Responsibilities of Landlords in Quebec Canada
What are the responsibilities of landlords in Quebec, Canada? Being a landlord is not just renting out a unit and collecting rent payments. It comes with a lot of obligations and responsibilities in Canada.
Landlords are legally obliged to ensure that the rental unit complies with the rules and regulations pertaining to minimum standards for:
Before renting a property, it must meet:
- Municipal property standards
- Zoning bylaws
- Fire safety regulations
- Local building codes.
It is the landlord’s responsibility to ensure that acceptable standards are maintained throughout the duration of the tenancy.
- Maintain the dwelling in a good state of repair and fit for habitation and at the landlord’s expense comply with health, safety, housing and maintenance standards.
- Always ensure a reasonable supply of fuel, electricity, hot and cold water and other utility services (cable, Internet) unless the tenant has agreed to obtain and pay for these services.
- Not interfere with the reasonable enjoyment of the premises by the tenant and the members of their household, or their guests.
- Not seize, without legal process, a tenant’s property for rent default or for the break of any other obligation of the tenant.
- Not harass, obstruct, coerce, threaten or interfere with the tenant.
- To warrant that the property be used for the purpose for which it was leased and to maintain the property for that purpose throughout the term of the lease
- To make all the necessary repairs, except those that are assumed by the lessee
- Not to change the form or destination of the dwelling
Here is a few FAQ about landlords’ responsibilities:
1. When can a landlord enter the tenant’s rental unit?
The landlords cannot enter the premises anytime they want. There are only a few reasons that allow them to enter your premises.
- The tenant has given them permission to do so.
- An emergency that has occurred, like for example a fire that started at your unit and you are not there.
- When you decide to abandon your responsibilities as a tenant and just “Hasta la vista” without telling your landlord.
- Sometimes some tenants cannot be there when the technician is coming to repair something/to control pests/for inspection in the unit, so with your consent, the landlord or property manager can enter your unit to do so.
- The tenant has given notice to the landlord that he or she is not renewing the lease. The Landlord can start showing the unit to prospects with 24-hour notice. The visits should be scheduled between 8 am and 9 pm.
PS. Landlords/Property Managers are obliged to send a notice 24 hours in advance, stating the reason, the date and the time.
2. Does a landlord/property manager have to do something about noisy and annoying neighbours?
YES! The tenant has the right of enjoyment of your dwelling, and that is destroying your peacefulness and the right to enjoy your living situation. Make sure to send a written statement to the landlord/property manager and they are responsible to come up with a good solution that reserves your rights and the neighbours right as well!
3. Can a landlord suddenly change the lease without the tenant’s consent for whatever reason?
NO! That is a breach of the lease agreement. Do not forget that the lease is a contract after all between the tenant and the landlord/property manager. Even if you are not being the star tenant of the month, they are not allowed to do anything without referring to the regie du logement. If they are doing so, you can go to www.regiedulogement.ca and contact them to see what you can do about this situation.
4. Is there a grace period for rent payment in Quebec?
No. Rent is payable on the first day of each payment period (e.g. month, week), unless otherwise agreed (article 1903 Civil Code of Quebec). On the second day it will be considered late. On this day, the landlord may file a request with the Régie du Logement to obtain rent payment, and after 21 days overdue, the landlord can ask the Régie du Logement to terminate the lease (article 1971 Civil Code of Quebec).
5. Can a landlord increase the rent?
Yes! The landlord can increase the rent at the end of the existing lease for the new term with a proper notice. Quebec Landlords must a provide written notice of rent increase. The written notice must be in a format approved by the Régie du logement and must clearly state the amount of the new rent and the date the rent increase starts. If the Notice of Rent Increase is in the wrong format and/or the landlord does not provide enough notice, the rent increase does not apply and a new written notice must be given.
The notice period for a rent increase in Quebec depends on the term of the lease:
- If the lease is one year or more, three to six months’ notice is required
- If the lease is less than one year, one to two months’ notice is required
- If the lease has no set end date, one to two months’ notice is required
- If the lease is for a room, 10 to 20 days’ notice is required
6. How much can landlords increase the rent in Quebec?
There is no limit on the amount that landlords can increase rent in Quebec. However, both tenants must agree that rent increase is reasonable and have the right to refuse an increase proposed by the landlord. The Régie du Logement publishes its recommended rate increase rate each year. If both parties cannot agree on the rent increase, the landlord can file an application with the Régie du Logement no later than one month after the date of receipt of the tenant’s reply.
7. What situations that allow landlords to tell the tenant to move out?
At some point, the lease could be broken under some certain conditions, according to the Regie du logement, and that is for repossession.
