Dozens of tenants file complaints over lack of heat
Nearly three dozen Winnipeg tenants have had to complain to city officials so far this month because their landlords have left them with little or no heat in their suites.
CBC News has learned that the City of Winnipeg has received 34 complaints since Jan. 1 from tenants reporting a lack of heating in their apartments.
More than 300 complaints regarding lack of heat were filed with the city in the last year.
Darrell Stavem, who works with the North End Community Renewal Corp., says he hears these kinds of complaints frequently.
"There's all kinds of ways to save money in the rental industry. Turning down the heat or using heat as a weapon — which is unimaginable to me — is not one of them," Stavem said.
The city's neighbourhood livability bylaw states that apartments must be kept at least 21 C from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. and a minimum of 18 C overnight.
Tenants whose apartments are below those standards are encouraged to report it to the city.
Earlier this week, two Wolseley-area caretakers alleged they were fired for keeping the heat on in their apartment building.
Penny Letourneau and Mike Dent said the company they worked for had ordered them to turn the boiler off from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. to cut down on heating costs.
"At nighttime in my bedroom, it's probably –10 C in there," Letourneau said.
Giselle Henderson, a mother who lives across the hall from Letourneau, said it's too cold in her suite as well.
"We keep warm with the heater fan, and we use our oven," she said.
When CBC News visited the Wolseley building on Tuesday, a thermostat near the boiler read about 13 C.
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