Régie du logement

Problems with your landlord?

You are a tenant and you have some problems with your landlord or you want to prevent having some? Consulting a lawyer specialized in housing may save you much trouble.


The lease is the contract between the tenant and his landlord. It can be verbal, but it is always better to be written. In the case of a verbal lease, the landlord must give the tenant a form entitled Mandatory Writing within ten days of the agreement.

Before you sign a new lease or take steps to oppose or terminate a lease, a lawyer can avoid you many problems.

Rent increase or modification of another condition

At the renewal of your lease, your landlord has the right to ask for an increase of the rent, but this increase may not exceed what is prescribed by the law.

A modification to the other conditions of the lease may also be considered as a rent increase (e.g., parking or storage space no longer included, heating, the right to have a pet or any other service previously included). In all these cases, it is possible to ask for a proportional adjustment to the price of the rent.

Dwelling unfit for habitation

You have the right, as a tenant, to abandon or to refuse to move in a dwelling unfit for habitation. A dwelling is deemed unfit for habitation when it poses a serious danger to the health or safety of its occupant or the public.

Maintenance and repairs

The landlord has the obligation to provide a dwelling in good habitable condition and to make all necessary repairs to keep it in good habitable condition for the duration of the lease.

Harassment and noise

You are entitled, as a tenant, to what is called a peaceable enjoyment of the premises. You are at home in your rented dwelling and your landlord and his representatives cannot, by words or repeated acts, behave in a harassing manner.

Similarly, the other tenants cannot adopt a disruptive conduct, either through excessive noise or other disruptive behavior, in such a way to make you lose the “peaceable enjoyment of the premises”.

Right to maintain occupancy and repossessing a dwelling

The basic rule is that the tenants have the right to stay in their dwelling as long as they wish. There are however a few exceptions to this rule, among which (with the exception of the unpaid rent) the most frequently used is the repossession of the dwelling by the owner to live there himself or a member of his immediate family. This exceptional right to the owner has unfortunately been too often used as a pretext to evict a tenant who could not be forced to leave his dwelling otherwise.

The onus is on the owner to prove that he fully complies with the strict conditions of repossession of a dwelling and that none of the several prohibitions applies. It is strongly recommended to use the services of a lawyer in these situations.

Renewal of the lease

Unless the tenant notifies his landlord of his decision to leave the dwelling, the residential lease is automatically renewed. If the landlord wants to increase the rent or make any other modification to the lease, he must notify the tenant within the prescribed time.

If the tenant refuses the landlord’s proposed modifications he has no obligation to leave his dwelling and the lease is automatically renewed as is, unless the landlord files an application to the Régie du logement to fix the rent. The landlord will have the obligation to prove his claims and the Régie du logement may, in the case of certain modifications, determine a proportional reduction of the price of the rent.

Resiliation of a lease by the tenant

There are several situations allowing the resiliation of a lease during its term by the tenant.

Moving in a Low-Rental Housing. A tenant may cancel a current lease if he is allocated a dwelling in low-rental housing.

Handicap. A tenant may resiliate the current lease if he can no longer occupy the dwelling because of a handicap.

Admission into a seniors’ residence. In the case of a senior, a tenant may terminate the current lease if he is permanently admitted to a residential and long-term care centre where the services required by his state of health are provided or to any other lodging facility where such care and services are provided.

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