OFFICE CONSOLIDATION (as of August 29, 2023)
A by-law concerning the PROVISION OF VITAL SERVICES AND THE MAINTENANCE OF SUITABLE HEAT AT LEASED OR RENTAL DWELLINGS
WHEREAS under the City of London Act (Vital Services), 1993 Council is authorized to pass by-laws concerning the provision of vital services at leased or rented dwellings;
WHEREAS paragraph 76 of section 210 of the Municipal Act, R.S.O. 1990, c.M.45, provides that a municipality may pass a by-law for requiring the maintenance of adequate heat for rented or leased dwellings or living accommodations and for defining adequate and suitable heat for such purposes and for providing for the inspection of such dwellings or living accommodation;
AND WHEREAS Section 23.2 of the Municipal Act, 2001 permits a municipality to delegate certain legislative and quasi-judicial powers;
THEREFORE the MUNICIPAL COUNCIL of The Corporation of the City of London enacts as follows:
VITAL SERVICES BY-LAW
In this by-law:
"Act" means the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006, S.O. 2006, c. 17;
"adequate and suitable" in reference to vital services at a rented residential unit means sufficient to enable,
(a) the refrigerating, freezing, preparing and cooking of food for human consumption;
(b) the heating of the unit on and between the 15th day of September of one year and the 15th day of June of the following year to a minimum temperature of 20 degrees Celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit) between six o'clock in the morning and eleven o'clock in the evening of the same day, and to a minimum temperature of 18 degrees Celsius (65 degrees Fahrenheit) at all other times;
(c) the washing of dishes and utensils used for food;
(d) the operation of a toilet;
(e) the cleansing and bathing of human beings; and
(f) the lighting of the unit.
"Director" means the Director, Municipal Compliance or their written designate;
“Hearings Officer” means a Hearings Officer appointed under the City’s Hearings Officer By-law A.-6653-121, as amended;
"heating system" means equipment owned or supplied by the landlord located in a building for the purpose of supplying heat to a rented residential unit, and includes a furnace, a boiler, a solid fuel burning stove, an electrical baseboard heating system and all mechanical systems appurtenant thereto.
"landlord" includes a person who is lessor, owner, the person giving or permitting the occupation of the rented residential unit in question, and those persons' heirs and assigns and legal representatives;
"rented residential unit" means a building or part of a building that is rented or leased as a dwelling or lodging unit;
"supplier of a vital service" means a person who carries on the business of or whose business includes supplying a vital service to an end user, and includes,
(a) in the case of electricity, London Hydro Inc.;
(b) in the case of artificial and natural gas, Enbridge Gas Inc.;
(c) in the case of municipal water, the City Engineer; and
(d) in the case of chilled water, hot water and steam, London - Enwave Energy Corporation;
"system used for the distribution" includes all parts of a system owned or supplied by a landlord and located in a building for the purpose of supplying and distributing a vital service to a rented residential unit;
"tenancy agreement" means an agreement between a tenant and a landlord for possession of a rented residential unit, whether written, oral or implied, and includes a licence to occupy premises;
"tenant" includes a person who is lessee, occupant, sub-tenant, under-tenant, border, roomer, and lodger, and the persons assigns and legal representatives;
"vital service" means fuel, electricity, gas, hot water, water and steam.
2.1 Administration of by-law
The administration of this by-law is assigned to the Director.
2.2 Application of by-law
This by-law applies to a building or a part of a building that contains one or more rented residential units in which at least one rented residential unit is occupied.
2.3 Exception to by-law application
Despite section 2.2, this by-law does not apply to a landlord in respect of a rented residential unit and a vital service to the extent that the tenant has as part of a tenancy agreement expressly agreed to obtain and maintain the supply of the vital service .
2.4 By-law applicable despite dispute
This by-law shall apply despite any dispute as between the landlord and the tenant, so long as the rented residential unit is occupied by the tenant.
RESPONSIBILITIES OF LANDLORD
3.1 Provision of vital services
A landlord shall provide adequate and suitable vital services at every rented residential unit that is occupied by a tenant.
3.2 Cessation – Repairs
Section 3.1 does not apply to a cessation of vital services necessary to alter or repair the rented residential unit, but such cessation shall only be for the minimum period necessary to effect the alteration or repair.
3.3 Heating system - provide - maintain - repair
A landlord shall provide, maintain and repair a heating system for every building in which a rented residential unit is located, in working order sufficient to ensure the supply of adequate and suitable vital services to each part of the building used as a dwelling, so that the requirements of this by-law are met.
3.4 Maintain heat - September to June - minimum requirements
Between the 15th day of September of one year and the 15th of June of the following year, a landlord shall provide a continuous supply of heat to a rented residential unit so that a minimum temperature of 20 degrees Celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit) will be maintained between the hours of six o' clock in the morning and eleven o' clock in the evening of the same day, and a minimum temperature of 18 degrees Celsius (65 degrees Fahrenheit) at all other times.
