Quebec follows civil law, meaning all laws are written out in detail, which differs from common law that is present with other jurisdictions throughout Canada. This results in answers that have much more detail and are more specific than what you will see with other provinces and territories, as they are very explicit in the government legislation. For this exact purpose, in many in this fact sheet we have provided footnotes that reference specific parts of the law that are relevant, as well a more detailed description than what is found in the fact sheets for other provinces and territories.
Régie du logement
All principle or permanent residential rental properties, including the leasing of a room, mobile home on a chassis, with or without a permanent foundation, or land intended for the emplacement of mobile home is deemed to be the lease of a dwelling.
Exclusions: The laws do not apply to the lease of a dwelling leased as a vacation resort; the lease of personal dwelling in which over ½ of the total floor area is used for purposes other than residential occupancy; the lease of a room in a health or social services institution (except pursuant to article 1974 of the Civil Code of Quebec); the least of a room in a hotel establishment; or the lease of a room situation in the principal residence of the landlord, if not more than two rooms are rented or offered for rent and if the room does not have a separate entrance from the outside or sanitary facilities that are separate from the ones used by the landlord (article 1892 Civil Code of Quebec).
All different types of rental periods are permitted, including week-to-week, month-to-month or annual tenancies. It is also possible to have a lease for no fixed amount of time. The term of a lease cannot exceed one hundred years. If the rental agreement exceeds one hundred years, it is reduced to that term (article 1880 Civil Code of Quebec).
The law does not require the terms and conditions of lease to be written out. If the lease is written, however, the applicable lease form of the Regie du logement has to be used.
The law also requires the public sector to use the applicable lease forms of the Regie du logement for the lease of a dwelling in low-rental housing in the sense of article 1984 of the Civil Code of Quebec, as well as for the lease of a dwelling with an educational institution by a student that is currently enrolled in that institution. The landlord to use the applicable lease forms of the Regie du logement:
Lastly, the schedule “Services for the Elderly or Handicapped Persons” is required to be filled out in full whenever special services are offered to elderly or handicapped persons. Written rental agreements that include that schedule are sold at the offices of the Regie du lodgement and in bookstores throughout Quebec (article 2 Regulation respecting mandatory lease forms and particulars of a notice to a new lessee).
The law requires that a lessee is entitled to a copy of the rental agreement within a period of 10 days after signing it (article 1895 Civil Code of Quebec).
If services of a personal nature are included as part of the lease, the landlord is required to specify, in the relevant schedule to the mandatory form, the part of the rent that relates to the cost of those services (article 1895.1 Civil Code of Quebec).
If the rental unit is subject to by-laws that pertain to the rules relating to the enjoyment, use and maintenance of the redience and the common areas, the landlord is required to provide the lessee with a copy of the by-laws prior to entering into the lease officially. The by-laws form part of the lease (article 1894 Civil Code of Quebec).
The lease as well as the by-laws of the immovable shall be written in French unless otherwise specified by one or more of the parties. (article 1897 Civil Code of Quebec)
When the lease is being entered into, the landlord must give the new lessee a notice indicating the lowest rent paid in the last months before the beginning of the lease or the rent fixed by the court during the same period, depending on the situation, and containing any other particular prescribed by the regulation of the Government. The landlord is not required to provide notice in the event of a lease of an immovable referred to in article 1955 and 1956 (article 1896 paragraph 1 Civil Code of Quebec).
Neither the landlord nor the lessee of a residence that is leased by a housing cooperative to one of its members can apply to the court for the correcting of the rent or modification of any other condition included in the rental agreement.
Nor may the landlord or the lessee of a residence situated in a recently erected immovable or an immovable used for renting as a result of a recent change of destination pursue the remedy referred to in the first paragraph with a period of five years after the date on which the residence is ready for its intended use.
Such restrictions will be mentioned, however, in the rental agreement of such a residence; if they are not mentioned at all, they may not be set up by the landlord against the lessee.
