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Rooming House Information Guide


Prior to purchasing a rooming house

The City of Winnipeg and the Province of Manitoba work together to regulate rooming houses. 


City of Winnipeg is responsible for:

Province of Manitoba is responsible for:

  • Licensing
  • Rent registration
  • Zoning
  • Mediation between tenants and landlords
  • By-law enforcement
  • Renovation grants
  • Fire Code enforcement
  • Office of the Fire Commissioner


Central Property File Search

Informs potential buyers as to the approved zoning and land use, as well as the number of rooms/suites and layout that has been legally established for the property.  Unapproved zoning and/or illegal rooms and suites can be a liability for a property owner, and can result in orders to vacate, and further enforcement action by more than one civic department.

  • Apply at Zoning & Permits office at 30 Fort StreetInforms potential buyers as to what has been legally established for the propertyVariable fee, depending on size of building and number of rooms
  • Note:  refer to licensing requirements for information on inspections and approvals

Rent Status Report

Anyone who is considering the purchase of a rental property can request a rent status report from the RTB before buying the property. A rent status report provides information on a property’s rent history and can alert people to potential problems with rents and other issues they should be aware of before deciding to buy.

The fee for requesting a Rent Status Report (2016) is:

  • $150 for four units or fewer
  • $300 for five – 49 units
  • $400 for 50 units or more

To request a Rent Status Report, go to http://www.gov.mb.ca/cca/rtb/rsr/applrentstatus.pdf


Purchasing a rooming house

The RTB website’s Becoming a Landlord section contains links to helpful information for landlords to inform them of their rights and responsibilities as a Manitoba landlord. To see the information on Becoming a Landlord, visit http://www.gov.mb.ca/cca/rtb/landlord/becomingll.html

The RTB recommends that new landlords make a New Landlord appointment at the branch where RTB staff will go over rights and responsibilities, forms and other important information. To make an appointment, please call 204-945-2476 or 1-800-782-8403. You can email the RTB at rtb@gov.mb.ca.


To see the brochure What Manitoba Landlords Need to Know, visit http://www.gov.mb.ca/cca/rtb/resource_list/what_mb_ll_need_to_know.pdf.



Licensing a rooming house

An annual business licence is required to operate a rooming house in Winnipeg.  The Doing Business in Winnipeg By-law refers to these types of properties as “Converted Residential Dwellings with Shared Facilities” (meaning the original construction of the home was for one or two families only).  First-time licence applicants are encouraged to apply in person at 18-30 Fort St (main level Fort Garry Place Mall).


  • Apply at 18-30 Fort Street
  • Completed licence application required
  • Annual licence fee (2016) is $720

    Inspections and approvals required prior to issuance of a licence:

    1) Fire inspection

    2) Zoning approval

    3)Valid Occupancy Permit

    4) By-Law Enforcement Inspection for housing standards

Registering rents

Registering rents with the RTB help a landlord establish what the authorized rent is for rental units in the building.  It can also prevent potential rent increase problems down the road. To find out how to register your rents, call the RTB general information line at 204-945-2476 or 1-800-782-8403 and ask to speak to the Manager of Rent Regulation.

To learn about how to increase the rent on a unit, see the information on Rent Increases at http://www.gov.mb.ca/cca/rtb/landlord/rentincrease.html or contact the branch for more information.

Landlords are required to send the RTB copies of their Notice of Increase in Rent forms and Notice to New Tenant forms.


Evictions prevention

The RTB’s mediation program helps landlords and tenants resolve tenancy-related problems and can help prevent eviction. Either a landlord or a tenant can ask the branch for help with mediation. Mediation is voluntary so both parties must agree to try meditation. Most mediations at the RTB are done over the phone.  The results of mediation are not public record and there is no fee to try mediation. For more information on mediation at the branch, see the Fact Sheet at http://www.gov.mb.ca/cca/rtb/resource_list/mediation.pdf.



If you plan to renovate your rooming house, you should determine how you must comply with the Fire Code and the types of permits you may require.


Fire Code http://web2.gov.mb.ca/laws/statutes/ccsm/f080e.php


Residential Building Permits http://www.winnipeg.ca/ppd/permits_general.stm

  • Required for renovations
  • Fee is based on overall project scope & costs



Renovation grants and fix-up incentives are available through Manitoba Housing, Manitoba Hydro, and Neighbourhood Renewal Corporations to assist landlords to improve the quality of their rooming houses.


Rooming House Assistance Program


Residential Adaptations for Disabilities


Manitoba Hydro Commercial PAYS program



Manitoba Hydro Affordable Energy Program





Neighbourhood Renewal Corporations (NRCs) offer small renovation incentives throughout the year.


Spence Neighbourhood Association

Exterior Housing Fix-Up Incentives

  • Purpose: Exterior housing improvements to improve the property’s safety, value, look, lifespan, and overall quality.
  • Amount available: Up to $1,500 and $2,500 available, cost shared 50/50 with the owner
  • Application: Available April 30 at 615 Ellice or online
  • Contact: www.spenceneighbourhood.org


West Broadway Community Organization

Property Improvement Program

  • Purpose: Major improvements to the exterior of the house and land
  • Amount available: Maximum grant of up to $3,500, cost shared 50/50 with the owner
  • Application: Available in the spring, projects must be completed by October 31 of the same year
  • Contact: www.westbroadway.mb.ca

Rooming House Interior Improvement Fund

  • Purpose: Improvements that increase the longevity of an aging housing stock, improve livability and safety of the building, and foster sustainability through energy efficiency measures
  • Amount available: Maximum grant of $12,500 per building, cost shared 50/50 with the operator
  • Application: Ongoing intake
  • Contact: www.westbroadway.mb.ca

North End Community Renewal Corporation

Exterior Renovation Fix-Up Grants

  • Purpose: Major improvements to the exterior of the house
  • Amount available: Grants between $1,000-$3,000
  • Application: Applications due the second Friday in May; property inspections are required prior to application and should be requested in February
  • Contact: www.necrc.org

Daniel McIntyre/St. Matthew’s Revitalisation Inc.

Exterior Housing Fix-up Grant

  • Purpose: Property improvements which will have a long term impact to the exterior of the property
  • Amount available: Grants for rooming house landlords of up to $2,500, cost shared 50/50 with the owner
  • Application: Available on April 1 at 823 Ellice or online
  • Contact: www.dmsmri.ca

Maintaining a rooming house

Landlords are required to maintain rental properties in compliance with the Neighbourhood Liveability By-law.  This By-law prescribes minimum requirements for interior and exterior conditions, including windows/doors/locks, insects and pests, and minimum heat/hot water temperatures.  Complaints from tenants should be directed to the landlord or property manager, and responded to in a timely and effective manner. 

Neighbourhood Liveability By-law



By-law Enforcement



Standards of Maintenance for Residential Properties



Fire Safety



Bed Bugs





Additional information

Student Housing, Boarders, and Rooming Houses



Tenant and Landlord Insurance



Screening tenants, creating house rules



Landlord Guide



Tenant Guide