Ten­ant shaken all night long by noise from air con­di­tion­ing unit

Ottawa Sun - New Homes - - HOMES - BY DICKIE & LY­MAN LLP

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.

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