What's the purpose of the Rental License?

Everyone deserves to live in a safe and healthy environment. The City of Waterloo Rental License aims to ensure that property standards are being met, in order to provide residents with quality homes to rent and live in. The license allows the city to take direct action with non-compliant properties. 


Property Owners

Why should you embrace the Rental Licensing system?

We all know that one building that is neglected, with a reputation for having sub-par living conditions and is an eye-sore to an otherwise lovely community. Would you want that building across the street from your rental unit, affecting your property value? Furthermore, would you want to be that property owner, known for not providing the basic necessities to paying tenants? You can purchase a rental license, but you can't purchase your reputation. The licensing system assists in keeping neighbourhoods from declining, by creating standards for all eligible rentals and their property owners to adhere to. 

Hoffaco Property Management can help you obtain your Rental License. Contact rent@hoffaco.com, with your property information, for assistance. 


What you need to know:

The City of Waterloo Rental Licenses are required for the following types of rentals:

  • CLASS A Rental License: Residential home with between 1-4 bedroom rentals/  Low-rise building with 1-3 rental units
  • CLASS B Rental License: Renting out AND living at a residential home with between 1-4 bedrooms
  • CLASS C Rental LicenseMore than 5 bedroom rentals within a single dwelling (ie: boarding house, lodging house, etc.)
  • CLASS D Rental License: For an existing lodging house that existed prior to June 2012. If you have not applied for a Rental License prior to June 2012, you are no longer eligible for the grandfathering exemption. You will require a CLASS C Rental License.
  • CLASS E Rental License (Temporary License): For the rental of your residence for a period of 3 years or less. The residence must be owner occupied for 2 years after the CLASS E expiry, before applying for another CLASS E Rental License.
  • CLASS Z Rental License: Rental of a building with more than 4 units that are horizontally separated and do not have a common interior entrance/hallway. 
  • Rental Licenses are non-transferable. If you purchase a building or residence that previously had a rental license or even a current one, you must go through the application and inspection process from the beginning.
  • Hotels, B&B's and sub-lets by tenants do not need a Rental License. 
  • You must renew your license annually, by April 1st. You will need an HVAC inspection certificate, your renew fee, and a certificate of insurance. You must provide an ESA Inspection Certificate every 5 years. 


New to the process? Here is what you will need:

You may bring all documents in person, into the City of Waterloo Enforcement Office on the first floor of City Hall at 100 Regina St.


What renters should know:

You should only rent a unit or bedroom from a licensed building/residence. In doing so, you're ensuring that your property owner/manager has a clean criminal record for your peace of mind, that the building has upheld the required electrical, heating and ventilation standards for your health and safety and that you have official record as renter of that unit/room with all tenant rights intact.


Are you an illegal landlord?

Even if you have 'gotten away with it' for a certain period of time, be warned, the fines far outweigh the cost of the Rental Licenses. At minimum, you can be fined $350.00. However, persistent and repeat offenders can be fined up to $100,000. Enforcement Officers perform audits when risks are identified, and there is also a number where residents can file a complaint, if suspicious of illegal renting.


Some helpful links to the City of Waterloo Rental License resources and information:


Contact Hoffaco Property Management for more information or assistance: rent@hoffaco.com