Section 13 Rent Regulation

Rehabilitation Scheme for All or Part of a Residential Complex


a. 91.1, 99,133 – 135.1,The Residential Tenancies Act
s. 12, Residential Rent Regulation
s.13, Residential Tenancies Regulation


Exemption period:  the number of years in which a landlord can increase rent above the annual rent increase guideline without applying to the Branch.

Rehabilitation scheme:  a detailed plan for major improvements to a rental unit or residential complex.


A landlord who plans to make major improvements to a rental unit or residential complex may apply to the Branch for a temporary exemption from the annual rent increase guideline.  When applying for approval of a rehabilitation scheme, a landlord must pay the Branch a non-refundable application fee.


A landlord who applies for a rehabilitation scheme:

  •  must not have given any tenant a notice of termination under section 99(1)(b) (renovating a rental unit to such an extent that the tenant must move out) and

  •  must not start any improvement proposed in their rehabilitation scheme

before the branch issues the first order.

The Branch supplies an application form for the landlord to complete. A landlord may use their own form as long as it has the same information as the Branch’s form.


Within 14 days of applying for approval of their rehabilitation scheme, the landlord must give the tenants affected by the scheme written notice of their plans. The landlord must also give the tenants a chance to inspect the application and the supporting information.

To qualify as a rehabilitation scheme, a landlord must choose:

  • Three items from Box 1 OR
  • Three items from Box 2 OR
  • Two items from Box 2 and two items from Box 3.

Box 1   Structural Improvements
             Structural Improvements
             Structural Improvements

Box 2   Electrical Wiring
             Structural Improvements

Box 3   Installation of insulation and related measures to improve thermal              efficiency
             Installation of insulation and related measures to improve thermal              efficiency

The improvements must substantially increase the life expectancy and the quality of the residential complex and the rental units in the residential complex.  The improvements must include major renovations to the rental units (for example: new flooring, new cabinets, new appliances, new bathrooms)and any required renovations in the common areas of the complex.

Major improvements include those repairs required to:

  • correct deficiencies that threaten the health and safety of the occupants;

  • replace functioning but deteriorated components where failure is expected within a reasonably short time or where failure would result in damage to other building components ; for example: masonry chimneys with deteriorated and missing mortar; roof membranes that are not leaking but show evidence of previous failure and substantial patching and repair, major components of a heating system, such as the fire box and heat exchanger, that may be functioning but which have had substantial repair.

Major improvements do not include basic and standard maintenance items such as the following:

  • repairing a leaking roof that requires minor repair or patching of flashing and shingles but not replacement;

  • cleaning a furnace and adjusting the burners;

  • repairing or replacing a leaking faucet;

  • repairing or replacing electrical fixtures, such as outlets or light fixtures;

  • repairing or replacing doors or windows with cracked panes of glass or damaged or deteriorated sills but whose components are in reasonable condition;

  • repairs to the motor and controls of a furnace.

Although the cost to do extensive maintenance might be high, it would still not qualify the property for approval of a rehabilitation scheme.

Repairs to restore a building or rental unit that has been destroyed or partially destroyed by fire or flood are not "major improvements" if the building or rental unit is simply restored to what it was immediately before the fire or flood.

The Branch has established rehabilitation standards. Since these standards may change, anyone who is considering a rehabilitation scheme should contact the Branch for the most up-to-date information. The standards are as follows:

All work must be done in a skillful and workmanlike manner.

Permits, Drawings and Work Write-ups:

A landlord must:

  • obtain building permits, occupancy permits, and building services certificates as required by the authority having jurisdiction;

  • obtain architectural drawings, shop drawings and specifications and related professional supervision costs, where required by an authority having jurisdiction;

  • describe all work clearly in a work write-up to ensure that contractors consistently understand the work required; provide reasonable quantities, dimensions, drawings and other explanatory material, where applicable and where possible;

  • carry out work on buildings designated as architecturally or historically significant in a manner consistent with the objectives of the designating authority.

Site Planning and Improvement:

A landlord must:

  • repair or remove dilapidated structures that constitute a fire safety hazard from the site;

  • repair or replace ancillary storage buildings where replacement is more economical than repair ;

  • repair or replace walkways, driveways and parking structures that constitute a safety hazard ;

  • install a new walkway where the lack of a walkway constitutes a safety hazard;

  • provide adequate surface water drainage over the building site and take suitable measures for its disposal without erosion;

  • undertake slope stabilization, where required, to protect the buildings and surrounding property to a reasonable distance from the building.

