Rental AC, furnaces, and hot water tanks in Ottawa

Rental equipment – AC, furnaces, hot water tanks and tankless water heaters are being forced on new home buyers.

On a daily basis I receive phone calls and emails from upset homeowners who were forced into rental contracts for furnaces, air conditioners, hot water tanks or tankless water heaters when buying homes (even older homes).  My heart goes out to these neighbours who are stuck with these contracts they never agreed to. They usually have ONLY 2 options – continue renting (which usually runs more than double, sometimes triple, the cost of a new system installed) or they have to pay extortion buyouts that exceed the value of a brand new installation (buyouts are typically 50% to 200% more than the purchase of a new system installed according to what I have been informed by our callers).

I recently received a link about an Ottawa woman who is fighting a home builder for installing rental HVAC (furnace and air conditioner and hot water tank) in her condo without her knowledge – she (like most homeowners) assumed these standard features came with the new home.  She is NOT alone – she started a class action legal case against the home builder with over 100 other condo buyers who also feel ripped off being forced into rental contracts without their knowledge.

To read the full article on CBC go to Ottawa condo owners fight back with class action against builder

People buying a new house budget to buy that house and are informed that the house “has” heating and air conditioning and hot water but it doesn’t actually “have” those features – they are rented equipment and the new homeowner does not have the right to say “no” without losing the house and their deposit.

Here is how it typically works from the builder and rental company side – the home builders don’t have to pay for new equipment anymore (meaning they get to pocket more money from the sale), instead they have a 3rd party rental company install rental equipment (and the home builder gets a kick back from the rental company for using them exclusively so they make even more money on the sale of the house).

The rental company is happy because they get to have EXCLUSIVE rights to the new house (and the entire neighbourhood) that no other HVAC company can touch.

The home builder is happy because they made more money and didn’t have to pay for a furnace, AC or hot water tank (saving them over $10,000 for each individual home).

The home owner is devastated because they are either forced to rent OR are forced to buy out the rental contract at over 50% more than the cost of a new installation from most other reputable HVAC companies in Ottawa.

The buyouts are unreasonable

Renting a furnace, AC, hot water tank or tankless is unreasonable (the rental rate goes up every year and usually exceeds inflation increases annually),

Not finding a home to live in because ALL the new ones come with rental equipment is unreasonable.

This SHOULD be illegal!

We should have the right to buy our own equipment and have it installed (provided it meets all building codes) if we don’t want the rental equipment installed (especially where the house isn’t even built yet).

NO ONE should be forced into a rental contract in order to buy a home or live in a specific neighbourhood. Consumers should have a choice!

If you have experienced this or know someone who experienced this and want to take a stand against it you can notify Consumers Protection Ontario.

We can only protect consumers against these kind of unlawful practices when each person involved starts fighting back.

Sorry for the rant – some things just really upset me especially when I can’t help the people I care about!

Thanks for listening,