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

Water Heater Charges 

lhunath
lhunath
Posts: 1


Posted On: 4/22/2021
lhunath
lhunath
Posts: 1
Hi,

I've recently moved from Quebec to Ontario and found my landlord here insists that I'm responsible for the rental fees for the water heater that he's installed in my residence. I'm a little at a loss as to what the basis for this obligation is, as far as I understand, the water heater rental fee covers the provisioning of hot water as well as the maintenance fees for the water heater, and both hot water as well as repairs are things that lie squarely in the domain of things that a landlord is responsible for.

In addition, it seems very peculiar that my landlord has engaged in a rental contract with a company and is now demanding that I maintain and pay for the account. What authority does he have to force me to do such a thing?

Of course, it's true that my rental contract makes mention of the fact that "Hot Water-Tank Rental" is something that the tenant will pay for, and it is also true that I signed this contract; and by doing so, have likely agreed to those terms.

Do I have any recourse? Can a landlord pass on his own responsibilities onto the tenant by placing them in the lease? If I decide to cancel my water heater rental account, then what? I have no hot water and that's now my responsibility to fix?

It seems this is quite common here in Ontario, and I just don't understand it.
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Moderator
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 3529


Posted On: 5/7/2021
Moderator
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 3529
Hello There,

Thank you for sharing your situation and question with us.

You may find helpful information in the Landlords Self Help article, Is the hot water tank rental the responsibility of the landlord or is that a utility that the renter should pay when they pay monthly rent plus utilities? Here is an excerpt:

The Residential Tenancies Act states that the landlord is responsible for “vital services” which are defined as hot or cold water, fuel, electricity, gas and heat unless the tenant expressly agrees to “obtain and maintain” the vital services. In order to have the tenant pay for the rental of the hot water tank the lease agreement should be specific and state that “the tenant expressly agrees to obtain and maintain all vital services including heat, electricity, water, hot water and rental of hot water tank”.

It is best that you contact a community legal clinic for some advice regarding your situation. You may also wish to call the Landlord and Tenant Board at 1-888-332-3234 or 416-645-8080 (in the GTA) for information specific to your situation. The landlord and tenant board resolves disputes between residential landlords and tenants.

It may also help to connect with a community resource navigator at 211 to narrow your search. 211 Ontario is a free, confidential service.

Their phone service is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Here is a link to their live chat if you prefer to communicate online. Their live chat service is available Monday to Friday from 7am-9pm ET.

We hope this information is helpful. If you have any additional questions, please feel free to post them here.


Sincerely,

Your Settlement.Org Team
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