When it comes to heating and health, a landlord must follow guidelines set out by the Ontario Tenancy Act to maintain a rental property and the units inside it in good repair and in livable condition. A landlord must also comply with health, safety, housing and maintenance standards. They are responsible for maintaining vital services such as hot and cold water, fuel, electricity, gas and during part of the year, heat if it’s included in your rent and paid by the landlord. If you pay for your own heat, the landlord must make sure the heating system works to maintain a minimum room temperature – every room in your rental unit must be a minimum of 21 C from Sept. 15 to June 1. If your landlord refuses to do this, you can call 311 to complain and get help.
Other things the landlord may provide in your rental are: electrical and plumbing units including hot water tanks, appliances, carpets in the unit or common areas, walls, roofs, ceiling, windows, doors, locks, lighting, garages, laundry rooms, patios and walkways. Whatever is included with your rent is the landlord’s responsibility to keep in good working order and repair or replace if it is not. If something in your apartment no longer works due to normal wear and tear or because it breaks, your landlord must repair it so that it works properly or they have to replace it. However, they don’t have to replace it with a new or better model. For example, if the stove supplied by the landlord cannot be fixed and must be replaced, he or she could give you a new model with less features, or a used one, as long as it works properly.
Most landlords want to keep their properties clean and their tenants happy. It’s within their interest to do so. But if you find yourself with a problem, know your rights. Contact the Landlord and Tenants Board. They will explain the rights and obligations of tenants and landlords and help resolve disputes through mediation or adjudication.
For more information, go to sjto.gov.on.ca/ltb or call toll free: 1.888.332.3234 and in the Toronto area, 416.645.8080.