Your Home

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disabiliity-iconOttawa Community Housing accommodates tenants with physical disabilities through upgrades to their home (e.g., installing grab bars, smoke detector with strobe light alarm, etc.) OCH may need information from your doctor or Occupational Therapist before making changes. In some cases, moving to a more suitable home can also be an option.

To learn more about how to get this help, talk to your Property Manager or Tenant Support Worker. They can assist you in completing the necessary paperwork to request accessibility accommodation.


  • appliancesRegular cleaning will keep your refrigerator in good shape and save energy. If you damage your fridge or stove, you will have to pay for the repairs.
  • When cleaning the smooth surfaces of your appliances, use a mild soapy solution. A paste made of baking soda and water is good for cleaning off grease and dirt. Do not use rough cleansers because they will damage the surface of the appliance. You can also use a commercial oven cleaner for your oven.
  • If you live in a townhouse, always ask your Property Manager first, if you are allowed to have a dishwasher, washing machine or dryer. You are not permitted to store any appliances in the front, side or backyards.

Air Conditioners

You must request permission before installing an air conditioner in your home. Contact your Property Manager requesting permission to install your air conditioner. You will receive a guide on how to properly install the air conditioner for your home. Shortly after, we will visit your home to ensure that the installation is done correctly and safely and will not damage the home or property. You can also refer to the OCH Unit Modification Standards- Air Conditioners (A/C) for more information.

fire prev

Your home has at least one smoke detector and may also have a carbon monoxide detector. Please do not disconnect them – it is against the law. Check regularly (for example, at the beginning of every month) to see that the batteries are working by pressing the button. If any of your detectors do not work, call OCH Call Centre immediately at 613-731-1182.

Did You Know?

  • OCH conducts annual inspections of your home where all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are checked
  • OCH replaces smoke alarms every 9 years and carbon monoxide detectors every 6 years
  • Since 2006, Ottawa Fire Services has responded to an average of 21 major OCH home fires every year; the average annual cost is $1.3 million
  • It is against the law to disable a smoke or carbon monoxide alarm
  • It is against the law to fail to notify the landlord if the smoke/carbon monoxide alarm is disconnected, impaired, or not working. You can also be fined $295
  • When OCH does annual inspections, they must have access to your home. Do not change your locks without informing OCH.
  • Automatic door closers stop the spread of fire and smoke.
  • The leading cause of fires in the kitchen is unattended cooking
  • You could be charged for all damages caused to your home or any other part of OCH property

Prevent a Fire Before It Starts!

  • Test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors every month by pressing the TEST button
  • When you hear your smoke alarm, get out, stay out, and call 911
  • When you hear your carbon monoxide alarm, get out, stay out, and call 911
  • If you have a furnace or hot water tank, make sure there is nothing within 12 inches (30 cm) of the exhaust vent on your outside wall
  • Keep an area of about  3 feet (1 meter) clear and clean all around the furnace/hot water tank and electrical panel
  • Avoid careless smoking. Use ashtrays and never smoke in bed
  • If you use candles, be sure to use proper candleholders. Never leave lit candles unattended
  • Have a fire escape plan: Draw a floor plan of your home showing all possible exits from each room. If possible, plan the main exit route and an alternative exit route from each room. Practice your fire escape plan with everyone in your home twice a year.

Cook with caution

  • Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period, turn off the stove.
  • Do not store flammable liquids in your home or attached garage
  • Never store or use propane cylinders in your home, balcony, or attached garage
  • Store your propane cylinder outdoors in a well-ventilated area when not in use
  • If you have a fire in your microwave or stove, turn it off immediately and keep the door closed
  • If you have a cooking fire, keep a lid nearby when you’re cooking to smother small grease fires. Smother the fire by sliding the lid over the pan and turn off the stovetop. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.
  • Keep anything that can catch fire – oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains – away from your stovetop

Electrical Fire Safety

  • A cord or plug that becomes hot to the touch is an indication of a dangerously overloaded circuit
  • Check cords for damage such as fraying or nicks that may result in a potential shock or fire hazard
  • Avoid running cords under rugs or furniture, which can damage the cord and cause a fire
  • Check that all electrical appliances have recognized approval marks to make sure they meet the electrical safety requirements for Ontario.

