Tenant Information

The following is important information for tenants with Brantford Housing Services.

When to contact your Property Management Assistant

  • Maintenance requests
  • Rent (rent-geared-to-income tenants)
  • Annual income reviews
  • Lost keys
  • Pursuit of income
  • Fire and life safety

When to contact your Property Manager

  • Complains about neighbours
  • Questions about the lease
  • Rent (market-rent tenants)
  • Late rent
  • General concerns about the building
  • Current or former arrears
  • Transferring to a different unit
  • Guests staying longer than 14 nights
  • Damages
  • Alterations to the unit
  • Moving out

When to contact your Key Holder

If you are locked out of your unit your key holder may be able to let you in, Otherwise, tenants should not go directly to the key holder. Housing Services staff may ask the key holder to check on something, or grant access to the tenant or a contractor.

Rent

Rent is due on the first of each month. Preferred method is pre-authorized payment. You will need to complete a form with your banking information and give Housing Services permission to charge your account (provide a void cheque or the form with the account info, from the bank).

Payments can be made at 220 Colborne Street by debit card, cash, cheque, money order or post-dated cheques. There is also a drop box at 220 Colborne Street. Mark your payments “Attention Housing Department.” DO NOT put cash in the drop box.

Market Rent: Market rent is rent set based on the market rent for the area. It increases once a year on the anniversary of your tenancy.

Rent-Geared-to-Income: Rent-geared-to-income is calculated based on formulas established by legislation (Housing Services Act). Generally it is calculated on 30% of your gross household income or a scale for Social Assistance and ODSP and adjusted by utilities. Tenants must inform Brantford Housing of changes in monthly income or the people living in the unit within 30 days of the change.

Pursuit of income

Tenants must make an effort to pursue income: support, employment assistance and social assistance. Tenants are not required to be employed to be eligible for rent subsidy.

Transferring to a different unit

Tenants wanting to transfer to a different unit must complete a Transfer Request Form.

To qualify to transfer to a different unit, the following must apply:

  • The tenant must have lived in current unit for 12 months
  • The tenant must have had no rent arrears for at least 6 months in a row
  • Transfer is subject to a satisfactory unit inspection
  • The tenant must continue to be eligible for rent-geared-to-income

Reasons for Transfer

  • Victims of family violence
  • Over-housed (too many bedrooms for family size)
  • Approved for special medical priority (subject to medical documentation)
  • Urgent Priority (severe circumstances requiring transfer)
  • Under-housed (too few bedrooms for family size)

Tenants wanting to move from a Brantford Housing unit to a subsidized unit with another housing provider (not managed by Brantford Housing) must complete a new application for housing.

Guests

Tenants can have guests for up to 14 nights per year. If a guest is planning to stay more than 14 nights, approval must be obtained from the Property Manager.

Damages

Tenants will be invoiced for damages beyond normal wear and tear.

Content and liability insurance

Tenants are encouraged to purchase a tenant insurance policy to cover their personal property and liability. Brant Housing insurance does not cover tenants' belongings.

Pets

Tenants can have pets but they are responsible for their pet's behaviour and must follow all provincial and municipal by-laws (stoop & scoop, etc.).

Internal review

Tenants can request an internal review (appeal) for:

  • Rent subsidy calculation
  • No longer eligible for rent subsidy
  • Transfer refused
  • Determination that the household is over housed

Before requesting an internal review the tenant should discuss the situation with the person who signed the letter (PMA or PM). If the issue can't be resolved, then put in a request for an internal review.

Repairs

During the day tenants should speak to their PMA about needed repairs. The work will be issued based on priority.

If there is an emergency after hours (uncontrolled flooding, loss of heat, faulty smoke alarm) call the regular number and it will go through to an answering service (a live person).

If the building has on-site maintenance a non-emergency request can be put in the maintenance slot.

You could also try these things first:

  • Plunging a plugged toilet or backed up sink
  • Make sure a non-working fridge or stove is plugged in, and that the breaker is in

Emergency

For fire, criminal activity, etc. call 911. Then let your Property Manager know.

Alterations to the unit

Window air conditioners must be installed according to policy and have Property Manager approval. Satellite dishes must not be attached to the building. You can use a tripod, but must have Property Manager approval.

Pests

Brantford Housing Services wants to know if you think you have bed bugs or other pests. We will have the unit inspected and if you do have bed bugs we will have your unit treated. You will be required to prepare your unit to allow for successful treatment.

Complaints

Complaints should be put in writing. The Property Manager or Housing Community Outreach Worker can help if necessary. Most complaints should go to the Property Manager first. If the tenant is still not satisfied after a reasonable time has passed, the complaint should go the Supervisor, Housing Operations.

Fire and life safety

If you hear an alarm from your smoke alarm, check for fire. If you suspect fire, leave the area, closing doors behind you. Sound the main alarm (in apartments). Call 911 from a safe location.

If you hear an alarm from your carbon monoxide detector and you have a headache, dizziness, nausea or vomiting, everyone must leave the home immediately. If no one feels sick, open windows and turn off the furnace. Then reset the alarm.

If the alarm (smoke and/or carbon monoxide) continues to sound Housing Services will replace the alarm. Do not disconnect your alarm. It is against the law and you could be fined.

Moving out

You must provide 60 days written notice and the last day must be the last day of a month. The tenant is responsible for the rent until this date.

Units must be left clean, all garbage removed, dark paint colours primed a light colour and any damages repaired to Housing Services' satisfaction. The tenant may be charged for damages beyond normal wear and tear. The charges will remain on the provincial arrears database and will be forwarded to collections. This could affect the tenant's credit rating.

All keys and access cards must be returned to Housing Services.

Forms

For tenant forms, visit the tenant forms page.