The Park Vista Tenants’ Association was disappointed to learn that CAPREIT is demanding that tenants remove their air conditioners or obtain permission to keep their air conditioner – but only if they pay a fee of $125 (per A/C unit).
According to the Landlord’s Self-Help Centre (a community clinic funded by Legal Aid Ontario to serve small-scale landlords).
- A landlord cannot charge extra when a tenant acquires an air conditioner unless it has been clearly specified in a written tenancy agreement that the tenant will pay extra if they chose to have an air conditioner. (http://landlordselfhelp.com/ufaqs/FAQ-873/)
- Unless the rental agreement says they can't, most tenants have the right to use their own air conditioner, as long as they install it safely and don't damage the window or the rental unit
- If electricity is already included in the rent, it's usually illegal for the landlord to charge for "extra" electricity used by a tenant's air conditioner.
- But the landlord may be allowed to charge extra if the rental agreement makes it clear that electricity for an air conditioner is not included.
In the meantime, we suggest tenants carefully review their lease and not rush to sign any agreement or pay any fee if they don’t fully understand their rights under the lease and Ontario’s rental laws.