Rental Units and Common Areas:

A landlord must:

  • repair or replace deteriorated food preparation work surfaces;

  • ensure that base kitchen cabinets provide adequate support for the work surface;

  • ensure that bathroom space meets local health requirements and that facilities are installed so they comply with local building requirements;

  • replace deteriorated appliances;

  • replace deteriorated carpets and vinyl flooring; refinish deteriorated hardwood floors;

  • take appropriate measures to repair damage, exterminate or remove pests, and protect the building against re-infestation, where the presence of insects, rodents, or other pests damaging to the building or the health of the occupants is evident or suspected.

Fire protection:

A landlord must:

  • provide each dwelling unit and common space with fire protection that complies with local fire prevention requirements;

  • ensure that dwelling units are separated from adjacent rooms and dwellings by a fire separation having a fire resistance rating that complies with local fire prevention requirements;

  • install smoke alarms in each dwelling unit, in locations that comply with local fire prevention requirements; the alarms must be those approved by the local fire prevention authority;

  • fire-stop concealed spaces that could provide a passage for the spread of smoke and flame between dwelling units, between stories within a dwelling unit, or between a storey and a roof space;

  • provide a means of egress for multiple unit buildings, including emergency lighting and signage, in accordance with local fire prevention requirements.

Building Exterior and Structure:

A landlord must:

  • ensure that structural components of buildings are sized so they are capable of supporting the loads imposed on them without failure or undue movement;

  • repair or replace structural members that are so deteriorated that their load-carrying capacity has been compromised;

  • repair or replace interior and exterior stairs, landings, balconies, porches or verandahs and related handrails and guards if they are deteriorated and present a safety hazard;

  • ensure that wooden exterior fire escape stairs and landings comply with local building requirements; repair or replace foundations as necessary, to ensure they are capable of supporting the loads imposed;

  • repair foundation walls where water penetration has caused or will cause structural damage or is a threat to building services or living areas contained in the space; the landlord must damp-proof or waterproof the walls and provide adequate drainage;

  • ensure that exterior walls prevent the entry of water and are reasonably durable;

  • caulk or flash the junctions of exterior finish materials and window and door frames, exhaust fan outlets and other penetrations, as required, to prevent the entry of water into the building exterior;

  • ensure that roof components are capable of supporting any loads imposed and provide a suitable surface for the fastening of roofing materials;

  • ensure that the roof covering is capable of preventing the entry of rain and snow into the roof space; ensure that, where the construction of a sloped roof is being considered because it is more cost effective than the repair of the original flat roof, they review the manufacturer's specifications to determine if the existing structure can support the additional loads imposed by a new wood frame roof; if such specifications are not available, the landlord must obtain an engineer's certificate certifying such a modification;

  • vent roof and attic spaces to the exterior where there is evidence that condensation is occurring or may occur;

  • ensure that floor assemblies are capable of supporting the loads without undue movement and provide a surface suitable for the installation of floor covering materials in all habitable areas;

  • repair basement floor slabs where heaving or buckling has caused a safety hazard;

  • take measures to prevent the entry of moisture through the basement or crawl space floors;

  • level sloping or sagging wood floor systems where the slope constitutes a hazard.

Energy Conservation and Ventilation

A landlord must:

  • restore insulation to its original thermal value, where repairs result in the exposure of the insulation; insulate hollow walls; insulate attics/ceilings to a minimum of R40 (North of 58th parallel – R60);

  • seal paths of air leakage from the interior of the dwelling unit into insulated wall, ceiling or floor assemblies to the extent that accessibility and practicality allow; provide an effective air barrier or vapour barrier, where interior or exterior wall finish is being removed or replaced;

  • provide ventilation that complies with local building requirements;

  • repair or replace existing windows and doors, including hardware;

  • repair existing windows or doors to restore adequate operation;

  • paint, or otherwise protect, wood components of windows and doors to prevent deterioration.