Landlords cannot collect a deposit of any kind in Quebec. Landlords are prohibited from collecting any amount of rent that exceeds one month’s rent. Landlords also cannot collect payment of rent in advance for more than the first payment period or, if that period exceeds one month, for more than one month’s rent (article 1904 paragraph 1 Civil Code of Quebec).
It is unlawful for landlords to require key money.
Landlords are not permitted to require payments made by post-dated cheques or any other type of post-dated instrument (article 1904 paragraph 2 Civil Union Spousecode of TenantsQuebec).
All leases, regardless of their length, are automatically renewed with the same terms if the landlord fails to give the tenant the proper written notice in advance, as required by law; for changing the conditions (discussed below) or termination (see Terminating a Lease: Notice and Timing).
The notice periods in this section apply to changes of conditions, including rent increases.
If the lease is for a period of less than 12 months, or the full duration is undetermined, the notice of change of conditions must be given at least 1 month and not more than 2 months prior to the end of the term. For leases of 12 months or longer, the notice has to be given with a minimum of 3 months, but not more than 6 months, advance notice before the lease ends. For the lease of a room, the notice has to be given not less than ten days nor more than twenty days before (article 1942 Civil Code of Quebec).
A lessee who wishes to object to the modification that is proposed by the landlord is required to notify the landlord within a period of one month after receiving the notice of modification of the lease, that he or she objects or that he or she is vacation the dwelling; otherwise, the tenant is assumed to have agreed to the renewal of the lease on the conditions proposed by the landlord.
Neither the landlord nor the tenant of rental property leased by a housing cooperative to one of its members can apply to the court for the correction of the rent or the changing of any other conditions included in the lease.
The landlord nor the tenant of resident situation in a recently built immovable or immovable used for renting as a result of a recent change of destination pursue the remedy referred to in the first paragraph within a period of five years after the date on which the property is ready to be used for its intended purpose.
Such restrictions shall be mentioned, however, in the rental agreement of a residence, if they are not mentioned, they cannot be set up by the landlord against the tenant.
(article 1956 Civil Code of Quebec) The landlord or tenant of a residence in low-rental housing cannot apply for the correction of rent or the changing of any condition explicitly mentioned in the lease except in accordance with the provisions specific to that type of lease.
In the event of a residence described in article 1955 Civil Code of Quebec, the tenant must vacate the residence upon termination of the lease if he or she objects to the proposed modification.
In the notice of modification, the landlord is required to advise the tenant of his or her right to reject the proposed changes to the lease in writing within a period of 1 month from the initial notification. After receiving the tenant’s written refusal of the proposed changes, the landlord has a period of not more than 1 month after receiving the notice of objection to apply to the Regie du logement to fix new conditions. If the landlord fails to apply to the Regie du logement, the lease is automatically renewed at the same rent and with the same conditions. (article 1945 and 1947 Civil Code of Quebec)
In situations where the court grants the application of the tenant after the expiration date for the notification period, the lease is renewed but the landlord may, within a period of 1 month after the final judgment, apply to the court for the fixing of a new rent.
A tenant can terminate the lease if he or she provides the landlord with a written notice of non-renewal. If the lease is set for a period of less than 12 months or the total duration is yet undetermined, the notice has to be given to the landlord within at least 1 month but not more than 2 months before the term comes to an end. For leases that last 12 months or more, the notice is required to be given at least 3 months but no more than 6 months before the lease is set to end. (article 1942 and 1946 Civil Code of Quebec)
If the tenant does not notify the landlord of his or her intention to not renew with the required amount of time, the lease is automatically renewed for the same period and with the same exact conditions as the previous agreement (unless a notice of modification was received and accepted by the tenant’s landlord). With a 1 year lease, for example, a tenant who failed to notify the landlord of his or her intention to terminate the lease will have to sign another 1 year lease. (article 1946 Civil Code of Quebec)
The following give rise to the same resolutions as failure to perform an obligation under the lease: The landlord must deliver the residence in good overall condition. (article 1910 Civil Code of Quebec). If the landlord does not make the necessary repairs or if the property is not longer fit for habitation, the tenant has the option to apply to the Regie du logement to have the lease invalidated.
