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Heating Issues
Friday, 18 August 2006

Zoro buildings tend to have broken, poorly-maintained windows, without weather stripping or adequate draperies to provide insulation. Many suites tend to be draughty and the heating systems can be barely functional. It is your right as part of your rental contract to an adequate level of heat. You pay for it and there are many avenues of redress if you do not get what you pay for.

City of Vancouver by-laws specify that:

Heating systems shall be ... capable of safely attaining and maintaining an adequate temperature standard ... capable of maintaining every room at a temperature of 72 degrees Fahrenheit (22 degrees Celsius) measured at a point 5 feet (1.52 m) from the floor.

If your Zoro building always seems icy contact the City of Vancouver to have an inspector come by to test your room temperature. Make sure you get a copy of the inspector's report as you can take this and use it as evidence in any action at the Residential Tenancy Branch. As you are paying for the heat through your rent but not receiving the service you can apply for a rent rollback for the applicable months. If you found that you had to use a space heater and as a result your electrical bills went up that is also evidence and you can seek a rent reduction based on that as well. Keep your own records of the temperature as well, taking readings frequently and over time. You can also push the city to suspend the business license of Zoro and other dummy companies if the landlord fails to comply. Once the business license is suspended, the landlord is no longer entitled to conduct business in the City of Vancouver. [Other cities likely have similar bylaws]. Whether that means you no longer have to pay rent during the suspension is unclear and you may want to get legal advice on that point. Check the FAQ for sources of free legal advice.
 
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