FAQ

Here’s some of the most commonly asked questions we get. Click on the question to reveal the answer.

Any increases or decreases in your household monthly income must be reported in writing
to your Resident Coordinator within 30 days. Acceptable forms of income verification
include, but are not limited to:


a) A copy of current Ontario Works stub and drug card
b) A series of most recent consecutive pay stubs (8 weeks)
c) A letter from an employer verifying gross wages

 

Once your income is reviewed, you will be notified as soon as possible in writing of any
adjustment to your rental charge.

Often, retroactive calculations are required, and if the calculation specifies a rent increase (after the appropriate notice period) your account may show a balance owing and be in arrears. You are required to pay this balance owing, either immediately or by monthly installments in accordance with a signed arrears repayment agreement made with your Resident Coordinator.

Often, retroactive calculations are required, and if the calculation specifies a rent increase (after the appropriate notice period) your account may show a balance owing and be in arrears. You are required to pay this balance owing, either immediately or by monthly installments in accordance with a signed arrears repayment agreement made with your Resident Coordinator.

Rental charges are calculated differently depending on the source of the income. So even if a household’s total income remains about the same after change, it may necessitate a change in the rental charge. Kiwanis must be notified of ALL changes in income. You will be advised in writing whether or not there is a change in your rent based on your new income.

If you have a credit on your account as a result of an account adjustment or rent overpayment, simply subtract the credit from next month’s rent charge and pay the difference. If the credit is large and covers several months and you are unsure when to pay again and how much, or you pay by preauthorized debit, contact your Resident Coordinator.

Many tenants pay by cheque, and a cancelled cheque is considered your receipt.
If you do not get your cheques back from the bank each month, you may
request an annual rent receipt for income tax purposes by telephoning the
Kiwanis office and requesting one from the receptionist. These receipts are
prepared in February each year (and will not be completed before the end of the
current calendar year). You may also obtain an annual receipt for other forms
of payment.

Often, tenants need verification of their residency or forms completed for other organizations. If you require such a letter or completion of a form, please contact your Resident Coordinator. There is a 24-hour turnaround time on all requests for documents.

Our files are audited by both the City of Hamilton and Housing and by an independent auditor. In order to continue to receive rent-geared-to-income subsidy, tenants are required to provide current verification of income. In addition, tenants are required to complete a Household Income and Assets Review form to ensure they still qualify for their rental unit and to provide up-to-date information for our files. Although market tenants are not required to declare income, we still request completion of the forms (without declaring income) to ensure our information is correct so we can serve you to the best of our ability.

Market rent tenants may not qualify for rental subsidy. If a family is originally rent-gearedto-income and through an income change increases to the market rent charge, there is a “probation” period from the commencement of the income change during which the family may return to a rent-geared-to-income status. Once this period ends, however, the family is considered to be a market rent family and if an income decrease is experienced, the City of Hamilton must approve reinstatement of rental subsidy for most families.

All applications for subsidized units are handled by ATH (Access to Housing), located at 350 King St E, Suite 110. Applicants must fill in the application and provide any documents requested by ATH. If information changes after the application is completed, applicants must call Access To Housing at (905) 546-2424 ext. 3708 to update their application. We do not rent our own subsidized units. Whenever there is a vacancy, Access to Housing is notified and that vacancy is filled from the ATH chronological wait list.

Our tenants frequently experience changes in their tenancy for different reasons. If the
change is temporary, you simply need to let your Resident Coordinator know the
circumstances. If the change is permanent, several options are available.

 


a) You may fill out a transfer request (available at the Kiwanis Homes office) to
move to a more suitable unit. In order to qualify for a transfer, you must:
i) complete one full year of residency in your current unit
ii) have no arrears
iii) have timely rental payments for the past six months
iv) provide medical documentation as required
v) provide social documentation as required
b) You may locate alternate accommodations on your own and give
proper notice to move out.
c) If you have too many bedrooms for your family, you may have a
landlord-approved person move in with you to occupy the empty
bedroom(s).
d) If you have too many bedrooms for your family, you may choose to pay the
market rent charge for your unit and continue your tenancy.

 

If you require a unit with more or less bedrooms, Kiwanis will attempt to relocate you to a
more suitable unit on receipt of your transfer request. Persons requesting a transfer are
also encouraged to complete an application for alternate housing with Access to Housing.

 

Rent-geared-to-income tenants who are overhoused (ie. do not fill all the bedrooms in the
unit) who are not transferred to a suitably-sized unit within one year must be active on the
Access To Housing wait list in order to continue to receive subsidy in their current unit.
Failure to maintain an active application will result in the removal of rent-geared-to-income
assistance and the implementation of market rent charges.

Often people do things that they don’t see as harmful or upsetting, but when told that their act is bothersome, immediately cease the practice. Try talking to your neighbour first – they may not realize they are upsetting you. If this fails to solve the problem, talk to your Resident Coordinator. You will be asked to put your complaint in writing detailing the problem (ie. loud music, unruly children, etc.) so that the Resident Coordinator can take the appropriate action to solve the problem.

