Navigating the intricate world of tenant rights can be daunting, especially when understanding the circumstances under which a landlord can evict a tenant. In Quebec, tenant rights are protected by specific regulations, and understanding these can save you from potential pitfalls. At MyChoice, we provide you with the best tenant insurance deals and educate you on important matters around your tenancy. Let’s delve into the specifics of when a landlord can evict a tenant in Quebec.
Eviction Statistics in Canada
In 2021, 7% of respondents from the Canadian Housing Survey indicated they had been evicted in the past. The breakdown reveals that 4% of homeowners, 12% of renters, 15% of those living in social and affordable housing, and 6% of those not in such housing experienced eviction. Distinctly, 30% of respondents have faced homelessness, and 6% who haven’t were evicted. When examining evictions by group, 13% of Indigenous (12% First Nations and 14% Métis), 7% of Non-Indigenous, and 5% of visible minorities reported evictions. Notably, 12% of Black respondents faced eviction.
The primary reasons for evictions were the sale of property by the landlord (37%), the landlord desiring the unit for personal use (26%), conflicts with the landlord (13%), and property demolition, conversion, or major repairs (10%). An additional 8% were evicted for being behind on rent payments.
When Can a Landlord Evict a Tenant in Quebec
Generally, a tenant cannot be evicted in Quebec without a valid reason. The landlord must provide adequate notice and follow the legal process. Here are the primary reasons for eviction:
- Non-payment of Rent: This is the most common reason. If a tenant fails to pay rent for over three weeks, the landlord can initiate eviction proceedings. According to the Rights and Obligations of the Lessor and Lessee, the landlord must send a formal notice demanding the payment. If the tenant doesn’t comply, the landlord can then apply to the Régie du logement to terminate the lease.
- Damage to Property: If a tenant causes significant damage to the property beyond normal wear and tear, the landlord has the right to evict. The landlord must prove that the damage was intentional or resulted from the tenant’s gross negligence.
- Disturbance: If a tenant consistently causes disturbances that affect the peace and quiet of other tenants, it’s a valid reason for eviction. This includes any form of harassment or threats to other tenants or the landlord.
- Subletting without Permission: If a tenant sublets the property without the landlord’s consent, it can lead to eviction. The landlord has the right to be informed and can refuse subletting if they have a serious reason.
- End of Lease: At the end of a lease term, if the landlord wishes to use the property for personal use or for immediate family, they can choose not to renew the lease. However, they must provide a notice at least six months before the lease’s expiration.
Repossession in Quebec
In Quebec, situations where a landlord wants to remove a tenant so they or a family member can move into the rental unit are termed repossession. A unique rule in Quebec is that a landlord cannot evict a tenant just because they’re selling the property. The lease and the tenant are essentially part of the deal for the buyer. The buyer can later remove the tenant under typical repossession rules.
Eviction for Non-Payment of Rent Quebec
In Quebec, understanding “when can a landlord evict a tenant in Quebec” is crucial, especially in the context of non-payment of rent. A tenant’s primary obligation is to pay their rent in full on the agreed-upon date. If a tenant fails to meet this obligation, the lessor has the right to take action. Specifically, suppose a lessee is over three weeks late in paying the rent. In that case, the lessor can not only file an application with the Tribunal administratif du logement to recover the rent owed, interest, and related costs but can also request the termination of the lease and the eviction of the lessee and any other occupants. However, this termination can be avoided if the lessee pays the owed rent, costs, and interest before the Tribunal makes a decision.
It’s also worth noting that if a lessee frequently pays their rent late, the lessor can request lease termination, provided they can prove they’ve suffered significant harm due to these delays. Evidence of financial loss or other serious impacts would be required in such cases. Suppose the Tribunal’s decision results in lease termination due to non-payment of rent, and the lessee settles the owed amount before the decision is executed. In that case, eviction proceedings cannot be initiated by the plaintiff. In the event of an eviction, the lessee remains responsible for lost rent and the lessor’s expenses until the dwelling is leased again. Throughout this process, understanding “tenant rights Quebec” is essential to ensure both parties are aware of their rights and responsibilities.
Can a New Owner Evict a Tenant in Quebec?
In Quebec, selling a rental property isn’t a valid reason to evict a tenant. If the buyer wishes to live in the house, that would be a valid reason, and they’d have to follow the repossession process. If the new owner intends to continue renting the unit out, they would simply assume the residential lease and associated responsibilities from the selling landlord.
Eviction Notice in Quebec
The landlord must provide a written notice to the tenant stating the reason for eviction and the date by which the tenant must vacate the property. If the tenant doesn’t comply with the notice, the landlord can approach the Régie du logement (Quebec’s rental board) to obtain an eviction order.
Additional Tenant Rights & Obligations in Quebec
In addition to the eviction specifics, there are other essential rights and obligations that tenants in Quebec should be aware of:
- Access and Visits: Both landlords and tenants must respect rules about accessing and visiting the dwelling, especially if it’s up for rent or requires maintenance.
- Anti-Discrimination: The Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms ensures tenants cannot be discriminated against based on race or religion. Any discrimination can be reported to the Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse.
- Noise Concerns: Tenants are entitled to peaceful enjoyment of their homes. Excessive noise disturbances should be addressed amicably, but formal steps can be taken if unresolved.
- Major Renovations: If landlords plan significant renovations, such as bathroom or kitchen updates, they must provide at least a 10-day notice to the tenant. The rent remains unchanged post-renovation for the current lease term.
- Change in Ownership: If a rental property is sold, tenants must be informed about the change in ownership, but their lease conditions remain unchanged.
- Joint Tenancy: For those sharing a dwelling with others, each tenant has obligations towards their co-tenants and the landlord. If a solidarity clause exists in the lease, any tenant can be held responsible for the full rent.
- Rent Payment: Paying rent on time is paramount. While landlords can collect rent at the tenant’s home, practices like demanding postdated checks are prohibited.
- Pets: While landlords can generally prohibit pets, exceptions exist, especially for animals assisting individuals with disabilities.
- Sanitation: Landlords and tenants are responsible for maintaining a dwelling’s sanitary conditions. Breaches can lead to various consequences, including lease termination.
- Urgent Repairs: Tenants must promptly inform landlords about urgent repairs. If the landlord doesn’t address them, tenants can undertake the repairs and seek reimbursement.
Understanding these rights and obligations further ensures a balanced and harmonious relationship between landlords and tenants in Quebec.
Understanding when and how a landlord can evict a tenant in Quebec is crucial for both landlords and tenants. It ensures a harmonious relationship and prevents potential legal battles. At MyChoice, we believe in empowering you with knowledge and providing you with the best insurance solutions. If you’re a tenant in Quebec, consider getting tenant insurance to protect yourself and your belongings.