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- Contrary to popular belief, there is no fixed time of year that the landlord must turn on the heating.
- In general, the landlord must maintain the temperature at a minimum of 21 degrees Celsius (70 degrees Fahrenheit), with some exceptions in specific situations of extreme cold weather.
- You have recourses if your apartment is cold!
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?
Measure and record the temperature in your apartment. Regularly writing down the temperature is a good way to provide details of the problem. This record can also be used as evidence for a future Rental Board hearing, and could improve your chances of being awarded a rent reduction and damages due to the lack of heat in your apartment.
Recommendations for recording the temperature:
- The temperature should be measured on a chair in the middle of the room
- The temperature should be measured at approximately the same time or times each day
- Whenever possible, indicate the corresponding outdoor temperature with each measurement indoors
- On a few occasions when recording the temperature, have a witness who can corroborate your information and would be willing to testify at the Rental Board if necessary
- It is best to take your temperature readings when you are not using space heaters
IF THE TEMPERATURE IS BELOW 21°C:
Send the landlord a registered letter giving them a reasonable delay to solve the problem (Project Genesis has form letters available for this purpose). The delay may vary depending on the severity and the causes of the problem.
Once the deadline in your letter has passed, you can contact city inspectors. They will typically request proof that the landlord has been notified of the problem (such as a copy of the registered letter you sent and proof of registration and/or receipt). The inspectors visit your apartment – usually without notice – to take temperature readings. The inspectors write a report and can order the landlord to provide adequate heating and fine him for not complying.
You can also file a complaint at the Rental Board. You can ask for a rent reduction, damages due to lack of heat in your apartment, and reimbursement for filing fees and extra costs incurred as a result of the lack of heating, such as the purchase of space heaters and extra electricity costs. Keep all bills related to these costs. Your record of temperatures, your corroborating witness, and the municipal inspector’s report can serve as proof of your problem at the Rental Board.
At any time, and especially if the temperature in your dwelling is below 15°C or if there is a lack of heating altogether, do not hesitate to contact Project Genesis, the municipal inspection office or the Rental Board as quickly as possible for more precise information related to your specific situation.