Ontario’s Landlord and Tenant Board has announced that suite meter rules will go into effect beginning January 1st.
These rules are intended to place more responsibility on tenants for their own energy consumption, while at the same time encouraging landlords to update old appliances with more energy-efficient models.
These rules will impact landlords in a number of ways:
Landlords are allowed to temporarily interrupt electricity service to rental units in order to install suite meters. However, they must follow guidelines for giving notice to tenants, use a competent contractor to perform the work, and assure that the work will be done as quickly as possible.
If heat to the rental unit will be affected, a landlord must follow additional rules.
A landlord will have the right to install suite meters, even without consent of existing tenants in some cases. Notice requirements will apply, and landlords who have been providing electricity pursuant to the tenancy agreement will need to calculate a rent abatement to compensate for the adjustment.
Prospective tenants will be entitled to a detailed disclosure from the landlord regarding the costs of electricity in that rental unit.
Old refrigerators may have to be updated to more energy-efficient models.
Special rules will apply to landlords in smaller buildings who plan to apportion utilities for the rental units from a central meter.
Eviction proceedings will be impacted because nonpayment of “rent” may not include the utilities portion where suite metering applies.
The Landlord and Tenant Board will be posting any new forms, applications or updates regarding implementation of these rules over the next several weeks.
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Disclaimer: The information provided in this post in not intended to be construed as legal advice, nor should it be considered a substitute for obtaining individual legal counsel or consulting your local, state, federal or provincial tenancy laws.