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Heating a dwelling

Part of category Appartment

Wednesday, 27 October, 2021

Montréal, le 27 octobre 2021 Each year, the arrival of fall ushers in the cold season and brings with it a number of questions for lessees and lessors alike. In Québec, adequate heating of a dwelling is crucial to maintaining its habitability.

Therefore, at this time of the year, the Tribunal administratif du logement reminds the public of certain rules governing the heating of a dwelling:

  • when it is cold outside, the dwelling must be heated to about 21 degrees;

  • a clause in the lease indicating a specific date when the heating must be turned on is invalid;

  • when the lease indicates that the heating of a dwelling is paid for by the lessor, the law requires that the lessor ensure the lessee has an adequate ambient temperature, regardless of the time of the year;

  • the lessor must see that the heating system is working properly;

  • the lessee must maintain a sufficient temperature to prevent any damage to the dwelling. The lessee must also be sure not to overheat the dwelling and to use heating devices properly. For example, it is possible to air out a room in a few minutes without leaving the windows open for several hours.

What to do in the event of a problem

If the temperature in the dwelling is inadequate, the lessee must inform the lessor, who is required to act promptly to correct the situation (ex.: repair the heating system). If the situation cannot be corrected rapidly, the lessor must provide the lessee with a space heater (ex.: electric radiators).

Similarly, a lessor who considers that a dwelling is not being heated adequately may ask the Tribunal administratif du logement to obligate the lessee to maintain a sufficient ambient temperature so as to ensure that no damage is caused to the leased property.

If the problem continues and the lessor or the lessee intends to initiate a proceeding before the Tribunal administratif du logement, it may be useful to note the indoor and outdoor temperatures at specific hours for a few days. The indoor temperature is usually measured in the centre of each room, one metre from the floor. A reliable witness may also be useful in providing evidence.

For more information, see the section Heating Problems.

The Tribunal administratif du logement can also be reached by telephone at the following numbers:

Montréal, Laval and Longueuil

514 873-BAIL (2245)

Elsewhere

1 800 683-BAIL (2245)