The following give rise to the same resolutions as failure to perform an obligation under the lease:
- Failure on the part of the tenant or landlord to fully comply with an obligation required by law with regards to the safety and sanitation of the residence.
- Failure on the part of the landlord to comply with the basic minimum requirements fixed by law with regards to the maintenance, safety, habitability and sanitation of immovable residences that make up a personal dwelling.
Failure to perform an obligation by one of the two parties allows the other party to apply for, in addition to damages, specific performance of the obligation in cases that permit it. The party can apply for the termination of the lease where non compliance results in serious injury to the tenant or, in the case of the lease of an immovable property, to other tenants.
Failure to perform basic obligations also allows the tenant to apply for a reduction of rent; where the court grants it, the landlord, upon fulfilling his obligations, is allowed to reestablish the rent for the future.
There are five other situations in which the lease can be terminated during rather than at the end of the term:
When a tenant is moving to a unit in low-rental housing;
When a disability is admitted permanently to a residential and long-term care centre or two a foster home, whether or the tenant already lives in such a place at the time of admission.
Where the safety of the tenant or a child living with the tenant is in immediate danger from a spouse, former spouse, or because of sexual aggression (even if it is by a third party).
In a vast majority of cases where the lease is being terminated before it is set to expire, when the appropriate notice is given, the lease will terminated two months after the day on which the tenants delivers the notice to the landlord. A lease with a term that has no set expiration date or one that is fewer than 12 months will be terminated one month after the tenant sends the notice to the landlord. Termination takes effect before the two month or one month period ends if both parties agree or when the residence, having been vacated by the tenant, is re-leased by the landlord during the same time period. The costs of termination for the safety of the tenant or a child of the tenant under article 1974.1 Civil Code of Quebec can be paid by the Commission de la santé et de la securite du travail for a period of up to two month’s rent for a maximum amount of $1,000 per month.
Notice of termination is required to be sent with acknowledgement from the relevant authority and, in the case of a senior in a care facility or foster home, with a certificate from an authorized person stating that the conditions required for admission to the facility have been satisfied. If part of the rent covers the cost of services that are of a personal nature provided to the tenant, the tenant is only required to pay the part of the rent that relates to the services which were provided before he or she vacated the premises. The same can be applied to the cost of such services if they are provided by the landlord under a contract that is separate from the lease.
A lease is automatically terminated in the event that a tenant abandons the residence without a valid reason or without proper notification/approval. It is considered abandonment when a tenants takes all of his or her property out of the dwelling and does not return. The lease can be terminated, however, if the premises is deemed uninhabitable (article 1975 Civil Code of Quebec)
If the tenant dies while living alone, the liquidator of the succession or, if there is no liquidator, an heir can terminate the lease by providing the landlord with two months’ notice within a period of six months after the death. Termination of the lease take effect before the two-month period expires if the liquidator or heir and the landlord agree or when the residence is re-leased by the landlord during the same period (article 1939 Civil Code of Quebec).
There are special notice requirements. The notice has to be sent to the landlord’s address (as it is printed on the lease) in writing in the same wording in which it is written on the lease. The notice has to be sent within the period specific by the law. (1989 Civil Code of Quebec)
When the lease is being terminated for safety reasons, the tenant is required to provide notice that includes at attestation from a public servant or public officer that is officially designated by the Minister of Justice supporting the statement made by the tenant.
The notice has to be sent with attestation fro ma public servant or public officer designated by the Minister of Justice, who, upon examining the tenant’s sworn statement that there exists a situation involving violence or sexual abuse, and other factual elements or documents that support the tenant’s claims, considers that the termination of the lease is a measure that must be taken to ensure the safety of the tenant as well as any children that may be living with the tenant. The public servant or public officer must act immediately.
