Heating and Apartments: What Are the Rules?

In the News

Every Quebec winter has its share of deep freezes. Does your apartment sometimes feel more like a fridge than a comfortable place to live? If the landlord’s responsible for heating your place, you have recourses when there’s a problem.

Check your lease

Your lease will indicate whether your landlord is responsible for heating your apartment. If so, they must heat it adequately. They can’t just choose a date to turn on the heat and another to shut it off. In other words, your place must be properly heated, whether it’s October or the middle of winter. There’s no minimum temperature in the law. However, 21 degrees Celsius has been found to be acceptable in some decisions of the Tribunal administratif du logement (TAL, formerly Régie du logement, or rental board).

Dealing with heating problems

Is your apartment too cold (or too hot)? Is the heating system not working at all? You should inform your landlord as soon as possible. They can’t fix things if they don’t know there’s a problem! You can discuss the problem with the landlord and, for non-urgent situations, even consider mediation to resolve your dispute.

You could also send your landlord a demand letter. If that does not solve the problem, you could file an application at the TAL.

Do you have other questions regarding rental housing?

Please see our Web Guide Tenants and Landlords: A Guide to Rental Housing for more information on your housing rights and obligations.