Develop a Fire Escape Plan

  1. Draw a floor plan of your home showing all possible exits from each room.
  2. Where possible, plan the main exit route and an alternate exit route from each room.
  3. Establish a safe meeting place outside your home where everyone can meet.
  4. Make certain everyone understands if they hear the smoke alarm or someone shouting, “fire” they should immediately evacuate the home.
  5. Discuss your escape plan and practise fire drills with your family. This is the best way to prevent panic, especially among children. Be sure every family member knows what to do.
  6. Stay Safe!

Fire Assistance List

Do you live in an apartment building? Would you need some help to leave your home in case of a fire? Please contact your OCH Office to make sure you are on the OCH Fire Assisted List. This list helps the firefighters find those who need their help.

Ask your OCH Office for Tenant Insurance information, or click here.

Click to download this Fire Safety brochure developed by the City of Ottawa and Ottawa Fire Services.

Locked Out!

If you are locked out, call the OCH Call Centre Maintenance line at 613-731-1182. You will need to provide identification and complete the Tenant Lock-Out form. You will be charged a fee for unlocking a unit door.

Additional Keys/Fobs

keyYou are responsible for the key FOB. Keep it in a safe place. Do not lend or give it to another person. Let us know as soon as you notice you have lost your keys or your FOB. There is a charge for each additional or new key or FOB issued.

All keys and fobs must be returned to your nearest OCH office when you move out.


All locks are changed before you move into your new home. If you need to change the locks again, call the OCH 24/7 Call Centre at 613-731-1182 to make arrangements. There may be a charge for changing the locks. You cannot change the locks without permission. Please call your nearest OCH office to discuss this.

Coinamatic: Load Your Card

maintenace-01Maintenance of your home is a shared responsibility between you and OCH. OCH looks after the on-going maintenance of its buildings due to normal wear and tear to the premises and upkeep for your safety and enjoyment. Maintaining your personal space is your responsibility. Please advise us of any needed repairs as soon as they happen to help keep your home in the best condition possible.

For all maintenance/repair requests, please call the OCH Call Centre Maintenance line at 613-731-1182. Visit our maintenance page for more information about what service OCH provides and types of requests.

changes-01Your Property Manager must approve any changes to the property or your home before they are done.

Paint Coupon (Vouchers)

  • Tenants have access to paint coupons every four years.
  • The coupons cover the cost of paint up to a certain amount. (you need the coupon prior to purchasing the paint)
  • Please contact the OCH 24/7 Call Centre: 613-731-1182.


  • This voucher does not include paint brushes, rollers, or other supplies.
  • This voucher expires 60 days from the date of issuance.
  • This voucher only applies to light colours of paint, which are the three lightest samples on a paint swatch.
  • Dark colours are not permitted.  Walls will have to be repainted at the tenants’ expense.
  • As per fire safety legislation, fire safety devices within your home and building common areas CANNOT be painted or disconnected for any reason.

Painting Tips
A room looks wonderful with a fresh coat of paint. Here are some great tips.

  • Start right: Organize a tool station in the middle of the area you will be working in. Lay down a drop cloth sufficient to handle the items you will need. Gather together your paint, brushes, rollers, hammer, screwdrivers, rags, paint can opener and place them on the drop cloth.
  • Use the day before painting day to move your furniture into the center of the room, tape around doors and windows, cover wall and ceiling fixtures. Cover furniture with drop cloths.
  • Simple clean-up for latex paint: When you’re done painting, take time to soak your latex paintbrushes and rollers in a solution of water and laundry fabric softener for about ten minutes. Gently swish them around in the water, remove them and rinse with clear water. Wipe or roll off excess moisture; then air dry the brushes and rollers before putting them away.
Your Property Manager must approve any changes to the property or your home before they are done.

Making changes to your home?

Unit Modification Standards:

In our communities where parking spaces are available, you must register your vehicle either at your district OCH office or by calling 613-731-1182.  To register your vehicle, you must supply OCH with proof of insurance and vehicle ownership. OCH is working with an external parking monitoring company that uses license plate recognition technology, which if your vehicle is not properly registered you could get a ticket.