The tenant has the right to reside in the rental unit as long as he or she respects the terms of the rental agreement. However, the landlord may terminate the lease under certain circumstances.
Every tenant has a personal right to maintain occupancy; he cannot be evicted from the rental unit, except in the cases provided for by law.
The sub-lessee of a rental unit is not entitled to maintain occupancy.
The sublease is to be terminated by the date on which the lease of the unit ends; however, the sub-lessee is not required to vacate the property before receiving notice of 10 days to that effect from the sub-lessor or, failing him, from the principal lessor.
The landlord of a residency who is also the owner of the property has the right to repossess it as a residence for himself or herself or a relative or one of the people identified in article 1957 of the Civil Code of Quebec.
A landlord that wishes to repossess a dwelling is required to notify the tenant at least six months prior to the expiry date of the lease in the case of a lease with a fixed term of more than six months; if the term of the lease is six months or less, one month’s notice is required. (article 1960 paragraph 1 Civil Code of Quebec)
In the case of a lease with an unspecified term, six months notice is required before the repossession or eviction date. (article 1960 paragraph 2 Civil Code of Quebec)
With a notice of repossession, the date fixed for the dwelling to be repossessed, the name of the beneficiary and, where applicable, the relationship of the beneficiary to the landlord must be stated.
Within a month after receiving notice of repossession, the tenant is required to notify the landlord as to whether or not they intend to comply with the notice; otherwise, the tenant is assumed to have refused to vacate the premises (article 1962 Civil Code of Quebec).
If the tenant refuses to vacate the property, the landlord has the right to repossess it with the authorization of the court. This type of application must be made within a period of not more than one month after the refusal from the tenant.
In cases where the court authorizes repossession of the rental property, the court may impose such conditions that it considers to be just and fair, including the case of repossession, payment to the tenant of an indemnity equivalent to his moving expenses. (article 1967 Civil Code of Quebec)
The landlord of a rental property has the right to evict the tenant for the purpose of dividing the dwelling, building onto it substantially or changing its destination (article 1959 Civil Code of Quebec). In the event of a lease with a fixed term, the landlord is required to notify the tenant six months before the expiry date of the lease. For a six month or less period on a lease, only one month notice is required. For a lease with an undetermined term, a notice period of six months is required before the date of repossession or eviction (article 1960 Civil Code of Quebec).
The notice of eviction has to state the reason for as well as the date of the eviction (article 1961 paragraph 2 Civil Code of Quebec).
The landlord must pay an indemnity that is equal to three months’ rent as well as reasonable moving expenses to the evicted tenant. If the tenant believes that the prejudice against him or her warrants a greater amount of damages, he can apply to the court for the fixing of the amount of the indemnity. The indemnity is payable at the end of the lease period; the moving expenses are payable when vouchers are presented (article 1965 Civil Code of Quebec).
The tenant can apply to the court to refuse the division or enlargement within a period of one month. If the tenant does not file an application, he is assumed to have consented to the division, enlargement or change of destination. When an objection is raised by a tenant, the burden of proof is on the landlord to demonstrate that he has a valid reason for dividing, enlarging or changing the type of dwelling and that he can legally do so (article 1966 Civil Code of Quebec). In the event that the court authorizes the eviction, it may impose conditions that is considered to be fair and reasonable (article 1967 Civil Code of Quebec).
The landlord can terminate the lease where the tenant has sublet the rental property for more than 12 months by giving notice to the tenant and sub-lessee; the notice period for this is the same as for modification of the lease (refer to Renewal of the Lease) (articles 1942 and 1944 Civil Code of Quebec).
The landlord is legally allowed to terminate the lease in the event that the tenant has died and was living alone at the time of their death by giving the notice to their heir or to the liquidator of the state (article 1944 Civil Code of Quebec). The heir, or liquidator of the estate, can object to the notice within a period of not more than one month after receiving it; otherwise, it is assumed that they have agreed to the termination of the lease.
