31 August 2022

For New Tenants: Frequently Asked Questions

Ivy Farquhar
Ivy Farquhar

The Scatter Homes are transferring from Toronto Community Housing to Circle Community LandTrust in four batches on June 1st, July 29th, September 1st, and September 30th. We are so happy to welcome our new tenants into the fold! With the two September transfers quickly approaching, we know that our future tenants have many questions. We have tried to answer these in the Frequently Asked Questions below. If you have other questions or concerns for Circle, don't hesitate to reach out to us at the contact info provided below.

If you're here to find a copy of our Pre-Authorized Rent Payment signup form, you can click here to download it.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I contact Circle LandTrust?
You can call the Circle office at 437-781-8432.

If you have questions about the transfer or would like support signing up for pre-authorized rent payments, please email us at transfer@circlelandtrust.ca.
Please email other questions to info@circlelandtrust.ca.

Can I visit the Circle office in person?
The Circle office is located on the 3rd floor at 359 Eastern Avenue, Toronto, M4M 1B7 (Eastern Ave at Broadview Ave). Our office is behind a locked door, so please call or email our staff to make an appointment before you arrive. Our office is open from 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday (excluding holidays). The office is wheelchair accessible via the elevator at the front door. Please note that there is no on-site parking at 359 Eastern Ave.

How do I pay rent to Circle?
There are a few ways that you can pay rent to Circle. Please see the instructions below for how to pay rent by Pre-Authorized Payment (PAP), Direct Payments from ODSP/OW, and Cheques.

Paying Rent by Pre-Authorized Payment (PAP):
All our future tenants will have received a letter with instructions for how to sign up for Pre-Authorized Rent Payments (PAP). PAP means that each month, the bank automatically transfers the rent amount from your account to Circle. One of Circle’s main goals is to maintain positive and stable tenancies, and to reduce arrears and late rent payments. Pre-Authorized Rent Payments are the best way to achieve this. Circle encourages you to sign up, if you have not already done so, with the PAP signup form that you can download from the link below (you also will have received the form in the mail). Please note that signing up early does not mean that Circle will take your rent early: Circle will withdraw funds on the 1st of the month. To download our PAP signup form, click here.

For tenants transferring on September 1st, Circle will wait until September 8th to withdraw August rent to ensure that PAPs are properly cancelled by TCHC. For tenants transferring on September 30th, Circle will wait to withdraw October rent until October 8th.

Circle’s Tenant Services staff are here to assist you with signing up for this new system. If you have any questions or concerns, or need help filling out the signup form, don’t hesitate to contact Circle at transfer@circlelandtrust.ca, or 437-781-8432.

To download our PAP signup form, click here.

Direct Rent Payments (OW & ODSP):
For tenants who currently have their rent paid directly to TCHC by OW or ODSP, TCHC has contacted the OW and ODSP offices to notify them that the ownership of your unit is being transferred, and that your rent should be sent to Circle. However, please check in with your OW/ODSP worker to ensure payments are sent to Circle. Circle can also provide a letter with rent payment information that you can share with your worker. Please contact us for a copy of that letter.

Please mail cheques to the Circle office at the address below. Please allow 5 days for the mail to reach us.

Circle Community Land Trust
Attn: Finance Department
359 Eastern Avenue, Suite 100
Toronto, ON, M4M 1B7

How do I make a maintenance request?
Circle has launched a Tenant Portal where all maintenance requests will be logged. By using the portal, tenants will be able to track the status of their work order, receive notifications, and give feedback after the work is completed. Instructions for how to register for the Portal can be found in this blog post. You can also reach our maintenance team by emailing maintenance@circlelandtrust.ca or calling 437-781-8432 ext 4. When you email or call with a maintenance request, please provide the following information:

  • Description of the issue
  • Tenant address and unit number
  • Tenant name and phone number where you can be reached.

Work Orders will be completed by Circle’s maintenance staff or contractors, as necessary.

Is there a separate phone number for after-hours maintenance emergencies?
Circle will use the same phone number - 437-781-8432 ext 4 - for maintenance requests 24 hours a day. Circle’s regular hours of operation are 9am-5pm. Outside of regular operating hours, Circle’s overnight maintenance service will answer all calls to ensure that emergencies are addressed.  