Your vehicle mTenant_ Parking_Signs_20202ust be: 

  • Licensed
  • Insured
  • Roadworthy
  • Registered in your name

Any changes in vehicle or ownership are to be reported to OCH immediately. Monthly parking charges vary from community to community depending on parking type.  Please check with your local OCH office for parking rates in your community. Parking charges are effective from the date of issue.

Important parking conditions:

  • Parking charges are for the use of the parking space only
  • The tenant assumes responsibility for showing proof of parking privileges to Ottawa Police, Municipal By-law officers or security staff and arrange to ticket or tow any unauthorized vehicle from their parking space
  • OCH reserves the right to re-assign parking at its sole discretion
  • Tenants must provide OCH with 30 days’ written notice to cancel and surrender a parking space

You (the tenant) are not allowed to:

  • Use any parking spaces to store tires and other personal belongings.  These are considered combustible materials and are prohibited under the Fire Code
  • Sublet your assigned parking space

Failure to comply with the terms and conditions of the Parking Registration/Contract may result in OCH removing parking privileges or towing the vehicle at the owner’s risk and expense.


You are allowed to move between 8 am and 10 pm. During loading and unloading of your belongings, vehicles should be parked in the laneways and/or parking areas only. Remember to dispose of your garbage in the appropriate area and containers.

Reserving Elevators

You must reserve the elevator before your moving day. When you have set a date for your move, call the OCH Call Centre at 613-731-1182 to book the elevator.

Move-in Inspection

You will receive a move-in inspection form to be completed upon move-in. This is where you can provide OCH with a list of repairs that may have been overlooked when we were preparing the home for your arrival.

no smoking-01On May 31, 2014, OCH adopted a no-smoking policy to create safe and healthy communities. Complaints about smoking can be made by calling the OCH 24/7 Call Centre at 613-731-1182 or your nearest OCH office.

When you sign a lease with OCH, you will agree not to smoke in your home or anywhere on OCH property if you were a tenant before May 31st, 2014 and have not moved since you will be able to continue to smoke in your leased premises (inside your home, on your balcony, and in your enclosed backyard). You may also choose to opt-in by signing a no-smoking agreement at any time.

OCH is committed to promoting safe and healthy communities. We do our best to provide a smoke-free environment. Please help us by not smoking when employees are in your home. Thank You.

Click here to view our No Smoking Policy.

Smoking is not allowed in the following areas:
common areas
on any outdoor OCH property
around units or buildings
parking lots and driveways
parks or playgrounds



Please follow these rules so that all tenants can enjoy their balconies:

  • Make sure that items at risk of flying away are secured.
  • Place all unwanted items directly in the garbage.
  • Do not throw cigarette butts or any other items off your balcony.
  • Keep your balcony free and clear of debris and clutter.
  • When cleaning your balcony, use a damp mop rather than dumping water off the balcony.
  • Do not barbecue or store a propane tank/BBQ on your balcony (or in your home).
  • Be conscious of noise levels because sound carries.


Community pride is a shared responsibility. OCH cuts the grass in the common areas of its communities. Tenants are responsible for the maintenance of your private yards. If you want to make alterations to your yard, contact your Property Manager before doing any work.

During the winter, take extra care to keep your walkways clear of ice and snow. If you have an outside tap, do not forget to remove the hose and turn off the water inside and out before the cold weather arrives.

pest-01Please report the first sign of any pest in your unit or building to the Call Centre by calling 613-731-1182 and/or your Property Manager. Pests include (but are not limited to) cockroaches, bed bugs, ants, mice or other rodents. OCH Integrated Pest Management Team will work with you to provide information, tips and other support to prepare your home for treatment to eliminate pests and prevent future occurrences.

Read more about Pest Management HERE.

pets-01Tenants have the right to have and enjoy pets as long as they are following the City of Ottawa By-laws.

  1. All dogs and cats need to be registered with the City. To find out how to register a pet cal 3-1-1 or visit the Ottawa website :
  2. to report someone on OCH property not following the By-laws, call By-law at 3-1-1.

All tenants also have the right to a clean, safe and peaceful environment.

  • Please make sure that your pets don’t disturb the peace and quiet of people in neighbouring apartments or houses.
  • Pets are not allowed to roam OCH hallways or communities.
  • Pets should be kept indoors and always supervised when outside.