A person who is living with the tenant at the time of their death has the same right and becomes the official tenant if he or she continues to occupy the property and provides the landlord with notice of their intention within two months after the death. If the person does not avail himself or herself of this right, the liquidator of the succession or, failing him or her, an heir can, in the month following the end date of the period of two months, terminate the lease by providing the landlord with notice of one month to that effect (article 1938 paragraph 2 Civil Code of Quebec).
For more information on repossession procedures, refer to www.rdl.gouv.qc.ca or the provincial contact below).
A tenant, with certain exceptions, is allowed to sublet all or part of the rental unit or assign the lease to another person. The exceptions to this rule are a student renting property that belongs to an educational institution and a person renting low-rental housing (articles 1870, 1981 and 1995 Civil Code of Quebec).
The tenant is required to advise the landlord in writing of his or her intent to sublet or assign the lease as well as provide the name and address of the proposed sub-lessee. The landlord then has a total of 15 days to inform the tenant of his or her decision. In the event that the landlord refuses the tenant’s request for sublet or assignment, a valid reason must be provided. If the landlord fails to reply, the landlord is assumed to have agreed to the sublet or assignment (articles 1870 and 1871 Civil Code of Quebec).
The landlord has the right to charge the tenant a fee for any expenses incurred as a result of the subletting or assignment process (article 1872 Civil Code of Quebec).
For a lease with a fixed term of 12 months or less, any clause that provides for an increase of rent during the term of the lease is without effect.
A lease of 12 months or more with a clause providing for an adjustment of rent during the first year of the lease or more than once per 12 month period is equally invalid (article 1906 Civil Code of Quebec).
Tenants that are under a lease with an adjustment that provides for an increase of rent can object to excessive or unreasonable adjustments by filing a formal application with the court. The parties may also apply to the court for the fixing of rent. The application must be made within a period of one month from the date that the adjustment is set to go into effect (article 1949 Civil Code of Quebec).
Quebec law allows for a rent increase when a new tenant moves into a rental unit, but the landlord must give the tenant a notice stating the lowest rent paid in the last 12 months before the beginning of the lease before they sign the rental agreement. The tenant has the right to object to detest the rent request the Regie du logement to fix his or her rent (article 1896 Civil Code of Quebec).
Neither the landlord nor the tenant of any given dwelling that is leased by a housing cooperative to one of its members can apply to the court for fixing rent or modification of any condition included in the lease.
The landlord nor the tenant of the rental property situated in a recently erected immovable or an immovable used for renting as a result of a recent change of destination pursue the remedy referred to in the first paragraph within five years after the date on which the immovable is ready for its intended use.
The above-mentioned restrictions need to be mentioned in the lease of such a dwelling; if they do not appear in the lease, they cannot be set up by the landlord against the tenant (article 1955 Civil Code of Quebec)
There is no ceiling on rent increases or fixed rates of increases. Each case is handled by the specifics of each one. If a tenant has already been given the required notification of a rent increase and rejects it in writing, the landlord can apply to the Regie du logement to fix the rent.
If there is no other agreement, rent is to be paid on the first day of each month (or of each week if it is a week-to-week tenancy). Rent is considered late if it is not paid by the day it is due.
The landlord has the right to terminate the tenant’s lease if the tenant is over three wakes late in paying their rent, or if he suffers serious prejudice as a directly result, where the tenant is frequently late in paying their rent (article 1971 Civil Code of Quebec)
A tenant can avoid being evicted, even after receiving a notice of termination, simply by paying the total amount of rent they owe, as well as interest at the rate fixed in accordance with section 28 of the Tax Administration Act (R.s.Q.., Chapter A-6.002) or at any other lower rate agreed with the landlord (article 1883 Civil Code of Quebec).
