What are the rules about air conditioners?

Every summer there is a lot of confusion between landlords and tenants about air conditioning. The law isn't always clear about the rules. But knowing your legal rights can help sort out some situations.

If your home includes air conditioning

If air conditioning is provided by your landlord, then your landlord has to maintain it and keep it in good working condition, along with the rest of your place. For example, you might live in a building or house with central air conditioning, or your apartment might have come with a window unit already installed.

Your municipality might have a about the maximum temperature in your home. If so, the landlord must make sure the air conditioner they provide can cool your place to that temperature.

If there's no local by-law about this, Ontario law says your home must be “fit for habitation”. The law isn't clear about what this means for cooling. If you think your place isn't livable in hot weather and your landlord won't do anything about it, try to get legal advice.

If you want to use your own air conditioner

If you want to use your own window or portable air conditioning unit, your landlord might say that you have to pay more to cover the extra electricity it uses. Or they might say that you aren't allowed to install an air conditioner at all.

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