Pet owners must pick up all pet droppings from OCH property. Use a shovel or a bag to pick up the waste and take it home for disposal. You can get rid of waste by emptying it from the bag and flushing it down the toilet, or by wrapping it in absorbent paper, sealing it in a garbage bag and putting it in the regular garbage.

You can contact your local OCH office during office hours to lodge a complaint or call OCH Community Safety Services at 613-731-1182 for assistance.

plumbing-01What NOT to flush down the toilet

Your toilet is not a green bin or a garbage can. Flushing certain items can result in a back-up of the sewer line into your home or can create problems at the City’s wastewater treatment plant.

Only flush the three Ps – pee, poo and toilet paper! These are the only items that belong in your toilet.

The following items should never be flushed down the toilet:

  • Personal care wipes/baby wipes
  • Diapers
  • Cotton swabs
  • Hair
  • Dental floss
  • Tampons
  • Sanitary products
  • Condoms
  • Old medicines
  • Grease/fat from food

How can I dispose of these items?

Visit the Waste Explorer to find out how to dispose of these items.

Why shouldn’t “flushable” wipes be flushed down the toilet?

While products may be advertised as “flushable,” in reality items such as baby wipes, makeup remover cloths, and disinfectant wipes do not decompose in the sanitary sewer system. Flushing this material causes damage to the sewer system and may cause sewer backups in your home. Flushable should be disposed of in the garbage.

Source: City of Ottawa


  • OCH cuts the grass of the common grounds, but tenants are responsible for maintaining their own yards.
  • You must get written permission from your Property Manager before you install an A/C unit.
  • Please do not BBQ or store a propane tank on your balcony or in your home.


  • Be cautious on streets and sidewalks and look out for black ice.
  • Always use the hand railings and plant your feet firmly when walking up/down steps.
  • Keep windows and balcony doors closed during the winter to prevent pipes from freezing.
  • Use special care when entering and exiting vehicles-use the vehicle for support.
  • Remove as much snow and water from your boots as you can when you get inside. Floors and stairs may be slippery
  • Turn down the heat when you leave home, but never turn it off completely over the winter
  • Turn off the water to the outside tap
  • Keep walkways clear of ice and snow
  • Change your furnace filter
  • Clear away anything blocking the heating vents

utilitiesYour lease identifies which utilities (electricity and/or gas) are included in your rent. You are responsible to pay for any utilities not included in your lease.

Important Phone numbers:

Hydro Ottawa Customer Service: 613-738-6400 Power Failures, anytime day or night: 613-738-0188

Reliance Home Comfort 613-738-2300

Enbridge Emergency: 1-866-763-5427 General Questions: 1-877-362-7434

You may qualify for a reduction on your electricity bill with the Ontario Electricity Support Program.

safetyCommunity Safety Services is a committed team working with you to help achieve safer communities. We respond to tenant and community concerns about safety and security on OCH properties such as noise, parking, trespassing, suspicious/disruptive activities, tenant conflict, community patrols and community safety audits. Community Safety Services are a phone call away at 613-731-1182.

Visit our community safety page for safety tips and contacts.

Asbestos warning sign on a pipeline.

To find our more about OCH Asbestos Control Program


Green bin distribution

Waste Management Tips

  • Rinse your recycling to keep it from getting sticky and smelly
  • Freeze and use newspaper to reduce leak and smells in your green bin
  • In high-density communities, use the BLUE BAG to store and divert your recycling.  If you don’t have one contact your property manager to get one
  • Bulky items are only picked up once every two weeks and only at specific locations
  • Individual Recycling, Green Bins and Garbage are picked up on an alternating schedule, click here to see the calendar for your area.
  • Not sure what bin to put your recycling in? Check out the City of Ottawa’s

Need a new blue or black box?

You can get blue and black boxes from the City of Ottawa for recycling.  Information about recycling can be found on the City of Ottawa website: or by calling 3-1-1.

Note: If you have curbside pick-up service, make sure that you use the large green or black garbage bags, and that the bag is tied securely.

When using the garbage chutes, make sure that your bags are tied securely and fit down the chute. You can also use small kitchen bags. Never leave any garbage on the floor of your home or in the hallway.

Income Tax Return and Ontario Trillium Benefit

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