The Annual Rent Guideline Increase for 2020 is 2.2%.
Tenant Hotline: 416-921-9494

Heat/vital services

Note: The following information relates specifically to for-profit rental housing (renting from an individual or business corporation) in Ontario.  This includes renting an apartment unit, a house, a rooming house, basement apartment, condo apartment, etc.
The rules for Social Housing (TCHC), Non-Profit housing, Co-operative housing, Student dormatories, shelters, jail/prison, care homes, renting from another renter (not a landlord), or renting a space where you share a kitchen or bathroom with the landlord can be different.
Sometimes the processes are the same, and sometimes they are completely different depending on the type of housing you live in.  For questions related to these types of housing please call our tenant hotline or check this page for more info.

Minimum temperatures

City of Toronto bylaws require the landlord to provide heat to a residential dwelling at a minimum of 21 degrees Celsius between September 15 and June 1 of each year. 

Keep in mind, that the bylaw doesn’t require the landlord to turn on the heat – only that it be kept at 21 degrees.  If it’s warm outside and 21 degrees in the unit, then the landlord is in compliance with the law.

If your apartment is colder than 21 degrees Celsius, you can report this to Municipal Licensing and Standards (MLS) by calling 3-1-1 and reporting a Vital Services violation.

Note:  The FMTA has received repeated complaints from tenants about MLS inspections including inspectors refusing to do inspections, refusing to issue reports and refusal to enforce City bylaws. Tenants with concerns about MLS inspections should report the issue to their City Councillor immediately.

Tenants Who Pay for Heat

While a landlord is required to ensure that any pre-existing heating system remains functional and in a state of good repair, a public utility may cease to provide heat if the tenant has expressly agreed to obtain and maintain the cost of heat as part of their lease agreement.

 

Maximum Temperatures and Air Conditioning

Unfortunately, air conditioning is not a service that landlords are required to provide in Ontario and there is no maximum temperature in the City of Toronto.

However, buildings that provide central Air Conditioning must turn it on from June 2nd to Sept. 14th and maintain an indoor temperature of not more than 26 degrees Celsius. Additionally, If an air conditioner is provided as part of the unit and broken, a landlord is required to either fix it or replace it. If your apartment is hotter than 26 degrees Celsius, you can report this to Municipal Licensing and Standards by calling 3-1-1.

Note:  The FMTA has received repeated complaints from tenants about MLS inspections including inspectors refusing to do inspections, refusing to issue reports and refusal to enforce City bylaws. Tenants with concerns about MLS inspections should report the issue to their City Councillor immediately.

Tenants who are suffering in a hot apartment are able to file an application against their landlord at the Landlord and Tenant Board for “interference with reasonable enjoyment.”  They’d have to prove that the heat is “unreasonable”.

Tenants wishing to install an air conditioner do not require a landlords approval, however due to falling hazards, they must be able to prove that the air conditioning unit is installed safely and properly.

Additionally, tenants who pay for Air Conditioning through their rent can not be forced to start paying new Air Conditioning charges or seasonal charges (ex: $200 a month).

Vital Services

The City of Toronto maintains a Vital Services bylaw which requires all landlords to maintain vital services during a tenancy.  Even if you owe $1,000,000 to landlord in Toronto, they can’t disconnect your heat, hot water or other vital services if the landlord is responsible to pay for them.

Vital services include the provision of fuel, hydro, gas or water.

If a tenant has agreed to obtain and maintain the vital service (gas, water, hydro), then the tenant is responsible for contacting the service provider and making arrangements to restore the service, however landlords will sometimes be responsible for maintenance issues if elements related to the service need to be repaired.

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