How to keep your Rental Unit Warm

Canadian winters can be extremely harsh, and it is important that you know how to go about keeping your apartment warm so you can remain comfortable in the colder months. There are a number of different things that you can do to ensure that your apartment stays warm while keeping your energy bill as low as possible.

Whether you are staying in a high-rise apartment, condo or home, there are quite a few ways to keep out the cold:

  1. Install window films

Installing window films on the windows in your rental unit can go a long way towards keeping the temperature up so you don’t have to worry about freezing through the colder months. While these films can be somewhat expensive, they are definitely worth the investment, especially if the insulation in the building you live in is less than adequate.

  1. Keep the area around radiators clear

It is also a good idea to make sure that the area around all radiators in the rental unit is clear and free of obstructions. When block off your radiator, you are limiting the amount of heat that is able to circulate throughout the unit. Many people put furniture or other things in front of their radiators, and this is a common reason for loss of heat.

  1. Use Supplemental Heat Sources

There are plenty of alternate heat sources you can use, other than the heater that came with the rental unit, to keep warm in the colder months. Candles as well as oil lamps can help to keep you warm in the winter when it gets very cold outside. These heat sources can be effective at warming your unit, especially if it is smaller, and they will not increase your energy bill whatsoever.  

Responsibilities of the Landlord

The landlord is responsible for ensuring that the heating and cooling units in your apartment are working properly. If the heater in your rental unit breaks when it is cold outside, it constitutes an emergency repair and your landlord is obligated to fix it as soon as possible. In most provinces and territories, you will be able to hire someone yourself to do the repairs if the landlord or maintenance worker is not available, and you can be reimbursed for any expenses related to the repairs by the landlord afterward.  In certain other territories/provinces, rent can be collected and held by a rental authority until the landlord makes all of the necessary repairs.

How to Handle a Repair Dispute with a Landlord

If your heater is broken and needs to be repaired but your landlord refuses to fix it, it is important that you know how to go about handling this type of problem. In most provinces and territories, it is illegal for a tenant to withhold rent for repairs. Instead, you can choose to file an application with the proper rental authority in your area. The rental authority can issue your landlord an order to fix the heater immediately. By going through the proper channels to resolve this problem, you will be avoiding possible eviction and the problem will be corrected.  It is important that you notify your landlord immediately if your heater stops working so they can fix it as soon as possible. 

Provinces & Territories