Temperature A Hot Topic For Condo Owners

The Toronto Star − Condo Living Section
Condo Living sent the following question to Shlomo Sharon, President, Taft Forward Property Management Group


Our unit is a garden unit and is on the first floor and faces north.
Needless to say our unit was quite cold during the winter. The heat was
turned off on May 2 and then we had a cold snap. For three weeks, the
night-time and early morning temperatures in our unit were 14 to 15
Celcius. During the day they would rise to 17 to 18 C.

I have reported the matter to both the management company and the president of the board. They have given me little or no response to this problem. Can you advise me as
to what my rights are and how to get this problem solved?


I live in a high-rise building with combined heating and cooling system. Every year, they switch to heating, and then the weather turns warm again. Can't the heat just be turned off during these warm days? What does management do when switching over from one season to another, especially when the weather insists on going back and forth for a while?


This is a common occurrence in a condominium building where there is a central HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) system. This situation tends to happen as one changes over from winter to summer and from summer to winter.

As you can imagine, it is very hard to determine if a heat wave will last for three days or for one day, for example. Even meteorologists make mistakes. Once the switch over has taken place, however, it takes time to mechanically switch the system back.

The difficulty is that in determining when to turn on the heat or air conditioning, the board of directors has to balance the needs of the condominium as a whole and the needs of the individual residents.

You should make your concerns known by informing the board and management in writing. If the board receives, in addition to yours, other complaints from the residents, they may consider implementing certain changes.

The property management or the Board of Directors should reply to your concerns if you have presented them in writing, even if only to explain to you the predicament of switching the system from cooling to heat and vice versa.

If all else fails, you do have the option to requisition an owners' meeting, in accordance with the procedures set out in the Condominium Act, but only for the purposes of discussing this issue. The board has the authority to make the ultimate decision.

In the interim, a practical solution would be to have an electric heater in your unit for the duration of the cold snap and to turn down the heat, use a fan and open the windows if the weather is unseasonably warm.

Quick Contact

Taft Management and Forward Property Management Group

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