It is important to remember that the first recommended step before initiating any legal proceedings is always to consult a lawyer. A lawyer will be able to guide you through your numerous options of legal recourses and help you navigate through the tribunal’s numerous procedures. In addition, a lawyer can help you draft a letter of demand, which is a prerequisite to the institution of any legal proceedings at the Rental Board.
It must also be noted that the relationship between landlords and tenants is one of reciprocity. In other words, your rights as a landlord will correspond to the obligations of the tenant and vice-versa. Therefore, it is recommended to visit our page regarding the rights and obligations of Tenants and Landlords(hyperlink) to appreciate the nature and extent of the landlord-tenant relationship.
A lawyer will be able to help you exercise your rights regarding, but not limited to: (hyperlink below)
- Forcing the specific performance of an obligation;
- Resiliation of a lease;
- Moral, material, and punitive damages;
- Proceeding to the repossession of the leased premises;
- Force the specific performance of an obligation (execution in nature)
The Rental Board may order a tenant to fulfill his obligations instead of demanding the resiliation of the lease. Such an order is binding, and the tenant must respect it. Failing which, resiliation of the lease will be granted by the Rental Board upon request.
- Resiliation of a lease
Landlords cannot unilaterally decide to resiliate a lease. They are party to a binding agreement which ends on the specified term found within the lease.
However, a landlord may file an application at the Rental Board and seek to have a lease resiliated if the tenant does not abide by their obligations, and such breach causes the landlord a serious prejudice, such as the loss of other tenant’s peaceable enjoyment of their leased property.
Such a remedy is at the discretion of the Rental Board, to which they may decide to order the specific performance of the tenant’s obligation instead of granting the resiliation of the lease.
Examples of problematic behavior which warrants the resiliation of a lease are:
- Continuous and repetitive refusal of access (hyperlink) to a dwelling, thereby preventing important or urgent work (hyperlink), such as bugs and vermin extermination (hyperlink);
- Constant tardiness in paying rent; and
- Continuous violations of the lease, such as a tenant’s disregard towards a ban on Airbnb leasing (hyperlink);
- Any other breaches of obligations which causes the landlord a serious prejudice.
Take note that if the tenant’s breach of the lease ceases to exist at the time of the Rental Board’s hearing, a judge may substitute a remedy seeking the resiliation of a lease for an order seeking the specific performance of the tenant’s obligations pursuant to Article 1973 of the Civil code of Quebec.
If a tenant breaches an order granted under Article 1973 of the Civil code of Quebec, the landlord may subsequently demand the resiliation of the lease.
- Moral, material and punitive damages
A landlord may ask the Rental Board to order a tenant to pay damages for a prejudice suffered, be it moral or material in nature. In order to do so, the landlord must establish a breach of the tenant’s obligations, a prejudice suffered and the causal link. The prejudice suffered must be the direct and immediate consequence of the wrongdoing by the tenant.
If a tenant causes material damages to the leased property, ensure to take pictures as soon as you take notice of it, in addition to preserving any estimates or invoices pertaining to the required remedial work.
A landlord may also request moral damages, except if the landlord is a corporation, for psychological and moral harm suffered which results from the direct and immediate consequence of the wrongdoing by the tenant.
However, the Rental Board does not have jurisdiction to award damages for issues related to harassment by the tenant towards the landlord as this concerns the extra-contractual relationship between tenants and landlords.
- Proceed to the repossession of the leased premises
A landlord may repossess the leased property so that a dwelling be occupied by himself, his parents, son or daughter and/or any relatives of whom he is the main support, upon a 6 month notice before the end of a 1-year lease.
The tenant will have one month to reply. If the tenant does not respond within a month or refuses to allow the landlord to repossess the leased property, the landlord may apply with the Rental Board to resolve the dispute.
The Rental Board may also impose conditions on the repossession of the dwelling, such as the payment of an indemnity equivalent to the lessee’s moving expenses.
The Rental Board will then determine whether the landlord exercised his right of repossession in good or bad faith.
Keep in mind that the landlord must prove his intention to use the dwelling as the principal residence for himself or for his relatives. Furthermore, he cannot avail himself of his right to repossess the dwelling if he owns another similar dwelling that is vacant or available for rent at an equivalent price, in the same block unit or neighborhood.
In the event that the repossession is made in bad faith, it is always possible for a tenant to sue the landlord and challenge his actions. It will then be the Rental Board who will judge the merits of repossession according to the circumstances.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.