1) Let us say your current owner has sold his property to another owner and they want to either live in this unit.
2) or the owner’s relative/s (parents or children only) or former spouse/partner (who the owner is still responsible for) will want to live in this unit.
3) A spouse (or someone who is connected to the owner by civil union or marriage)
The new owner must write to the current landlord to send a notice to the tenants to terminate the lease. For more information about this, make sure to read more thoroughly the process here: https://www.rdl.gouv.qc.ca/en/lessor-s-right-to-terminate-a-lease/repossessing-a-dwelling.
Also, the landlord can terminate a lease if, they choose to divide the dwelling, enlarge it or change its destination. ( for more information, refer to https://www.rdl.gouv.qc.ca/en/lessor-s-right-to-terminate-a-lease/eviction-to-divide-the-dwelling-enlarge-it-substantially-or-change-its-destination)
For any of these, the landlord’s responsibility is to inform the tenant of a 12 months lease, in the written form, 6 months before the end of lease, for less than 12 months lease, 1-2 months before end of lease.
8. Does the current landlord/property manager inform the tenants, if the unit has been sold or transferred to another property manager?
Not really. If the new owner/property manager still wants to resume leasing their unit to the same tenants, their responsibilities to the tenants, shall remain the same as previously agreed upon on the original lease, and the new management should update the tenants with the updated contact information.
9. Can landlords refuse pets in Quebec?
Yes. Unless it is a service animal, the owner can refuse a tenant who has a pet.
PS: Who can refuse this little cutie? 🙂
10. Can landlords enforce the tenant to have a liability insurance?
Most of the landlords ask for it because it the more logical thing to do, but it is not mandatory. It is a liability insurance which will protect the tenant in case of an accident/damage that is caused by the tenant’s negligence. Tenant insurance is for renters who want to protect their personal property. Tenant insurance also includes personal liability coverage, which covers accidental damage to property not owned by you or unintentional bodily injury to others… Are you still wondering if you should get renter’s insurance?
11. Are security deposits legal in Quebec?
No, they are not. The landlord is not allowed to ask for any kind of deposit in Quebec. This includes key deposits, which are not legal in Quebec (article 1904 Paragraph 1 Civil Code of Quebec). The only thing that is legal, is that they can ask you for the first month’s rent, in advance.
12. Can Quebec landlords ask for the first month’s rent upon signing the lease?
Yes. Landlords in Quebec can require advance payment of rent for the first payment period (e.g. month, week, etc) when the lease is signed (article 1904 Civil Code of Quebec).
13. Can landlords demand that rent is paid by post-dated cheque in Quebec?
No. Landlords cannot require that rent is paid by post-dated cheque or any other post-dated method (article 1904 Civil Code of Quebec).
14. Can landlords include illegal clauses to a lease?
If a condition of the lease undermines the rights of a tenant, it is considered null even if both parties signed the lease.
15. Isn’t it the responsibility of the landlord/property manager to deliver a clean and good condition dwelling to me when I move in?
Yes, in fact one of the first responsibilities of the landlord is to deliver a good habitable condition and peaceful enjoyment to tenants. What this means, that before getting your apartment, you should have a clean apartment with all necessary repairs for “wear and tear” objects.
PS: The landlord might not have the time to be able to do the cleaning and repairs if there is a back-to-back move. In that case, the landlord will rely on the current tenant leaving a clean and tidy place to the new tenant. It has to the discussed with the landlord before signing the lease.
16. Isn’t my landlord/property manager responsible to repair all broken objects in the rented apartment?
No, not all objects. Landlords are only responsible to repair things that are strictly part of the wear or tear policy, or if the device that is broken has malfunctioned due to depreciation, other than that, it is the landlord’s duty to inspect any other repairs, and if it shows that the damage is due to the tenant, then the tenant must pay for the repairs.
17. What are some landlords’ responsibilities concerning tax season in Quebec?
The landlord or property manager must issue you a document called the RL-31 slip before tax season is in session. This slip is used to report information about a leased unit as from December 31 of a given year. This is for the sole reason of claiming solidarity tax credit in your income tax returns. Deadline to receive this is February 28 or February 29 of each year. For more information, you can find it in the link here, https://www.agrasoyrealty.com/blog/rl-31-slip-deadline-february-29-2020/
Here are some of the most popular questions asked about landlord’s responsibilities towards tenants in Quebec. If you have any other questions about landlord’s responsibilities towards you on mind, please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org , and we will be glad to answer you. Also, make sure to refer to our blog for more information about your rights as a tenant in Canada and Quebec right here: https://www.agrasoyrealty.com/blog/know-your-legal-rights-as-a-tenant-in-canada/