COMMERCIAL TENANTS

TENANT

If you have a DEMAND or need to institute legal proceedings, click here

If you receive legal proceedings against (DEFENSE), click here

DEMAND*

If you are a Tenant and your Landlord fails to respect its lease obligations, the following are the step by step guidelines:

STEP 1: LETTER OF DEMAND

The first step is to send a letter of demand as quickly as possible to remind the Landlord that he is in default and to remedy his default. Failure to remedy his default can result in a legal proceeding and a judgment may be rendered against him.

STEP 2: LEGAL PROCEEDINGS

If the Landlord still doesn’t remedy his default, you will need to institute legal proceedings as soon as possible. It is crucial that the proceedings respect the model established by the Minister of Justice, which consists of the following possibilities:

1) Originating application and the summons

a) Originating application

You can sue the Landlord by filling an originating application for any of the following reasons:

  • Roof defects/leaks;
  • The air conditioning, heating and/or ventilation system are not working;
  • Deterioration of the exterior walls;
  • Presence of pest;
  • Another Tenant makes you and your employees sick by releasing toxic fumes into your premises
  • Defaults to the exclusivity clause in the lease;
  • Water infiltration;
  • Defects in the structural elements of the building.

Under the above mentioned circumstances, you may obtain a reduction in rent or the remedy of the default.

b) The summons

It is very important to attach to your originating application the summons. The summons will not only notify the defendant that the plaintiff has filed an originating application to the Court, but also mentions his obligation to answer this application within 15 days, as well as his duty to cooperate with the plaintiff to conduct the proceeding.

The summons also informs the defendant of his possibility to referral the originating application to the court having territorial jurisdiction by applying to the special clerk in the concerned district and by noticing the parties and the office of the court that is already seized of the case.

Finally, if the plaintiff is qualified under the rules governing the recovery of small claims, the summons informs the defendant that he can contact the clerk of the court to request a transfer of the originating application to the small claims division (the organisation must have, at most, 10 employees).

c) Answer to the summons

You must answer the summons in writing, personally or through a lawyer, at the concerned courthouse district. The answer must be within 15 days of this application or, if you have no domicile, residence or establishment in Quebec, within 30 days. The answer must be notified to the plaintiff or, if the plaintiff is represented, to his lawyer.

Content of answer

In your answer, you must state your intention to:

  • Negotiate a settlement;
  • Propose mediation to resolve the dispute;
  • Defend the application and, as required by the law, cooperate with the plaintiff in preparing the case protocol;
  • Propose a settlement conference

The answer to the summons must include your contact information and, if you are represented by a lawyer, the lawyer’s name and contact information.

d) Case protocol

i) The case protocol must be filed with the court office in the concerned district within 45 days after service of this present summons. In family matters or if you have no domicile, residence or establishment in Quebec, within 3 months of the summons’ service.

ii) Within 20 daysafter the case protocol, the court may contact you to a case management conference in order to ensure the orderly progress of the proceeding. The protocol is presumed accepted if you are not contacted.

e) Failure to answer

If you fail to answer within the limit of 15 or 30 days, as applicable, a default judgment may be rendered against you without further notice. You could also, according to the circumstances, be complied to pay the legal costs.

2) Safeguard order

Safeguard order is an order from the Court that can be attached to the originating application, to protect the Tenant’s rights in the event that the following issues have not been met or due to the default of Landlord:

  • Roof defects/leaks
  • The air conditioning, heating and/or ventilation system are not working;
  • Deterioration of the exterior walls;
  • Presence of pest;
  • Another Tenant makes you and your employees sick by releasing toxic fumes into your premises;
  • Defaults to the exclusivity clause in the lease;
  • Water infiltration.

Exceptionally, regarding the safeguard order, the delay period may be reduced if the matter is urgent.

STEP 3: THE RESULT (JUDGMENT)

Delay period for obtaining a judgment by default: between 60 days to 120 days depending on the urgency of the matter and the backlog of the court. It is possible to write a letter to the clerk of the court requesting an expedited judgment.

STEP 4: EXECUTION OF THE JUDGMENT

Once you receive a judgment:

i. You may have to wait an additional delay of 30 days to ensure that the case was not appealed before the Court of Appeal or a higher instance

ii. In case of default of your payment, you can:

  • Seize bank accounts;
  • Seize the salary;
  • Seize movable or immovable property at the Land Registry office (if the judgment is greater than $10,000.00

This is a non-exhaustive list of solutions to execute the judgment.

*Kindly see the following link for more detailed steps of a litigation process: DEMAND

RECEPT OF LEGAL PROCEEDINGS (DEFENSE)*

If you are a Tenant and you receive service of an originating application, the following are the step by step guidelines:

STEP 1: CONSULT A LAWYER

We strongly suggest that you consult a lawyer to represent your interest once you receive an originating application.

You must answer the summons in writing, personally or through a lawyer, at the concerned courthouse district. The answer must be within 15 days of the present originating application.

If you fail to answer within the limit of 15 a default judgment may be rendered against you without further notice.

IF YOU ARE A TENANT AND YOU HAVE NOT PAID YOUR RENT pursuant to a safeguard order

The first question is why?

If the Landlord has instituted legal proceedings against you including a safeguard order to force you to pay present and future rent before the courts, you will be obliged under case law to pay the present and future rent under your lease.

Failure on your part to respect a judgment by the court will render your whole case into disrepute and you may be condemned to pay your full amount of rent including arrears of rent as this would be construed as a judgment by default.

*Kindly see the following link for more detailed steps of a litigation process: DEFENSE

If you are looking for a law firm with reasonable rates, quick and efficient turnaround time for your files and who provides personalized and effective follow-ups, call Schneider Attorneys at (514) 439-1322 ext. 112 or email us at info@schneideravocat.com

The above noted text should not be construed as providing legal advice or a statement of your claim. The process highlighted above are merely parameters and barometers and do not constitute any warranties and guaranties with regards to your file at hand. We strongly recommend that you seek legal advice with a licensed attorney from the Barreau du Quebec or a notary at the Chambre des Notaires. Each case must be seen and analysed on its merits as the legal process may be complex and cumbersome.