have your locks changed. Please do not change the locks on your own. Adding or changing locks is a violation of your lease. If your lock has to be broken to enter your unit, you will be charged for the repairs.
In an emergency or after hours, call the Client Care Centre at 416-981-5500. Please know there is a charge for changing a lock or fixing a broken lock.
Please do not give copies of your keys or fobs to people who are not part of your household. This violates your lease and is a safety risk.
When you move out, simply return your keys to your Superintendent on your last day.
Important: You will be charged up to $99 to replace locks and $25 for fobs.
(Rates as of December 2022. Charges may increase in the future.)
Cockroaches, mice, and other pests can sometimes get into homes. They are harder to control in places that are cluttered or overcrowded. Like many cities in North America, bed bugs are a problem in Toronto. The only way to control them is to treat the infested units right away.
Report pests to your Superintendent right away or call the Client Care Centre. You will receive instructions on how to prepare your unit for treatment.
There is no charge for pest control treatment, unless you fail to prepare your unit or you refuse to let the contractor in at your appointment time.
Here are some ways you can help us control pests on your property:
- Keep your unit clean and clutter-free.
- Do not feed pigeons, squirrels or stray animals. They can attract other pests.
- Do not pick up furniture that others have thrown away. It could be infested.
- Do not put any garbage in hallways or on the floors of chute rooms. Place garbage in the garbage chute and make sure the chute door is fully closed.
- Larger items that do not fit into the garbage chute must be brought to the bulk garbage area.
- If you throw out pest-infested furniture or mattresses, wrap them in plastic before taking them out of your home. Never leave these items in the hallway.
We know how important your pet is to you and are happy to provide a pet-friendly environment. We follow City of Toronto bylaws regarding the number of pets allowed in a unit:
no more than three dogs for each household
no more than six of any combination of dogs, cats, ferrets, and rabbits at any time in your home.
You are responsible for your pet’s behaviour. You are also responsible for the behaviour of any pet that your visitors bring. This includes excessive noise made by the pet, as well as cleaning up after the pet.
Follow these rules:
Keep your pet on a leash in common areas. For example, your pet should be on a leash when you leave your unit and when outdoors.
Be sure that your pet does not damage property or the belongings of others.
Do not allow your pet to be a nuisance or create unreasonable disturbances.
Never leave your pet alone on your balcony.
Scoop and bag your pet’s waste, every time. Dispose in an outdoor garbage bin.
Never throw cat litter or bird cage linings in the toilet. Use your garbage chute and double bag the litter or linings.
To find out if you need a license for your pet and for other rules about pets, call the City of Toronto at 416-338-7387 or review the Pet Licensing section of the website.
Complaints about pets
You may have a complaint about a pet, such as a neighbour’s dog that barks all the time or a neighbour who never picks up after their pet. The first thing to do is contact Animal Services at 416-338-7297 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Complaints must be logged with this service. Then Toronto Community Housing staff can follow up with your neighbour about your concerns.
Phone, cable and internet
Phone, cable and internet are not included in your rent. You can choose any company that provides these services in Toronto.
You can also find out about Rogers’ Connected for Success internet program. It provides high-speed, low-cost internet across Canada to subsidized tenants, seniors and to individuals receiving disability and income support.
Please make appointments with the phone or cable company during business hours from Monday to Friday. This is so your Superintendent can be there if the technician needs access to a restricted area of the building.
If you live in a building with an enter-phone system and you find it is not working, tell your superintendent. The superintendent will check that your phone number is properly registered and able to be connected to the enter-phone system.
Lobby channel feed
Most Toronto Community Housing high-rise buildings have a lobby area with a camera that provides a live feed through residents' televisions. Until recently, residents could access this lobby channel feed without a cable subscription.
This service is not owned by Toronto Community Housing. Over the past few years, both Bell and Rogers have upgraded their technology and that has affected who is able to view the lobby camera through their TV. This change-over in technology is not just in Toronto Community Housing buildings, but in other residential apartment buildings and condominiums throughout the city.
We are working with the cable companies, notably Rogers, to support residents as best as we can. However, we have no control over how the cable companies deliver their services. The lobby channel is completely separate from Toronto Community Housing's network of 6,000 security cameras, which are linked to dedicated and secured recording systems.
What has changed? As of 2022:
- Bell no longer offers this service at all
- Rogers still offers this service in basic packages, but not through Rogers Ignite. If you upgrade your cable package to Rogers Ignite, you will no longer be able to view the lobby channel.
Repairs and maintenance
Call the Client Care Centre right away when repairs are needed. If you wait, a problem could become worse. In some cases, if you wait too long, you may be charged for part or all of the cost of the repairs.
To request a routine repair:
Call the Client Care Centre at 416-981-5500. Or, you can send an email to email@example.com. We respond to non-urgent requests for repairs and maintenance within 5 business days. We will work with you to find a lasting solution.
Our agents will give you a reference number. Use this number when you follow up on your request.
For emergency repairs:
Call the Client Care Centre at 416-981-5500. A staff person or vendor will be at your home within 4 hours. We will try to fix the problem right away. If we cannot, we will try to make a temporary repair to stop it from getting worse.
If the repair is temporary, staff or a vendor will return within five business days to make a permanent repair.
Please get written permission from your Regional Office before you install a satellite dish. Installation must be done by a recognized professional for safety reasons and you must provide proof that your satellite dish was properly installed.
If you install a satellite dish without written permission, you will be charged the cost of having it removed and for any needed repairs.
Please note: if you install a satellite dish, you must have insurance for your home.
Smoking in your unit
If you smoke in your unit, keep the doors closed so smoke does not travel down the hallway. If you smoke on your balcony, consider checking with neighbours to make sure they are not affected by second-hand smoke. Never throw cigarette butts off the balcony. This is an extreme fire hazard. You can also be fined for doing so.
Every month, Toronto Housing staff test fire alarms and other life safety systems in the common areas of your building.
- Your Tenant Services Coordinator will tell you which utilities you have to pay for directly and which ones are included in your rent.
- If you pay rent-geared-to-income, the amount you pay for utilities will be different depending on the size of your unit. The amounts are set in the Housing Services Act and the City’s rent-geared-to-income guidelines.
If you are responsible for paying for electricity, call Toronto Hydro at 416-542-8000 or visit torontohydro.com to set up your account before your move-in date.
If you are responsible for paying for gas, call Enbridge Gas at 1-888-427-8888 or visit Enbridgegas.com to set up your account before your move-in date.