Apartment heat bylaw passes hurdle at city hall

Winnipeg is getting closer to passing a bylaw that will better protect tenants against cheap landlords who don’t properly heat their rental properties.

Bylaw motion will have to pass two more votes before it is enacted

City of Winnipeg is closer to passing a bylaw that will better protect tenants against landlords who don’t properly heat their rental properties. 2:06

Winnipeg is getting closer to passing a bylaw that will better protect tenants against landlords who don’t properly heat their rental properties.

A city committee approved the neighbourhood livability bylaw on Thursday morning. The bylaw requires landlords to maintain minimum levels of heat or face tickets.

If landlords let the heat dip below 21 C between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m., they could be subject to immediate fines ranging between $1,000 for individual landlords and $5,000 for corporations.

The proposed bylaw change was welcomed by Charles Tizya, who spent most of last winter shivering in his Sherbrook Street apartment suite.

"It'll give a landlord or a property manager something to really consider before they decide to ignore their tenants," he told CBC News on Thursday.

However, Tizya said the fines being proposed are not stiff enough.

"If a landlord has a whole lot of money … what's $5,000?" he asked.

Under the current system, tenants must make complaints to the Residential Tenancies Branch and wait for the landlord to appear in court.

Coun. Harvey Smith originally put the motion forward, saying the process takes too long and too many tenants were being left in the cold.

The next step for the motion is to move on to city council’s executive policy committee and then a final vote by council.

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