Property Owner and Manager Obligations
Regardless of building type, all electrical work on properties must meet the Ontario Electrical Safety Code. This includes filing notifications with ESA before or within 48 hours of the electrical work starting. Notifications and ESA review of the work are almost always required, even if you have an electrician on staff.
Property Managers – third parties who manage the property on behalf of the owner - have special requirements when it comes to electrical safety and the law. Staff of Property Managers are allowed to do electrical work in commercial, but not multi-unit residential buildings. Otherwise, the work must be done by a licensed electrical contractor (which could include a Property Manager, or their staff, if they hold an ECRA/ESA licence).
Property Owners and tenants may do some electrical work in their multi-unit residential apartment buildings. A Property owner or tenant can perform renovations that include electrical work in any unit and in common areas. If the work is contracted out, it must be to a Licensed Electrical Contractor. If your tenants do electrical work, make sure they know they must follow the Ontario Electrical Safety Code and file a notification of work with ESA.
Not following the law could put Property Owners and Managers at risk. You might have insurance claims denied. You risk penalties or charges under the Electricity Act. You also compromise the safety of tenants and visitors in the building.
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A new lessee? Renewing a lease? New and existing tenants often renovate their space after signing a lease. Renovations and repairs involving electrical work must meet the Ontario Electrical Safety Code. Here are some things you need to know when planning electrical work:
- File a Notification of Work with ESA.
- Most electrical work needs a notification of work filed to the Electrical Safety Authority, regardless who does the work or in which building type. The person doing the work must file this before or within 48 hours of the start of the electrical work. To confirm notification requirements and to get your notification, call 1-877-ESA-SAFE
- Multi-Unit Residential Buildings
- Property owners and tenants may do their own electrical work in multi-unit residential buildings. However, third party property managers may only do electrical work in multi-unit residential buildings if they hold an ECRA/ESA licence.
- Commercial Buildings
- Staff of Property owners and of property management companies may do some electrical work in commercial properties. The electrical work needs a notification of work filed to the Electrical Safety Authority. Looking for a streamlined approach for regular electrical maintenance jobs? Learn more about our Continuous Safety Services program. You can also email a completed Application Form.
- Doing the work yourself?
- Whomever does the work, you must always follow the Ontario Electrical Safety Code, including filing a notification of work.
- Only hire a Licensed Electrical Contractor
- If you’re hiring a person or company to do electrical work, they must be a licensed electrical contractor. If you or your tenants hire a general contractor, confirm that a Licensed Electrical Contractor will do the electrical work. Learn more about how Licensed Electrical Contractors help keep you and your tenants safe and how they can save time and money.
- Have it reviewed.
- You must make arrangements for ESA to review the work at each stage of the installation. Request an inspection for an existing notification by calling the Customer Service Centre, 1-877-ESA-SAFE (372-7233).
- Follow the Ontario Electrical Safety Code
- The code is regularly updated to address emerging technology and improvements in electrical safety practices. Always refer to the current edition of the Code. Purchase a Code book here.
ESA makes it easy for you to find a Licensed Electrical Contractor or confirm that your contractor holds a valid licence. Look up a contractor by postal code or name. You can also check that a contractor has a licence by entering their number or name.
Hire someone who can legally do electrical work in Ontario.
ESA offers property managers Continuous Safety Services (CSS). This streamlined notification, inspection and safety process helps your business run more efficiently.
More than 28,000 locations across Ontario use ESA’s CSS program. We work with diverse businesses and customize programs specific to their needs. Learn more about the CSS program.
ESA provides some types of electrical wiring work considered non-regulatory services. Find out more about these services.