Vital services include fuel, hydro, gas, hot and cold water.

All landlords are responsible for providing heat to a minimum air temperature of 21 degrees Celsius from September 15 to June 1.

If you have concerns about low or no heat in your rental unit, speak to your landlord or property manager. If this issue is not resolved within 24 hours, you can contact 311 to have the City investigate.

All landlords are responsible for providing heat to a minimum air temperature of 21 degrees Celsius from September 15 to June 1.

There are time periods during this stretch of time when the weather can be a bit warmer (September 15 to October 15 and May 1 to June 1), which can cause the temperature indoors to be above 21 degrees Celsius, resulting in uncomfortable living conditions for tenants. If the weather outside means that the building is 21 degrees Celsius without heat, property owners and landlords can turn the heat down or off.

If a building has air conditioning, the Property Standards Bylaw requires that they turn it on between June 2 and September 14. But, if it is hot outside, landlords can turn it on earlier as long as the building does not go below 21 Celsius.

When a tenant contacts you about inadequate or no heat, these are considered an urgent request and you must respond within 24 hours:

  • Respond to urgent requests about inadequate or no heat within 24 hours.
  • Keep copies of all responses in relation to the service request.
  • Track and keep these requests as part of your record-keeping obligations.

As a landlord, you are responsible to ensure the heating and ventilation systems are maintained and regularly serviced.

Under no circumstance can you withhold the supply of any vital service, including heat. This rule applies even if the tenant’s rent is overdue, or the tenant has damaged the property.

If the outdoor temperature is high enough that the building would be 21 degrees Celsius without the heat on, you can turn the heat off. You can use your judgement when heating your building in the “shoulder season” (from September 15 to October 15 and May 1 to June 1).

If it is difficult to turn off and on the heating system in your building during a period of warm weather from May 1 – June 1, here are some strategies for managing extreme indoor temperature:

  • Create a Hot Weather Plan to help protect your tenants and prevent heat-related illness.
  • Designate an air conditioned common room in your building as a cooling room for tenants to escape the heat.
  • Ensure your building’s tenant notification board is updated with information on the location of the cooling room and closest publicly accessible air conditioned space.
  • Provide strategies to tenants to keep their units cool, such as keeping their curtains or blinds shut to block the sun during the day.
  • Offer your tenants tips to beat the heat and prevent heat-related illnesses.

If the condo unit is rented, the landlord is responsible for ensuring that the heat bylaws are followed. If tenants are experiencing low heat complaints, they should talk to their landlord first. If the problem is not addressed, they can contact 311 to have the City investigate.

Tenants can contact 311 to submit complaints about low or no heat. If there is a complaint or information about a possible violation, Bylaw Enforcement Officers investigate, educate and/or take enforcement actions.

The goal is to resolve issues and ensure that landlords or property managers are following bylaws. Each issue is addressed on case-by-case basis to make sure reasonable, fair and appropriate actions are taken. For example, in some cases the issue may be resolved through education. In other cases, further enforcement action may be required.

If landlords or property managers do not comply with the Heating Bylaw, they are guilty of an offence. If they are issued a ticket and convicted, they may have to pay a fine for the offence set out in the table below.

If landlords or property managers are issued a summons to court and convicted, they may have to pay a fine up to $100,000 or a daily fine of up to $10,000 for each day the violation continues. In addition they may have to pay a special fine for economic gains from the bylaw violation. If it is a corporation, every director or officer may have to pay a fine of no more than $100,000.

Offence Bylaw Provision Fine
Fail to maintain minimum air temperature of 21° Celsius in a rented dwelling unit 497-1.2A $500.00
Hinder/obstruct or delay an officer in making an inspection. 497-1.3B $500.00
Hinder/obstruct official in performance of authorized duties 497-3.1C(1) $500.00
Knowingly provides false information 497-3.1C(3) $400.00