Tenants are welcome to personalize their units with paint or wallpaper. Your written request should be sent to your Resident Coordinator prior to decorating, who will respond in writing with our painting and wallpaper policy. This policy details that the unit must be returned to the move-in condition upon vacating (ie. removing wallpaper, repainting dark colours, etc.) or costs may be incurred on your account.

 

Paint, painting supplies and labour are the responsibility of the tenant.

You should contact Property Support & Quality Control who will arrange for a contractor to
fix the problem.

 

Repairs of a non-emergency nature should be put in writing.

Emergency maintenance calls should be directed first to a superintendent (if you have one)
or to Property Support and Quality Control via cell phone. Arrangements will be made for a
contractor to come for the emergency repair. After hours, please call the Kiwanis office to
contact our answering service for assistance.

Some of our staff are part-time employees and some of our full time
superintendents may be off duty. For non-emergency repairs, please put
your request in writing and deliver it to the office. Your repairs will be
scheduled at a time convenient for you. If you phone maintenance staff,
leave a message. Your call will be returned as soon as possible. If you
require emergency assistance, please contact Property Support and
Quality Control or the after-hours answering service for assistance.

Make sure you leave your full name, address and telephone number(s) where you can be
reached (ie. home, business, cell, pager) and the reason for your call. If you are not home,
need to go out, or would like a call at a specific time, please mention this also, and your
superintendent or Property Support and Quality Control staff person will do his/her best to
return your call when you are home.

Staff members serve well over 300 units, which often requires they be out of the office for extended periods, attend meetings, complete paperwork and meet with tenants in the office. If you have telephoned and left a message, please wait for a return telephone call, usually within one business day. If you have an emergency (ie. fire, flood, no heat, fridge not working, etc.) during the day or your emergency is on a weekday evening, weekend or holiday, call the main office telephone number for our after-hours emergency service. They will assist by calling a contractor or alerting the on-call staff person. You can also contact the person you need to reach by email.

Our office has contracted with an answering service to take
weekend and statutory holiday calls. If it is not an emergency,
you have the option of just leaving a message, which will be
retrieved by Kiwanis staff the next working day. If you have an
emergency, our emergency service will call a contractor for you,
or alternatively page the on-call staff person.

 

Please do not call Property Support and Quality Control on his/her cell phone on the
weekend or on a statutory holiday. Call the Kiwanis office at (905) 545-4654 and your call
will be responded to in a manner appropriate to the situation.

During vacation periods, email or voice mail instructions will be available to direct you to
vacation coverage staff who will arrange maintenance work for your unit if needed or review
your tenancy file for discussion.

If you are required to leave your unit for a period of time (ie. a month
or more), please notify your Resident Coordinator. There is no rent
adjustment for the period you are not living in your unit, and your rent
will still need to be paid each month. You can either use our
preauthorized debit service, or you can have a friend or relative pay
your rent on your behalf. The utilities must remain on in your unit, especially in the winter
months (to prevent freezing pipes). It is your responsibility to arrange for someone to
check on your unit periodically (ie. water plants and get your mail).

When you sign a lease agreement and accept tenancy with Kiwanis
Homes, you agree to abide by the Residential Tenancies Act and the
Social Housing Reform Act (as does Kiwanis). If you get letters and
forms in the mail that you don’t understand, it is your responsibility to
get an interpreter to help you understand the paperwork. By ignoring
forms that you get, you may not provide information to Kiwanis that is
needed to continue rental subsidy, which could lead to market rent charges being
implemented on your account or court action being commenced against you. There are
many agencies in Hamilton where you can obtain the services of translators and
interpreters.

 


o Tenant Help Line- 905-526-9119
o St. Joseph’s Immigrant Women’s Centre- 905-529-5209
o Hamilton Cultural Interpreting Services- 905-528-9515
o Francophone Community Health Centre- 905-528-0163
o All Languages Ltd.- 416-975-5000

A Form N4 Notice of Early Termination for Non-Payment of Rent is a form served under the
Residential Tenancies Act. When you signed your lease, you agreed to pay your rent on the
first working day of each and every month. If you didn’t pay your rent on the first, you will
likely be served this notice, which gives you a specified date on which payment must be
received or court action will commence, and further fees (court application $186.00, sheriff
$319.00+ as of 2021) will be applied to your account.

 

If you pay your rent within that time frame, disregard the notice. However, if you are
repeatedly served with this notice throughout the year (even if you pay before the due
date) you may not be allowed to renew your tenancy when your term expires.

 

If you do not pay your rent within that time frame noted on the form, your Resident
Coordinator will apply to the Landlord and Tenant Board to commence the eviction process.

 

Our organization has a mortgage on the unit in which you reside. The bank withdraws our
mortgage payment on the first of the month, which is why we need tenants to make their
rental payments on the first of the month!

We need 60 days notice in writing to terminate your tenancy. All persons who signed the lease agreement need to sign the notice to vacate. Families are responsible for rent and utilities up to and including the day that they move. Before you vacate, check with your Resident Coordinator to ensure your account is paid in full and your unit is restored to the move-in condition to avoid move-out charges. It is expected that you remove all belongings from your unit, including garbage, and return the unit to its move-in condition (normal wear and tear excepted) – this means priming over dark colours and removing wallpaper. The keys should be returned to your superintendent or Resident Coordinator.

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