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‘Better lawyer up,’ Burnaby tenant tells landlord who only keeps water ‘lukewarm’

Landlord refuses to fix the hot water situation
washing hands

Is there anything better in the morning than a nice, hot shower?

That’s how I wake up in the morning and that’s how T.T., a renter in Burnaby, wishes he could kick start each day.

But he can’t because his landlord refuses to fix the hot water tanks so T.T. and the other tenants renting units in the house can enjoy hot water for bathing, plus washing clothes and dishes. (OK, yes, you can wash clothes in cold water, but that should be a choice, not the only option.)

T.T. has already struggled after moving in and discovering that there was a drug dealer doing business in one of the suites in the house. That criminal was finally arrested, said T.T., so now the tenant is more focused on hot water, or the lack of it.

“I'm having issues with my hot water,” T.T. said. “Initially when I moved in, hot water would always run out and sometimes I would be without any hot water whatsoever for anywhere from 2 to 6 to 16 hours at a time. (There are 2 other suites here - illegal suites, mind you - and one hot water tank, so I'm sure that doesn't help.) Over time, that issue got better though. But now there is a new issue with the water where, in order for it to even get slightly warm, the lever has to be turned all the way over onto hot. But it doesn't get hot. It just stays at the same lukewarm/cold-ish temperature. In other words, I'm basically having to take cold showers. I let this slide before I said anything to the landlord since they seem to get mad whenever I do bring something to their attention and tell me to ‘move’ and ‘find somewhere more suitable,’ and earlier in the day I notified them that I was scheduling an appointment with a plumber as they had not reasonably responded to me with any kind of effort to fix the issue.”

In response, the landlord freaked out and so T.T. has told them to lawyer up because the tenant has retained legal counsel and is going to the Residential Tenancy Branch.

Landlords do realize they are responsible for the comfort of their tenants, right?

It’s not just sit back and collect the rent. You have to actually put in some effort and some money, especially when you rent out units in an aging house.

Follow Chris Campbell on Twitter @shinebox44.