Ontario Landlords Association

Landlords Have To Supply Air Conditioners to Every Renter?

August 10th, 2012


Toronto city council: Proposal could mean mandatory air conditioning for renters

What’s the Story?

Two members of Toronto City Council want to re-evaluate laws determining temperatures for rental units.

Isn’t there already a Law?

Yes, there are laws for minimum temperatures. This means landlords must maintain a certain temperature in their rentals during the Winter months.

So What Is the Concern?

The Councillors have new concerns. First, they want some flexibility in the law stating landlords must keep the heat on until June 1st no matter what the temperature outdoors happens to be.
Sounds Like Good Common Sense!
Yes. As our weather seems to be getting warmer, giving landlords more flexibility is good policy.
What’s their Second Idea?
The second idea is more problematic. It is to write into law tenants have the right to a “maximum” temperature.
Does this Mean They Expect Air Conditioning for Every Renter?
Yes. Councillor Josh Matlow believes it’s time to look into and re-evaluate exactly what are “appropriate” room temperatures in rental units.

Matlow’s motion could lead to legally mandatory air conditioners for ever tenant.  He said his idea might “inconvenience” landlords, however  “it’s not only totally worthwhile, I think it’s a basic right and expectation. It’s not only a quality of life issue it’s a basic health issue.”

Did He Discuss the Costs Involved For this “Idea”?


Certainly Matlow Spoke about How this Would Conflict with His Proposals on Green Energy?


New air conditioning units in all rental properties would lead to a vast increase in energy consumption.

Doesn’t the Residential Tenancy Act (RTA) Cover This Already?

The RTA already allows landlords and tenants to agree to terms that would allow air conditioners to be installed. Tenants pay for the true costs of this service.

So Matlow’s Proposal Wants Landlords to Pay for What Tenants Can Already Get?

Yes.  Tenants can get the service if they pay for it.

Matlow Wants Landlords to “Eat the Costs”

It appears so.

This Proposal Seems Silly and Harmful to Landlords and Tenants!

Yes again.

The Ontario Landlords Association hopes Toronto Council look at the big picture with this proposal.  We ask them to take a look and give sincere consideration to the overall social /economic/environmental impact of their ideas.

Trying to curry tenant votes for the next election, at the expense of our environment and the landlords who provide housing to tenants all over Ontario, is short-sighted, selfish, and destructive.

We hope the Councillors realize this.  We also hope voters realize it.

To discuss this issue welcome to the Ontario Landlord Forums.  The debate over this issue can be found here.

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5 Responses to “Landlords Have To Supply Air Conditioners to Every Renter?”

  1. Grant says:

    What a stupid idea! What is wrong with Toronto?

  2. Alyssa says:

    As always there are 2 sides to this.

    As a renter, the temperature in my unit easily exceed 35 degrees in the summer, even with the windows open, and a fan.

    Because I’m not crazy, and don’t want to roast my cats during the summer months, we bought an AC unit for the main room; unfortunately, the unit is older and has only 2 prong outlets available.

    We’re looking to eventually purchase a home that will allow us to rent. While I don’t want my tenants to die from heat stroke in the top floor, I hope that the cost of the extra power is borne by them. I can supply the unit, that’s not expensive, its the power.

    Also, as was pointed out, the power costs to the province could be serious. How many people will try to turn their apartments in to meat lockers, outting the temp to 17 degrees ona 30 degree day?

  3. Cooked says:

    Well, my landlord cut down all of the trees on the south side of the building. I used to get along without air conditioning just fine, but now its always way too hot. The excuse was that there were going to be renovations to the front of the building. This was 5 years ago. As the building is old, there aren’t hydro meters for the individual apartments. The landlord wants $250 per season for the use of an air conditioner, and will not provide or install one. Energuide says the A/C unit will cost about $50 per season. So. Did why did the landlord cut down the trees? To squeeze $50 more per month from his tenants.

  4. Elle says:

    You know it’s not like there aren’t a lot of landlords out there looking to make a buck off this (I’m not saying all are.) I’ve been renting the same apartment for 10 years next month. I pay my rent on time every month, I keep to myself and I don’t damage the unit or make a lot of noise. I’m a good tenant.

    My landlord (who bought the building about 2 years ago) has been a nightmare. My old landlord used to charge me $100/season (his figure, not mine) to run two 5000 BTU’s because my apartment was unliveable in the summertime otherwise, even then it only took the edge off, still wasn’t really cool. Every year he’d increase the fee by the same percentage he’d increase the rent. I was good with that and I didn’t run the AC every day or when it wasn’t necessary.

    Then the new landlord bought the building and that summer refused to take the caps off the AC sleeves until tenants signed to accept their hydro (which had previously been included in our rent.) They didn’t tell us our rights either and just very subtly made it obvious that we would not be able use our ACs unless we did what they wanted. They also informed us that they would be charging $50 to each tenant to install/remove the ACs and that no one else but them was allowed to do it. None of this was legal but it took me threatening to go to the LTB and the newspaper before they relented. As it is, some tenants fell for it and signed for their hydro with only a tiny reduction in their rent. In the end I paid the same as I usually did.

    The next summer they asked for $150 seasonal fee but said they would install/remove my units so I agreed. However, this year they issued a memo to all tenants putting the cost for me to circa $400 for the same service they only asked $150 for last year! When I tried to negotiate, they refused to even talk about it. I don’t even run the AC’s when I’m not home AND I tend to not run them every day either. If I don’t need to run both, I don’t.

    After they refused to even speak to me on the issue, I had to contact the Landlord and Tenant Board who advised me that fee was definitely illegal and I got back to them and they still refused to budge. Finally I had to tell them I would be calling the local newspaper to tell them about the illegal fees and the situation and then they suddenly changed their minds. So it’s not always tenants who are at fault. I’m a very reasonable tenant and this landlord likes to screw his tenants around when he can…

  5. Darcy McLean says:

    I am a landlord. here is the issue. Many tenants do not realize what it costs for ac power. Nor do they realize the damage to concrete, brick and wood that an improperly installed ac can cause. Personally I insist that all installations of ac are done by myself as I have a diverse construction background. I do not charge for this install, however I find with the boxes I must make and the sealants and framework involved it usually costs me close to 200 dollars per unit. I do not pass this to my tenants. I do like to insist that the tenants purchase the proper ac units (through wall ..not window) however most tenants would rather do thousands of dollars damage to a building to save themselves 100 bucks!!!!Well this is where our courts come in handy after a tenant is gone. The issue here is simple …you want ac PAY FOR IT…just like everyone else does…NOT HAPPY WITH THAT…then go buy a house and experience what it costs today to run one. There are lots of good tenants out there and I have a waiting list for my buildings.
    Bottom line is…if you dont have 25 plus years of experience with buildings then dont buy one cause it will eventually bankrupt you!!!!The corrupt politicians and goveerning system have it in for the private landlords and they wont be happy till it is all subsidized housing and the private sector is all bankrupt. Politicians are lying crooks …PERIOD…WAKE UP PEOPLE..get back to “old school” and show some RESPECT to property owners and seniors. Personally, I believe a good smack in the head goes along way and because of the authorities interference with how children are raised, we are in for one hell of a ride once these disrespectful pricks reach their 30′s and we are in our 60′s and 70′s…LORD HELP US ALL