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August 18, 2022, 12:20:48 am

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Common Tenant Problems - Air Conditioners

This section is for renters to discuss issues regarding problems they may be having with their air conditioner, including harassment by your landlord regarding your window-mounted Air Conditioner, or demands that you remove yours.

Landlords are not required to provide air conditioning, however buildings that do provide central air must turn it on from June 2 to September 14, and must maintain an indoor temperature of not more than 26 degrees Celsius.  The Federation of Metro Tenants' Associations Heat/vital services webpage has more information, as does this City of Toronto webpage: Bylaw enforcement - low heat - no heat - air conditioning - air conditioner units - residential properties.

If you have an window-mounted air conditioner, it must not constitute a danger to others, nor cause damage to the building (dripping water?), nor bother your neighbours, and one's Tenancy Agreement (Lease Document) may forbid window mounter air conditioners.  But if none of these scenarios applies to you then the landlord cannot make your remove your air conditioner.

Landlords are not always honest about the fact that they have no legal means to force a renter to remove their air conditioner, for example in this article: Can my landlord ban window air conditioning units in my apartment?, NOW Magazine points out that "Medallion, Greenwin and other landlords have cited the city bylaw Section 629 as prohibiting window units that are not on a balcony, but according to the city of Toronto, that is not what the by-law says."

In addition to this forum there are some terrific information resources available on this topic:

• From the Federation of Metro Tenants' Associations, Rules Around Air Conditioners

• From the The Toronto Star, Air-conditioning, renting and your rights: An expert explains the rules

Author Topic: CTV News: Toronto tenants receive eviction notices in dispute over AC units  (Read 280 times)

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fwatts

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Looks like summer is here, and the landlords are becoming abusive about A/C units:

https://toronto.ctvnews.ca/toronto-tenants-receive-eviction-notices-in-dispute-over-ac-units-1.5967977

Way to go Parkdale Organize!!!!


Creepella

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I put up with landlord abuse around air conditioners for several years. Tactics included illegal entries, threatening letters, fake eviction notices, multiple "inspections" for the purpose of harassment and even malicious calls to animal control in an effort to force me to get rid of my pets. Then in 2019 I filed a T2 Application about Tenant Rights with the Board, for harassment and illegal entries.

If your landlord starts abusing you and demanding illegal air conditioner fees:
1. Check your lease. If there is no clause giving them the right to charge air conditioner fees, they have no right to charge air conditioner fees. If there is a clause allowing them to charge you, there is usually an amount specified. You do have to pay that amount, but no more than that amount. If your lease says "fee to cover hydro charge" without specifying the amount, they can't charge you anything unless they give you proof of how much your air conditioners are costing them in hydro fees (like copies of the hydro bills during winter and during AC season to show the difference).

2. Keep copies of everything the landlord serves you with - entry notices, demand letters, threat letters, eviction threats.  You will need them as evidence.

3. Keep notes about any entries or entry demands or other harassment activity, including what happened while they were in your apartment. Better yet, get an indoor surveillance camera or two and record the entries.

4. Air conditioner fees ARE NOT RENT. Landlords like to pretend it is, and claim that they can evict you for "non payment of rent" if you refuse to pay an illegal AC fee. This is false, and it's harassment.

5. If you are bullied into paying an illegal AC fee, you can file a T1 - Tenant Application for a Rebate to get the illegal charge back. This must be filed within a year of the date you paid the illegal amount otherwise it becomes legal under Fraud's changes to the RTA.

 

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