Heating temperature in a dwelling

The Corporation des propriétaires immobiliers du Québec (CORPIQ) suggests that a dwelling must maintain a temperature of at least 18 degrees Celsius at all times, regardless of the temperature outside the building. Even if a tenant is away for a long period of time, the temperature must be maintained at an optimal level. This is to avoid breakage of pipes during freezing weather, for example.

Building regulations

CORPIQ recommends its members to attach the building rules to their lease. This contains various clauses that indicate the tenant’s best practices. It is recommended not to open the windows or doors when the heating is on in order to avoid cases of overconsumption of energy.

However, landlords who are tempted to charge their tenants for excess electricity consumption should be cautioned. In fact, the summary of this judgment states that the rent must be fixed even if electricity consumption is included. The price of rent cannot fluctuate from month to month if a tenant exceeds a consumption limit agreed upon with the landlord. It is therefore not advisable for landlords to establish a clause indicating a monthly consumption limit to their tenants.

In case of an emergency

If the heating system breaks down, the tenant must quickly notify the landlord. The landlord must then be able to remedy the situation, otherwise he or she will have to provide the tenant with auxiliary heat. It is also important to know that a tenant can have a heating system repaired when he or she feels that the landlord is not acting quickly enough within a reasonable time. According to the Tribunal administratif du logement (TAL), if the heating problem is not fixed after 24 hours, this is an unreasonable delay. A tenant who feels that he or she has been harmed may want to seek compensation from the TAL.