When should the heater be turned on?
Neither the rental housing legislation nor most municipal by-laws contain a specific date by which heating must begin. Such a date would be very likely to be arbitrary, as the Quebec climate sometimes makes us freeze in May and warm in March.
What must be concluded is that the landlord is required by law to provide his tenant with an adequate ambient temperature, whatever the time of year.
This follows from the landlord’s obligation to maintain the dwelling in a condition suitable for the purpose for which it was rented and to maintain it in a good state of habitable condition.
Therefore, a clause in the lease indicating a date on which the landlord undertakes to provide the heating may have no effect, as it is the temperature inside the dwelling that determines whether or not it should be heated.
At what temperature should the heating be maintained?
It is generally recognized that, under normal climatic conditions, the indoor temperature of a dwelling unit in winter must be at least approximately 21°C (70°F), but neither the law nor most municipal by-laws are specific on this point.
The tenant, on the other hand, must take care not to overheat his dwelling, otherwise he risks being sued by the Régie du logement.