A landlord must:

  • paint, or otherwise protect, exterior cladding and trim to prevent deterioration;

  • provide a waterproof wall finish around bathtubs to a height of not less than 1200mm (46 in.) above the rim of bathtubs equipped with showers and 400 mm (16in.) above the rim of bathtubs not equipped with showers;

  • provide a waterproof wall finish in shower stalls to a height of not less than 1800 mm (6 ft.) above the floor.

  • apply a protective coating, such as paint, where interior finishes are installed;

  • provide handrails and guards that comply with local building requirements;

  • cover floors in bathrooms, shower rooms and toilet rooms with a flooring material that is impervious to water and provides reasonable wear resistance;

  • replace or repair floor or stair finishes that are deteriorated to the point of presenting a significant safety hazard.


A landlord must:

  • ensure that any new heating equipment, including oil-burning, gas-burning, electric and solid-fuel-burning furnaces, stoves, heaters, add-on units and factory-built chimneys is certified, listed and labelled, under the appropriate Canadian standards;

  • seal off or repair existing fireplaces and chimneys deemed to be a fire hazard;

  • install new heating equipment, including provision for mounting, clearances and air supply, to conform to appropriate provincial or municipal requirements;

  • size smoke pipes, vent connectors, vents and flues to comply with the specifications of the manufacturer of the heating equipment;

  • repair or replace badly deteriorated masonry chimneys with a suitable factory-built chimney;

  • ensure that new liners for existing masonry chimneys are certified, listed and labelled for the particular use and are installed following the manufacturer’s recommendations and comply with local building requirements;

  • ensure that existing fuel-burning appliances, including chimneys and other components of fuel-burning appliances carrying flue gases from the appliance to the exterior, have sufficient clearance throughout their length to prevent overheating of adjacent combustible construction.


A landlord must:

  • provide dwelling units with an adequate source of potable water in accordance with the requirements of the local authority;

  • repair or replace defective plumbing pipes and broken or inoperative fixtures

  • ensure that plumbing pipes and fixtures are adequately supported and protected from freezing;

  • replace galvanized steel pipe carrying domestic hot water with copper tubing or chlorinated polyvinyl chloride pipe in accordance with the requirements of the local authority or, in the absence of local regulations, with the requirements of the Canadian Plumbing Code;

  • provide dwelling units with adequate facilities for sewage disposal in accordance with the requirements of the provincial or local municipal authority.


A landlord must:

  • ensure that electrical installations, including the service capacity and the number and distribution of circuits, meet the requirements of the local authority. If there are no local requirements, the landlord must ensure that electrical installations meet the Canadian Electrical Code.


A landlord must:

  • ensure that elevators comply with the requirements of the local authority.

Environmental Concerns

A landlord must:

  • ensure that they take special precautionary measures to clean up where lead-based paint is necessarily being disturbed by repairs or renovations;.

  • take precautionary measures for the removal of asbestos where it is necessarily being disturbed because of repairs or renovations.

  • take the required remedial measures where the presence of an environment hazard has been confirmed by an acceptable means of testing and the hazard poses an immediate threat to the health and safety of the occupants.

    • <><><><>

When a landlord applies to the Branch, the tenant has the right to end a fixed term tenancy agreement with notice of two rental payment periods.  A tenant may give notice at any time from the date they receive notice that the landlord has applied for approval of a rehabilitation scheme to 14 days after they receive either the first or final order from the Branch or the Residential Tenancies Commission on the landlord's application.


If a landlord plans to temporarily move tenants out of their rental unit during the renovations, they must provide details in the plan. The landlord is responsible for the costs of the temporary move.


During renovations, the landlord must:

  • tell tenants, in writing, that contractors will be going into their units, and when they will be going in;

  • tell tenants, in writing, if there will be any disruption of service;  For example: temporary shutdown of hydro or water service; and

  • minimize disruptions to tenants;  For example: provide a temporary water supply if water has to be shut off for an extended period of time.


If the tenants must move out to allow the landlord to do the work, the landlord must give them a written notice to end the tenancy. The length of notice the a landlord is required to give for this reason is based on the vacancy rate in the area. The landlord must pay the tenant’s moving expenses up to $500.00.

Note: Landlords must not give any tenants in the residential complex a notice of termination for renovations before the first Order is made.

