The City of Toronto is encouraging landlords to use their judgement and turn off the heat on warm spring days.
Under the Heat Bylaw, owners and landlords of residential buildings are responsible for providing heat to a minimum air temperature of 21 degrees Celsius, from September 15 to June 1. Warm days can cause the indoor temperature of units to reach this without the heat on, which can make it uncomfortably hot for tenants.
The City’s Municipal Licensing and Standards Division is working with landlords registered with the City’s RentSafeTO: Apartment Buildings Program to make sure they understand how to support tenants during warm weather. This includes encouraging landlords to designate an air-conditioned place in the building or a shady area outside where tenants can go to keep cool. This information should be posted on the tenant notification board, along with the location of the closest Emergency Cooling Centre. The City recently announced it will open seven Cooling Centres when Environment and Climate Change Canada issues a Heat Warning for Toronto. The locations can be found here
Tenants who have concerns about indoor air temperature are encouraged to speak to their landlord or property manager. Landlords are required to respond to non-urgent requests like this within seven days. Should an issue persist, tenants can contact 311 and the City will investigate.
More information can be found here
“With the warmer weather finally here, we are working with landlords to help them understand the rules regarding heat in apartment buildings. While the heat bylaw states that landlords must provide heat to a minimum air temperature of 21 degrees Celsius up to June 1, we know it can reach this on warm days without the heat on. This can make it uncomfortably hot for tenants. We ask landlords to use their judgement and turn the heat off on warm spring days.”
– Mayor John Tory
“Tenant rights are important, which is why the City has created RentSafeTO to help educate landlords and give tenants a vehicle to request assistance if they need it.”
– Deputy Mayor Ana Bailão, (Davenport), Planning and Housing Committee Chair
“If Mother Nature is turning up the temperature, landlords have a responsibility to turn off the heat. If a building has central air conditioning, it’s vital that it be turned on, as it is the only source of ventilation in some buildings.”
– Councillor Josh Matlow (Toronto-St. Paul’s)
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