Guelph tenant safety initiative starts September 1

Guelph, Ont., August 31, 2016 – The City of Guelph, in partnership with the University of Guelph Off-Campus Living office, is carrying out a tenant safety initiative during the month of September.

“We encourage all tenants in Guelph to book a free safety inspection of their rental unit,” explains Bill Bond, a Building Services inspector at the City. “Tenants often don’t know if their rental unit meets minimum safety standards and we’re here to help.”

This is the second year the City is running this successful program. Last year’s one week blitz, held in October, resulted in 29 inspections and the identification of more than 30 safety concerns within rental units.

To arrange a free safety inspection of a rental unit, email tenantsafety@guelph.ca or call 519-837-5615 extension 1.

The inspections take 15 minutes to conduct and are scheduled Monday to Friday from 9 to 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 to 4 p.m. Inspections that cannot be accommodated in September will be scheduled in October.

“Although tenants can book free safety inspections throughout the year, we are focusing our promotional efforts on the month of September since many people are moving into new rental units or are back from summer vacation”, adds Bond.

City inspectors check each unit to determine if there are safety concerns related to the Ontario building and fire code regulations. Safe rental units have:

  • working smoke alarms on every level and outside every sleeping area (houses built after 2013 must also have a smoke alarm in every bedroom)
  • working carbon monoxide alarms (if applicable)
  • a large enough window or door to get directly outside if there is a bedroom in the basement
  • fire separation(s) between each unit

A working smoke alarm increases a person’s chance of surviving a fire. Tenants should check that their landlord has installed working smoke alarms on all levels and outside each sleeping area. While it is the landlord’s responsibility to install and maintain alarms, tenants are required by law to notify the landlord immediately if a smoke alarm has been disconnected or is not working. Tenants can do their part by testing the alarms monthly.

In addition to smoke alarms, rental units require a carbon monoxide alarm to be installed outside of sleeping areas if the unit contains a fuel burning appliance, fireplace or attached garage.

Free tenant safety inspections are available all year.

Information about tenant safety and Guelph’s rules and bylaws regulating shared rental housing are available at guelph.ca/tenants.

For more information

Bill Bond, Inspector
Building Services
519-822-1260 extension 2382
bill.bond@guelph.ca