Tenants who lived in a residential complex, before the rehabilitation scheme, must be given the first chance to move back in. The landlord must charge the returning tenant the lowest rent they would charge any other tenant for the same unit.


If a plan is approved, the rental unit(s) or complex can be exempt from the annual rent increase guideline for up to five years. The landlord is still required to give the tenants three months’ notice of any rent increase. The landlord is also required to give a Notice to New Tenant form to any tenant moving into the building.


To set an exemption period, the Branch calculates how much the landlord plans to spend on each unit.

The Branch uses the following scale:

        Cost Per Unit                                             Exemption Period

        $19,000.00 - $22,999.99                                  2 years
        $23,000.00 - $26,999.99                                  3 years
        $27,000.00 - $40,999.99                                  4 years
        $41,000.00 or more                                          5 years

After the Branch sets an exemption period, a landlord may find that they must do more work than originally planned. If this happens, the landlord can apply to the Branch to extend the exemption period.




A landlord applies for approval of a rehabilitation plan. A building inspector reviews the plan, inspects the unit(s) or complex, and writes a report. A hearing is scheduled. The officer considers all the information, makes a decision and issues an Order, either rejecting the plan or approving it on the condition that the plan be completed. Once completed, a new inspection is made and a new hearing held. If the plan is approved, the officer follows set procedures for tenant and landlord review of information, inspections, hearings and Orders.

Steps ▼   

1.     When a landlord applies, the officer reviews the completed application,         supporting information and calculations.

2.     If necessary, the officer sends the landlord a letter asking for any         missing information.

3.     The officer has a building inspector review the plan and inspect the         rental unit(s) or complex.

4.     Once the officer receives the inspector’s written report, they schedule a         hearing for the tenants affected by the renovations and the landlord. The         officer sends letters to the tenants and landlord inviting them to the         hearing. The letter advises the tenants of their opportunity to inspect the         landlord’s application at the Branch before the hearing date.

5.     At the hearing, the landlord may present information on the scheme. The         tenants can speak about any concerns they have about the landlord’s         plans.

6.     The officer considers all the tenant and landlord information, makes a         decision and issues an Order, either approving or rejecting the plan.

        If the plan is approved, the Order sets out:

  • when the landlord must complete the renovations;
  • any special conditions; For example: steps that the landlord must take to minimize disruption to tenants;
  • any additional repairs or upgrades the landlord must do to ensure that the renovated rental unit or residential complex meets all health, building and maintenance, and occupancy standards; and
  • the proposed exemption period and the date it will begin.

7.     A landlord can apply to extend the exemption period within 30 days of         completing the plan. If the officer approves the extension, they issue an         Order setting the new exemption period.

8.     When the landlord completes the work, the landlord must submit copies         of all invoices to the Branch.

9.     The officer then arranges for another building inspection. Whenever         possible, the officer asks the same building inspector who did the first         inspection to do the second inspection.

10.  If the inspector indicates the work is satisfactory, the officer schedules a         second hearing with the landlord and tenants affected by the         renovations. The tenants can review the invoices and inspector’s report         at the Branch before the hearing. Once the officer is satisfied that the         work is complete and all conditions have been met, they issue an Order         confirming the exemption period. The landlord and tenants get a copy of         the Order.

        If inspector indicates the work is not satisfactory, the officer contacts the         landlord to discuss the problem. If the landlord does not complete the         work to the officer’s satisfaction, the officer may amend or rescind the         original Order. The landlord and tenants get a copy of the Order.

11.  The tenants or the landlord can appeal either decision to the Residential         Tenancies Commission.

12.  After the final order is issued and the appeal period is over, the branch         registers a notice saying that the residential complex is the subject of a         rehabilitation scheme under section 134 of the Act. .



Forms & Form Letters

Application for Approval of Rehabilitation Scheme for All or Part of a Residential Complex. To see Form 5A click here.

Notice to Tenant – Rehabilitation Scheme for All or Part of a Residential Complex. To see Form 6 click here.




For more information on giving a tenant notice, see Notice by Landlord – Landlord Requires Unit for Own Use in Section 7.



Policy Developed

September, 1992*



Last Revision

August, 2015



Other Resources







Return to the Guidebook Table of Contents

The contents of this page are subject to this standard warning note