Régie du logement
A lease is a rental agreement between a lessor (landlord) and a lessee or sublessee (tenant or subtenant) that defines the parties’ respective commitments concerning the rental of a dwelling and the services, accessories and dependences attached to the dwelling. A lease may be written or oral and have a fixed or indeterminate term (duration). Written leaseA written lease must be drawn up using the lease form prescribed by the Régie du logement. Once a lease has been entered into, the lessor must give the lessee a copy signed by both parties, within the prescribed time period. The lease form must be used for the rental of an apartment, a house, a room, an apartment in a building held in divided co-ownership (condominium), a mobile home or land for a mobile home. NoteA room is not subject to the rules of the Régie if:
Special leasesSpecial lease forms must be used for the following four types of rentals:
If special services are offered to seniors or persons with disabilities, Schedule 6 to the Lease: Services Offered to the Lessee by the Lessor must be completed. Oral leaseAn oral lease can have the same value as a written lease. The lessor must complete the form Mandatory Writing in the Case of an Oral Lease and give it to the lessee, within the prescribed time period. Term (duration) of the leaseA lease may be entered into at any time of the year and for any length of time, provided the parties agree on the conditions and expiry date of the lease. The lease may have a fixed or an indeterminate term. A fixed term lease begins on the date agreed upon by the lessor and the lessee and ends when the term expires. An indeterminate term lease begins on the date agreed upon by the lessor and the lessee and ends when the lessee terminates the lease or for another reason provided by law. RentThe lessor may require advance payment of the rent for the first payment period and even make this a condition for signing the lease. However, the lessor may not require a series of postdated cheques or any additional sum of money, such as a security deposit for the keys or the furniture supplied to the lessee. Notice to a new lesseeUpon signing the lease, the lessor must complete Section G of the lease, “Notice to a New Lessee or a Sublessee”. This is the section where the lessor must indicate the lowest rent paid during the 12 months preceding the start of the lease or, where applicable, the rent fixed by the Régie for that period. A new lessee who pays higher rent than the lowest rent paid during the 12 months preceding the start of the lease may apply to the Régie to fix the rent:
Before taking legal recourse, the parties can try to reach an agreement. The Régie cannot fix the rent if the lessor has indicated in Section F of the lease that the dwelling is subject to restrictions on the right to have the rent fixed and the lease modified by the Régie because it is located in:
The Régie cannot fix the rent of a dwelling in low-rental housing unless the lessee has reason to believe that the rules of the Société d’habitation du Québec were not complied with for the fixing of rent. Services and conditionsIf there is a document stipulating the building by-laws, the lessor must give the lessee a copy of the document before the lease is signed. The by-laws are part of the lease. If there are no building by-laws, all of the services offered to the lessee must be indicated in the lease, along with any other conditions, including any work or repairs to be carried out prior to delivery of the dwelling or during the term of the lease. The lessor must also indicate in the lease whether the lessee has the right to have an animal or to smoke in the dwelling and whether he or she has access to the land on which the dwelling sits. Language in which leases are written and notices are sentAll lease forms, building by-laws and notices must be written in French. However, the lessor and the lessee can agree to have these documents written in another language. Personal information requested from a lessee A lessor may ask a prospective lessee to provide his or her full current address and, with the lessee’s consent, may collect information in order to verify the lessee’s previous conduct and payment habits from his or her current lessor or a previous lessor. However, a lessor cannot require a lessee to provide his or her social insurance number, health insurance number or driver’s licence number.
Credit check To establish a prospective lessee’s payment habits, a lessor may, with the lessee’s consent, use the services of a personal information agent, commonly known as a “credit bureau”. A lessor may also require a lessee to designate an endorser, in which case the name of the endorser must be indicated on the lease form. An endorser undertakes to pay the rent if the lessee fails to do so, for the term of the lease only, and is normally released from this undertaking at the end of the term, even if the lease is renewed automatically. However, if a lease or an agreement stipulates that the undertaking also applies to the renewed lease, the endorser’s liability is renewed with the lease. There are special rules for terminating such undertakings.
Lessors and lessees of dwellings.
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