Renting in Windsor Part 2 – How to Apply for Residential Rental License

Renting in Windsor

In Part 1 of this article, we took a look at what a Residential Rental License was and who needed to apply for one. In this part, we will go through the application process in detail to know what documents are required and which inspections will be carried out before the license is issued.

The information in this article is referenced from the City Of Windsor website.

Step 1. Completing the application form

To complete the residential rental licence application form, you will need to know:

  • The street address of the unit
  • General information about the unit’s layout (e.g number of bedrooms)
  • The name, date of birth, and contact information of all property owners

If you do not live in Windsor, you will need to provide the contact information of someone who is locally responsible for the property, like a property managed.

Although the application form can be filled digitally, it needs to be printed on paper and brought in person to the City Hall for submission.

Step 2. Completing the property standards and safety checklist

Before providing the residential rental licence, each site is visited by the Building By-law and Fire Protection Officers to ensure the unit is safe for residence.

Owners can refer to the property standards and safety checklist to understand the scope of the inspection and make necessary fixes. To complete the property standards and safety checklist, please read the guidelines provided at the top of each section in italics and the condition statement for each item.

For detailed information on a particular condition’s description, one can refer to the appropriate by-law. In case of any confusion about the terminology, the definitions listed a the beginning of the by-law can come in handy.

If you are unable to interpret any aspect of the checklist or unsure if a provision applies to your unit, you will have to speak to an expert or professional.

Step 3. Arranging for Electrical System Safety Assessment (ESSA)

Before a license can be issued, you need to show that your unit was evaluated by a Licensed Electrical Contracting (LEC) business recently and that no defects were found. You can find a local LEC using the Electrical Safety Authority’s Contractor Locator.

If during the inspection, the licensed electrician found no visible defects, they can present the owner with a signed document similar to the sample Electrical System Safety Assessment (ESSA) Licensed Electrical Contracting (LEC) letter.

In order for the letter to be accepted, it must include:

  • The LEC business name, contact information, and ECRA/ESA licence number
  • The property owner’s name and mailing address
  • The municipal address of the unit
  • The date the ESSA was performed, which must be no more than 6 months prior to the date of application
  • The name of the electrician performing the ESSA and their findings

An ESSA is valid for 5 years from the date of issuance. You can read more about ESSA on the Electrical Safety Authority’s website.

Step 4. Gather supporting documentation

While submitting the license application at City Hall, you will need to provide several documents that prove your identity and qualification. These documents cannot be submitted online and must be originals or certified copies.

To apply for a license for a property  you own, you need:

  • Two pieces of government-issued identification (ID):
    a. One photo ID
    b. One demonstrating Canadian citizenship, Canadian residency, or legal work status
  • Proof of property ownership:
    a. Property deed or title
  • Proof of property insurance that:
    a. Includes liability coverage of at least $2,000,000 per occurrence for damage and liability
    b. Identifies the property is used as a rental
    c. Requires notification to the licence commissioner of any intended cancellation by the insurer at least 14 days in advance

To apply for a licence for a property owned by a corporation, you need:

  • Two pieces of government-issued identification:
    ‚ÄÉa. One photo ID
    ‚ÄÉb. One demonstrating citizenship
  • Proof of property ownership:
    ‚ÄÉa. Property deed or title
  • Proof of property insurance that:
    ‚ÄÉa. Includes liability coverage of at least $2,000,000 per occurrence for damage and liability
    ‚ÄÉb. Identifies the property is used as a rental
    ‚ÄÉc. Requires notification to the licence commissioner of any intended cancellation by the insurer at least 14 days in advance
  • A signed¬†business ownership declaration form, and
  • A copy of the business’s partnership agreement,¬†or,
  • A¬†corporate profile report¬†dated no more than 30 days prior to the application date

If you are applying for a license on behalf of the owner as their authorized agent, you will also need to bring two pieces of government-issued identification for yourself, including one photo ID.

Step 5. Getting a police record check

While applying for the license, you also need to include a police record check for each owner issued no more than 30 days from the date of submitting your application and paying the application fee.

In case the owner is a partnership or a corporation, the price record check should be done for each partner or for each director, officer, or shareholder with more than 30% of shares.

The police record check must be issued by the local police service where the owner or authorized agent lives. If you live in Windsor, you can request a Level 1 Criminal Record Check (CRC) through Windsor Police Services. If you live outside of Windsor, you can request a similar document from your local police service.

If you are applying for multiple licences on the same day, you can use the same police check documents for all of them.

Step 6. Inspection from Building and Fire

Once the application is submitted and the license fee paid, the City staff will reach out to you to schedule a time for the visit by the Building By-law Officer and Fire Prevention Officer. During the visit, the officers will verify the conditions you indicated on the property standards and safety checklist.

In the event that the officers cannot access all or a part of the unit, the inspection will continue at a later date and the applicant may be charged additional fees to cover the cost of re-inspection.

Once officers from Fire and Building confirm that the unit meets the required standards, the Licensing staff will be notified and your license will be issued.


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