3.5 Distribution systems - provide - maintain - repair
In addition to the heating system referred to in section 3.3 of this by-law, a landlord shall provide, maintain and repair a system or systems used for the distribution of adequate and suitable vital services to each part of a building that is used as a dwelling, so that the requirements of this by-law are met.
3.6 Non payment - deemed cessation - landlord
A landlord shall be deemed to have caused the cessation of a vital service at a rented residential unit, if the landlord is obliged to pay the supplier for the vital service and fails to do so and, as a result of the non-payment, the vital service is no longer provided at the unit.
RESPONSIBILITIES OF VITAL SERVICES SUPPLIER
4.1 Notice of disconnection - supplier of vital service
Every supplier of a vital service shall give a notice in accordance with this by-law if the vital service is being discontinued at a building to which this by-law applies because the landlord has breached a contract with the supplier for the supply of the vital service.
4.2 Notice - 15 days before cessation of service
A notice of disconnection shall be given, in writing, by the supplier, to the City Clerk and to the landlord at least fifteen days before the supplier ceases to provide the vital service and shall contain the following:
(a) the name, address, telephone number, and e-mail of the supplier;
(b) the type of vital service being supplied;
(c) the name, address and telephone number of the landlord with whom the supplier has a contract for the supply of the vital service and the name of the registered owner if not the same name as the landlord;
(d) the municipal address of the building at which the vital service is being supplied;
(e) confirmation that at least one rented residential unit is occupied at the subject site;
(f) the nature of the landlord's breach of contract with the supplier;
(g) if the breach in clause (f) is nonpayment of charges for supply of the vital service, the amount of the unpaid charges, any interest and administration charges, and the amount of any disconnection and reconnection charges;
(h) the date and time when the supplier will cease to provide the vital service;
(i) the name, municipal address, telephone number, and e-mail of an individual authorized by the supplier to receive a direction made under section 4.3.
(j) a reference to the Vital Services By-law and a statement that if the breach of contract is for nonpayment of charges for the supply of vital services, the City of London may act without further notice to pay to the supplier the outstanding charges and add the amount paid to the property owner's taxes in accordance with the provisions of the Vital Services By-law.
4.3 Restoration - service
Every supplier of a vital service who discontinues the vital service at a building to which this by-law applies shall promptly restore the vital service at the building when directed to do so by the Director.
CORRECTIVE MEASURES AND APPEAL
5.1 Director - authority
(a) may enter all reasonable times and inspect a building or the part of a building to which this by-law applies for the purpose of determining compliance with this by-law or a direction given under the Act or this by-law;
(b) may instruct any person to enter and inspect in the manner and for the purpose mentioned in clause (a);
(c) may apply for warrant under the Provincial Offences Act for authority to enter a place actually used as a rented residential unit;
(d) may direct a landlord to provide adequate and suitable vital services at a rented residential unit that is occupied by a tenant if
(i) the vital services being provided are currently not adequate or suitable; or
(ii) the landlord has ceased to provide the vital services and the cessation is not necessary to alter or repair the rented residential unit or is beyond the minimum period necessary to effect the alteration or repair;
(e) may direct a supplier of a vital service who discontinues the vital service at a building to which this by-law applies to promptly restore the vital service at the building;
(f) may arrange for a vital service to be provided at a rented residential unit if a landlord does not provide a vital service at the unit in accordance with this by-law;
(g) may enter into agreements on behalf of the City with the supplier of a vital service to ensure that adequate and suitable vital services are provided at a building or the part of a building to which this by-law applies;
(h) shall provide sufficient information to enable the City Clerk to add the amount and the administration fee mention in section 5.4 to the collector's roll and to send the interim certificate directed in section 5.7;
(i) may direct a tenant to pay any or all of the rent for the rented residential unit to the City if it has arranged for a vital service to be provided at the unit;
(j) shall cause rent received from a tenant to be applied to reduce the amount spent by the City to provide the vital service and the related administration fee, and shall cause any amount remaining after the rent is so applied to be paid to the person otherwise entitled to receive the rent; and
(k) shall provide the Hearings Officer with sufficient information to enable the Hearings Officer to conduct a hearing described in Section 5.8 if an appeal is made from an interim certificate.
5.2 Inspection of occupied unit
Despite clauses 5.1(a) and (b), the Director or the person acting under their instructions shall not enter a place used as a rented residential unit,
(a) unless consent has been obtained by the occupier of the unit after informing the occupier that they may refuse permission to enter the unit; or
(b) unless the Director or the person acting under their instruction is authorized to do so by a warrant issued under the Provincial Offences Act.
