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Landlord/tenant rights, dealing with problems, where to get help...

No Hot Water - Would like Advice 

AbstractAngel
AbstractAngel
Posts: 2


Posted On: 1/23/2015
AbstractAngel
AbstractAngel
Posts: 2
Hello :)

I was hoping someone would give me some insight as to what my options are in this... situation.

I just moved in on January 1st to my new place. A few days ago, I get a knock at the door, and it's Union Gas. The gentleman tells me that he was sent to check and make sure everything was working properly in the home, so I let him in and he went downstairs. A few minutes later, he came back upstairs and told me he had "good news and bad news" for me. My heat was fine, but he had cut my line to my hot water tank - out of nowhere as far as I knew. Turns out there was a notice that the B-Vent on the roof was busted (the form doesn't *say* roof but I've now gathered that's where it is. He told me to take it up with the people I rent from, and to have a nice day.

I went to the office and told the rental property about this sudden occurrence, and they seemed confused and surprised. They went and asked someone (I'm guessing one of their contractors) who came back with them and told me that it's a common mistake they deal with it, and I'd have to talk to the hot water rental company. Which I did, who came out (I hadn't told them what vent) and the tech informed me it's not them, I'd have to talk to the people I rent from.

I called Union Gas to try to sort this out - but I'm not the account holder to the work order so they won't give me any details about the issue whatsoever. I took it back to the office and advised that both Union Gas and [The hot water rental company] said they had to fix it. More confusion, and shuffling, and I had to get to work but my husband took the day again to stay home for them. They said they'd figure it out and call us. No call, and finally my husband flagged down the one guy from the office who I'd been dealing with and asked if we had any updates. He said he had to go but it was with another person in the office to handle and to have a good weekend.

The office and the people in it close at 4PM and don't open again until 12PM Wednesday. The only "emergency" line they have is to the resident maintenance worker, and from what I understand you need a specific contractor for this work.

I know technically the landlord is supposed to provide you with hot water as a basic condition - but in this case it looks like perhaps this is my responsibility? How would I go about doing this? Should I just sit back and wait and hope they take care of it? I did email them as well before going into the office but they didn't reply, and I don't want to be too pushy. I just know once we figure out who is responsible, Union Gas takes like 2 days to come out plus the time it'll take a contractor. Also - I'm sick, so the YouTubed, DIY option I was considering would probably not work that well. ;)

Anyone been through this before? Am I being too pushy? Advice would be greatly appreciated :)
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Moderator
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 4069


Posted On: 1/28/2015
Moderator
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 4069
Hi There,

Thanks for sharing your question and situation with us. We can appreciate that this is a frustrating situation.

From my understanding, you are renting a unit in a larger complex, and you currently do not have hot water because of something that was out of your control. The property manager has been notified of your hot water issue but has yet to fix it.

The short answer to your question is, no you are not being pushy, hot water is a vital service it is interfereing with your reasonable enjoyment of your unit. You may wish to inform your property manager that it needs to be fixed immediately for these reasons.

According to the Landlord and Tenant Board your landlord/property management can not:


Interfere with Vital Services

“Vital services” are hot or cold water, fuel, electricity, gas and, during certain months of the year, heat. Where a landlord provides heat, it must be kept at a minimum temperature of 20° Celsius from September 1 to June 15. However, your own municipal standards may be higher.

If a landlord provides any vital service to a tenant, the landlord cannot withhold the reasonable supply of it. This rule applies even if the tenant’s rent is overdue, or the tenant has caused damage to the property.


You may find our article What can I do if the place I rent needs repairs? for some tips. Here is an excerpt:


Your landlord is responsible for repairs in all types of rental housing. This includes repairs to heating, plumbing, electricity and appliances that come with the apartment (for example stoves, refrigerators). If you or your guests cause damage to the unit or building, you are responsible for repairing it.

If something needs to be fixed, ask your landlord first. Some landlords will ask you to fill out a form. If the repair is not made soon, ask the landlord again in a written letter. Keep a copy of the letter.


If you can, write down all the dates and information about when you spoke to the property management about this issue, calls to the gas company etc. this can help you if the situation continues.

You may wish to contact the Landlord and Tenant Board to confrim this information and to ask more question about your personal situation.

The information provided above is not legal advice. If you want legal advice please consult a community legal clinic or a lawyer about your particular situation.

I hope this information is helpful. Please let us know if you have further questions and if there is any follow up to your question/situation.

=====
Theresa
Information & Referral Specialist, CIRS
Your Settlement.Org Team
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