Tenant shaken all night long by noise from air conditioning unit
A: The landlord’s obligation is to maintain the building and its equipment in good working order. Therefore, if there is a defect with the air conditioning equipment, the landlord needs to get the defect fixed.
However, if the equipment is in good working order and inevitably produces the noise and vibration you experience, then there is nothing for the landlord to have fixed.
By calling 311 you could ask Ottawa’s Bylaw and Regulatory Services to visit the unit when the vibration and noise is taking place. They should be able to determine if there is a defect with the equipment or not. If there is a defect, they would order the landlord to repair the equipment.
However, there is inevitably some noise and vibration from air conditioning equipment. Assuming the noise and vibration is normal for the equipment in your building, there is nothing for your landlord to fix. You report having tried various means to mask the noise. Apart from those techniques, your options would be to continue to live with the unavoidable noise from the mechanical room, to move out of the building, or to take up the landlord’s offer to move to another unit in the building.
The offer you have described seems very generous. Some landlords would offer to move you to another apartment of the same type as you occupy when one becomes available, but hardly anyone would offer to give you a reduced rent in a new apartment.
In the long term, the solution seems to be for you to move to a different apartment, and for the landlord to rent the apartment you occupy to someone who is less sensitive to noise and vibration. Since the source of the noise and vibration is apparently the air conditioning equipment, the unit may be ideal for a tenant who spends most of the air conditioning season at a cottage or otherwise away from their apartment.
Rent increase guidelines
For rent increases that take effect Jan. 1-Dec. 31, 2018, the rent control guideline that applies throughout Ontario has been set at 1.8 per cent. To charge a rent increase, residential landlords need to give written notice at least 90 days before the effective date of the rent increase.
For a rent increase to take place in October, November or December 2017, the guideline increase is still 1.5 per cent.