The SSMU believes housing should be clean, safe, affordable, and easily accessible to all. Here are some answers to common housing rights questions.
Who has the right to access my apartment? Can my landlord come in whenever?
Landlords and their representatives (ex. Repair people) have the right to enter your dwelling during your lease however they must give 24 hours notice unless there is an emergency (ex. A flood or fire in your apartment).
If you are not renewing your lease your landlord has the right to show your apartment as soon as you inform them of the non-renewal. Visits can only take place between 9am and 9pm, and the landlord should still be reasonable and respect your privacy.
Neither you or your landlord have the right to change the locks on our apartment with the other’s consent.
Can my landlord increase my rent? By how much?
Did you get a notice for a rent increase? You have 1 month to respond in writing. If you refuse the increase, your landlord can either try to negotiate with you, or ask the Tribunal administratif du logement to set the rent.
There is no maximum amount that landlords in Quebec can increase the rent by, however reasonable increase evaluation tools are available here
It is recommended that all answers be sent by registered mail because it is important to have proof that they have received your response. Keep the post office receipt as well as the notification you have received and your answer.
When can my landlord evict me? What can I do in this situation?
It is a legal process for a landlord to take back an apartment for any of the following major projects: subdivide it, demolish it, enlarge it substantially, or change its use (for example, convert it to a commercial space).
Note that renovictions are illegal. Landlords cannot evict a tenant simply to do renovations.
A landlord cannot evict a tenant if the tenant or their spouse meets the following three conditions: is age 70 or over, has lived in the apartment for 10 years or more, and/or has an income that would qualify them for low-rental housing
To request eviction, the landlord must send a written notice to the tenant. This notice must contain:
- the date of the eviction
- the purpose of the eviction and
- the article of the Civil code with the rules concerning people over 70
The landlord must respect certain time limits depending on how long your lease is.
At the end of the lease, the landlord must pay the tenant three months of rent as compensation. The landlord must also pay for all reasonable costs involved in the move, such as boxes and truck rental, mail forwarding, transfer of hydro and internet accounts, etc. These costs must be paid once the tenant provides proof of the expenses, such as bills, receipts or contracts.
Bad faith means the landlord carried out the eviction for a purpose other than the one stated in the eviction notice or simply to harm a tenant. If a tenant finds out they were evicted in bad faith, they can sue the landlord for damages at the TAL. A tenant can do this even if they accepted the eviction. They have three years from the time they learned of the bad faith to file an application for damages at the TAL.
Can a potential landlord discriminate against me? What do I do if this happens?
The only reason a landlord can refuse leasing to you is because they have a provable reason to believe that you are unable to pay the rent
If you feel that you are being discriminated against you can file a complaint with the CDPDJ. More information about that process can be found here: https://www.cdpdj.qc.ca/en/file-a-complaint/i-want-to/file-complaint-discrimination-or-harassment
What do I do if my apartment is unsanitary or has pests?
The unsanitary condition of a dwelling refers to situations that may cause the dwelling to be in poor habitable condition or unfit for habitation. For example, it may be the presence of mould or fungus, vermin (e.g., cockroaches, bedbugs or ants), rodents (e.g., rats or mice), excessive humidity or contaminated air.
You must notify your landlord about the situation by registered mail and request that he or she take the required corrective action within 10 business days. If they do not remedy the problem further steps can be found here https://montreal.ca/en/how-to/report-presence-insects-or-rodents-dwelling
Can my landlord ban pets?
Landlords can include a statement in the lease prohibiting all/some animals. If the lease or building by-laws do not clearly prohibit animals, landlords cannot forbid you from having a pet
If you have an animal that is a service animal used to cope with a disability they are not covered by pet clauses as they are protected by the Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms.
Do you need help defending your rights as a tenant? These organizations can help you understand your options, and can support you in your efforts: