Rental housing

Everyone has a right to safe, affordable rental housing. Shared rental housing in Guelph is regulated through the various city bylaws and Provincial Fire and Building Codes to ensure safe rental accommodation is available, and is compatible with the surrounding community.

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Tenant safety

Make sure you’ll be safe

Book a FREE inspection of your rental unit.
Call 519-837-5615, press 1 or email tenantsafety@guelph.ca

Here are six things you should know about your home. If you answer “don’t know” or “no” to any of these questions, please contact us.

  1. Do you have working smoke alarms on every level and outside every sleeping area? Note: Houses built after 2013 must also have a smoke alarm on every level.
  2. Do you have working carbon monoxide alarms installed (if applicable)?
  3. Do you have two safe ways to get out of the unit in case of a fire?
  4. If you or your housemate(s) sleep in the basement: Is there a big enough window or door leading directly outside so you can get out in case of a fire?
  5. If your building has more than four bedrooms sharing one kitchen is it certified with the City?
  6. If your building has two separate kitchens is it registered with the City?

Before you move in

Call the City to see if the property is registered or certified. We can also tell you about building permits or any outstanding complaints, so you know you are safe when you move in.

After you move in

We can come and see if your rental unit meets minimum safety standards. Contact us to book a free inspection of your rental unit.

For more information or to book a free inspection

Building Services
519-837-5615, press 1
tenantsafety@guelph.ca

New to Guelph?

Guelph’s rules about parking, garbage and recycling, property maintenance, and noise might be different than the rules in your old neighbourhood. Visit the “How can we help you?” page to learn more about City services or report problems in your neighbourhood.

Learn how to keep the police from crashing your party, and keep the peace with your new neighbours.

Lodging house regulations

The creation, maintenance and certification of lodging houses are governed by the Ontario Fire Code, Ontario Building Code and the following Guelph bylaws:

Accessory apartment regulations

An accessory apartment is permitted in most single detached and semi-detached houses located within residential single detached (R1), residential semi-detached /duplex, providing parking regulations can be met (R2), central business district 2 (CBD2) and office residential (OR) zones.

In order to be considered legal, the apartment must be inspected and registered by the City as a two unit house. To become registered, the property must meet the requirements of the City of Guelph Zoning By-Law and, either the Ontario Building Code or the Ontario Fire Code, as determined by City of Guelph Building Services.

Enforcement activities

Shared rental housing in Guelph is regulated through enforcement of various city bylaws and Provincial Fire and Building Codes to ensure safe rental accommodation is available, and is compatible with the surrounding community. These regulations are reactively and proactively enforced throughout the City.

The City may pursue search warrants to access properties suspected of non-compliance and increase fines for violations.

For more information

Building Services
519-837-5615
building@guelph.ca

To protect the health, safety and well-being of people living in neighbourhoods with high concentrations of rental housing, the City works with the University of Guelph and the Guelph Police Service to prevent and respond to complaints about land use, safety, noise, litter, vandalism and other disruptive behaviour.The City collaborates with community groups and stakeholders, and supports communications and education programs designed to discourage disruptive or disrespectful behaviour such Safe Semester, as well as the Right Foot Forward and Move Out Madness programs administered by the University of Guelph Off-Campus Living Office.

Enforcement activities

Got noisy neighbours? Cars parking on sidewalks, boulevards, grassed areas? Neighbours have a messy yard? Use the How can we help you? webpage to report a problem or keep these phone numbers handy.

Have concerns about rental properties in your neighbourhood? Shared rental housing in Guelph is regulated through enforcement of city bylaws and Provincial Fire and Building Codes. The City may pursue search warrants to access properties suspected of non-compliance and hand out fines for violations. Potential violations include:

  • Property with five or more bedrooms for rent,
  • Rental property with a second kitchen that is not registered as an accessory apartment, or
  • Work completed inside a property without a building permit.

Contact Building Services with questions or concerns at 519-837-5615 extension 1 or building@guelph.ca

Background information and regulations

Licensing is not required for shared rental housing in Guelph

In 2014, the City considered, and decided not to implement a licensing program for rental housing. Licensing would not necessarily address concerns expressed by those living in neighbourhoods with high concentrations of rental housing, and the cost of administering the program would likely be passed on to tenants.

Staff report on rental housing licensing

Current regulations