For tenants transferring on Sept 30th, will TCHC be taking maintenance requests up until the transfer date?
All urgent repairs will continue until the date your home transfers. Basic repairs will continue until Sept 16, 2022.  For any emergency maintenance needs after Sept 16, tenants need to contact the TCHC Call Centre at 416-981-5500, or email help@torontohousing.ca until the homes transfer on September 30th. After your home transfers, we recommend submitting Work Orders for any outstanding maintenance requests to Circle as soon as possible to prevent delays.

A note on major maintenance requests:
TCHC may put a hold on any request for major maintenance received less than two months prior to your transfer date, if it is determined that the work cannot be completed before your transfer date. TCHC will provide a list of outstanding work orders to Circle to continue after the transfer date, but Circle also recommends that you submit a new Work Order to us after transfer to prevent delays.

Circle Community Land Trust would like to hear from You
If you’re able, please take a moment to provide us with your contact information at this link: https://forms.office.com/r/4W9VzEnrui. Your up-to-date contact information will help ensure better service from Circle. You can also call our office with this information at 437-781-8432 ext 2.

One of our main goals at Circle is to be a responsive landlord that gives tenants more opportunities to have a say over their homes. Circle is putting together a Tenant Advisory Group to advise on policies, and make sure that our management knows what issues are most important to tenants. To learn more about this group, and to join, please contact community@circlelandtrust.ca or 437-781-8432 ext 3.

I am not a Circle tenant. How do I apply to live in Circle's housing?
Circle takes tenant applications from the City of Toronto’s Centralized Waiting List via the Access To Housing platform at https://www.toronto.ca/community-people/employment-social-support/housing-support/rent-geared-to-income-subsidy/ 

Why is Circle taking ownership of my home?
The City of Toronto’s Tenants First plan is intended to make TCHC a better social housing landlord. Part of this plan involves the transfer of TCHC’s scattered housing portfolio—including your home—to non-profit housing providers like Circle that ensure affordability is maintained. The key benefit for you as a tenant is that your unit is being transferred to a non-profit housing provider that specializes in managing smaller homes and delivering individualized services, better meeting your needs. The City’s process has ensured that while you will have a new landlord providing repairs and other services, you will keep your housing and subsidy, if you currently receive one, and not be required to move. For more information, you can visit the City’s Tenants First website: https://www.toronto.ca/tenants-first/

Will Circle raise my rent?
If the rent for your unit is geared to your income under the Rent-Geared-to-Income (RGI) program, your rent will continue to be RGI after your home transfers. The RGI program requires landlords to calculate your rent every year based on your income. If TCHC has already done your rent calculation this year, and you have been served with a Notice of Rent Increase (N2 form), you must pay the rent set out in your N2 when the N2 takes effect (whether that is before or after the date your home transfers).  If your RGI rent has not yet been calculated this year, your new landlord will calculate your RGI rent based on the same rules TCHC follows, after they take ownership of your home. 

If you pay market rent and you have been served with a Notice of Rent Increase (N2 form), you must pay the rent set out in your N2 when the N2 takes effect (whether that is before or after the date your home transfers). 

I pay my rent to TCHC automatically, will they cancel the payment?
TCHC will be cancelling all automatic rent payments before the your transfer date. For tenants transferring September 30th, Circle will wait until October 8th to withdraw October rent. In subsequent months, rent will be withdrawn on the 1st of the month.

Will Circle be inspecting my home?
In the weeks and months following the transfer, Circle will be inspecting all the homes, as well as re-keying doors and updating smoke detectors. The findings from the inspections will guide our maintenance plans over the following months and ensure that all the needed repairs are done efficiently. Circle would like tenants to be present for the inspections, if possible, since you know the homes best. Circle staff will be reaching out within four months after the transfer to schedule your home inspection.

We understand that these are your homes, and will strive to provide high-quality and timely maintenance, while maintaining safety and security in all properties. Our maintenance team will be working hard during their first year to address as many outstanding maintenance and renovation projects as possible. Tenant patience will be appreciated as the new team gets established.

Does my lease with TCHC continue with Circle?
Yes. Your current lease with TCHC will continue with Circle. Leases automatically renew annually. Following standard practices for RGI tenants, leases must be updated when there is a change in household composition. So, you must notify Circle is there is a change in your household members. If you are interested in exploring what a new lease with Circle would look like - and the benefits it includes - our Community Tenant Service Workers can provide information.

Where can I find Circle’s policies and procedures?
Our policies and Tenant Handbook will be available on our website soon, and will also be available from Circle’s Tenant Services staff for those who are unable to access them online.

Other questions?
Please reach out to us at transfer@circlelandtrust.ca or 437-781-8432 ext 2.

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