5.3 Effect of rent paid
A payment to the City of any or all the rent by a tenant pursuant to a direction by the Director shall be deemed not to constitute a default in the payment of rent due under a tenancy agreement or a default in the tenant's obligations for the purposes of the Act.
The City has a lien against the property at which the vital service is to be provided. The lien value is for the amount it spends for a vital service that it arranges to be provided at a rented residential unit under this by-law plus an administration fee of 10 percent of that amount against the property at which the vital service is provided. The amount the City spends for a vital service that it arranges to be provided at a rented residerntial unit under this by-law is the include all current and outstanding charges existing on the vital service account.
5.5 Deemed taxes
The amount and the administration fee mentioned in section 5.4 shall be deemed to be municipal taxes levied in the year in which the amount was spent and shall be added to the collector's roll and be subject to the same penalty and interest charges as real property taxed and shall be collected in the same manner and with the same remedies as real property taxes.
The certificate of the City Clerk as to the amount spent by the City is proof, in the absence of the contrary, of the amount.
5.7 Interim certificate
Before issuing a certificate described in section 5.6, the City Clerk shall send an interim certificate by registered mail to the registered owner of the property that is subject to the lien and to all mortgagees or other encumbrances registered on title.
(a) The affected owner, mortgagee or other encumbrancer may, within fifteen (15) days after the interim certificate is mailed, appeal the amount shown on it by requesting a hearing by a Hearings Officer. The request shall be made in writing and filed with the City Clerk. The request shall consist of a notice of appeal and must comply with the filing requirements set out in Schedule 1 of the City's Hearings Officer By-law A.-6653-121 as amended.
(b) The power and authority to conduct hearings of appeals under this by-law are herby delegated to the Hearings Office.
(b) The provisions of the City’s Hearings Officer By-law A.-6653-121, as amended, apply to all hearings conducted by a Hearings Officer.
(d) The decision of the Hearings Officer shall be final.
6.1 Landlord - not to cause cessation of supply
A landlord shall not cause the cessation of a vital service at a rented residential unit that is occupied by a tenant.
6.2 Landlord - failure to maintain heat - prohibited
A landlord shall not fail to provide a continuous supply of heat to a rented residential unit in accordance with the requirements of this by-law.
6.3 Landlord - heating system - failure to repair - prohibited
A landlord shall not cease to provide a vital service as a result of the failure to provide, maintain or repair a heating system sufficiently to enable the supply of adequate and suitable vital services to each part of a building used as a dwelling in accordance with the requirements of this by-law.
6.4 Landlord - distribution system - failure to repair - prohibited
A landlord shall not cease to provide a vital service as a result of the failure to provide, maintain or repair a system used for the distribution of the supply of adequate and
suitable vital services to each part of a building used as a dwelling in accordance with the requirements of this by-law.
6.5 Supplier - lack of notice - prohibited
A supplier of a vital service shall not cease to provide the vital service at a building or the part of the building to which this by-law applies until at least fifteen days after the supplier gives notice to the City Clerk in accordance with section 4.2.
6.6 Supplier - failure to restore service - prohibited
A supplier of a vital service who discontinues the vital service at a building to which this by-law applies shall not fail to promptly restore the vital service at the building when directed to do so by the Director.
6.7 Hindering authorized acts - prohibited
No person shall hinder, obstruct, or interfere with or attempt to hinder, obstruct, or interfere with the Director or with a person acting under instruction of the Director in the exercise of a power or performance of a duty under the Act or this by-law.
6.8 Fine - for contravention
Every person who contravenes or fails to comply with any provision of this by-law is, upon conviction, guilty of an offence for each day or part of a day on which the offence occurs or continues and is liable to any penalty as provided in the Provincial Offences Act.
6.9 Corporation - officer - offence
Every director or officer of a corporation that is convicted of an offence who knowingly concurs in the commission of the offence is guilty of an offence and is liable to any penalty as provided in the Provincial Offences Act.
6.10 Continuation - repetition - prohibition - by order
The Court in which the conviction has been entered, and any court of competent jurisdiction thereafter, may make an order prohibiting the continuation or repetition of the offence by the person convicted and such order shall be in addition to any other penalty imposed upon the person convicted.
7.1 By-laws - previous
By-law P.H.-68-282 and by-law PH-2 and all amendments thereto are hereby repealed.
7.2 Effective date
This by-law comes into force on the day it is passed.
Passed in Open Council on March 6, 1995.
Dianne Haskett, Mayor
K.W. Sadler, City Clerk
|By-Law No.||Date Passed at Council|
|PH-6||March 6, 1995|
|PH-6-11002||December 20, 2010|
|PH-6-11003||July 25, 2011|
|PH-6-21004||September 14, 2021|
|PH-6-23005||August 29, 2023|