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Take the time to explain the consequences of not putting on the heating

Take the time to explain the consequences of not putting on the heating

One of the fears for an owner is that the plumbing of the building freezes and that, in addition to blocking access to the heating, the pipes eventually end up bursting when thawing. But despite the good care given to your property it may be that the problem comes from one single housing.

Some tenants are unaware that some of their actions have dramatic consequences.

Some tenants turn off the heating in winter during the day when they are at work: they just want to reduce their heating costs. Others go on vacation and turn off the heating because they are absent.

It is important to take the time before each winter to ensure that your tenants are aware of the consequences of a lack of heating. Prevention is better than to cure!

If an accident occurs and you have evidence that one of your tenants is responsible for it, it will be easier to ask the latter to reimburse the costs incurred. If he refuses, you can argue your case before the Régie du logement.

Small reminder of the rules of heating:

In Quebec, there is no fixed time period for the opening of the heating system but there is a minimum temperature to maintain. Indeed, regulations of the City of Montreal require from the owner a minimum temperature of 21 degrees Celsius. The Régie du logement adopts this rule in its jurisprudence and can therefore apply it to the whole of Quebec.

Under this rule, this temperature must be maintained until the outdoor temperature reaches minus twenty three degrees Celsius (-23°C). At this temperature and below, there is no minimum to maintain. The rule then is to give the best possible output given the temperature and the capacity of the system.

Do not forget that to delay the start of the system could earn you a fine or a complaint at the Régie du logement from the tenant and wipe out the energy savings that you envisaged to make.

Indeed, the Régie du logement may intervene following a request from a tenant and may possibly order a reduction of the rent due to the lack of heating.

The tenant, meanwhile, should not over-use the heating system or leave the windows open for a long time to temper the housing. You may advise him in these situations and even initiate proceedings to stop these practices or even terminate his lease. A regular visit of the housing will help you determine whether there is overuse or simply to detect a problem.

A clause in the lease that would provide a fixed date of commissioning of the heating system is ineffective because it would be contrary to mandatory rules of the Civil Code of Quebec which require the owner to maintain the dwelling in good habitable condition throughout the period the lease.

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Québec Landlords Association

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