We’ve all been there – a heatwave in the middle of the summer. Relying on airconditioning has become much more of a necessity than a luxury.
Does a landlord have the right to charge extra for air conditioning? What if your hydro fees are included in your rent?
In short, yes. But there are a few exceptions to this.
Under section 123 of the Residential Tenancies Act, a landlord is legally allowed to charge you for the use of an air conditioner. This section allows for a landlord to increase the rent if both the tenant agrees to the addition of a “prescribed service”. If a clause for extra charges is not in the lease, the landlord must get the tenant to pay an increase in rent but will have to go to the Landlord & Tenant board to enforce it.
If a landlord is to charge for additional electricity, it must be included in the monthly rent cost. It cannot be a lump sum for the entire month, and the maximum increase should amount to the cost of the actual service the landlord is providing. A reasonable amount must be negotiated if the exact price cannot be determined.
An illegal charge would be if a landlord were to charge a tenant for an A/C unit that they did not previously charge for.
If you’ve been asked to pay an illegal charge, you may have it resolved here: https://www.sjto.gov.on.ca/documents/ltb/Tenant%20Applications%20&%20Instructions/T1.pdf
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