A tenant is required to act in such a way as to not disturb the everyday enjoyment of other tenants in the building.
The tenant is liable towards the landlord and the other tenants for any damage that may come about as a result of violating their obligation, whether or not it is due to his own act or that of a person he allows to have access to the unit.
In the event that the tenant violates this obligation, the landlord can demand termination of the lease (article 1860 Civil Code Quebec).
Refer to Late Rent Payment (above) for more information on terminating the lease due to late rent payments.
The tenant cannot refuse the landlord access to the unit to carry out any necessary work. The tenant may, however, deny access before 7 a.m. and after 7 p.m., unless the work constitutes an emergency (article 1933 Civil Code of Quebec).
The landlord is required, except in the event of an emergency, to provide the tenant with 24 hours written notice of his intention to determine the condition of the unit, to carry out any necessary work or to show it to prospective renters (article 1931 Civil Code of Quebec).
In the event that a landlord fails to make any of the necessary repairs or improvements to the property, the tenant is allowed to apply to the court for authorization to get it done himself.
If the court gives the tenant approval to make the necessary repairs and improvements, it determines the overall amount and fixes the conditions observed in carrying them out. The tenant may withhold from his rent the amount of the expenses incurred by carrying out the necessary repairs, but not any more (article 1867 Civil Code of Quebec).
If the tenant has tried to inform the landlord, or has informed the landlord but the landlord has not responded properly, the tenant can undertake the necessary repairs or incur expenses, even without receiving proper authorization from the court, as long as they are crucial and needed in order to ensure the safety and enjoyment of the property. The landlord can intervene at any point in the process, however, to take on the work that needs to be done.
The tenant must receive monetary compensation for the expenses he incurred for the repairs; he may, if necessary, withholding an amount of rent that is equivalent to these expenses (article 1868 Civil Code of Quebec).
No lock or any other device that restricts access to a property can lawfully be installed or changed without the permission of both the landlord and tenant.
If either party does not fully comply with their obligation, the court can issue an order to allow the other party to gain access to the property again (article 1934 Civil Code of Quebec).
Yes, but if the lease allows for pets, or if the lease does not address this issue at all, pets are permitted in the unit. The tenant should consult the by-laws of the building they are renting, as they may have a rule against having pets. The by-laws are considered to be part of the lease and landlord is obligated to give the tenant, before entering into the lease, a copy of the by-laws.
It is not altogether clear as to whether or not a clause in the lease that prohibits smoking in the confines of the rental unit is valid and binding. Smoking is prohibited in all common areas of residential buildings that have six or more units, regardless of whether or not the buildings are held in co-ownership.
Yes, but only if the landlord can present valid proof that the tenant’s violation of the lease has resulted in serious injury.
The landlord has the option of applying to have the tenant stop the offensive activity immediately, meaning a court order that would demand the tenant to get rid of the pet.
A landlord cannot refuse to enter into a lease with a person or to uphold the right of the tenant, or impose unreasonable conditions because the person is pregnant or has one or more children, unless the refusal is justifiable by the size of the unit; nor can he engage in this behavior simply because the tenant exercised their rights under this chapter or the Act with respect to the Regie du lodgement (chapter R-8.1).
Punitive damages can be awarded in certain cases where this provision has been violated (article 1899 Civil Code of Quebec)
In instances of disagreement between the tenant and landlord, one of the two parties should apply to the Regue du logement. Neither the landlord nor the tenant can take action, such as attempting to forcibly evict a tenant without a court order.
For general information about renting in Quebec contact:
Régie du logement
Montréal and area: 514-873-2245
This Web site provides contact information for all offices, online forms and other information. It has current information highlights on the main page. There is an excellent FAQ section, with links to major topics and good linking between related topics. Forms, in PDF format, can be found under the publications link on the main menu.
The Régie du logement is the agency that oversees landlord-tenant residential issues in the province. Landlords or tenants may receive information, deposit a judiciary application and have a hearing before a commissioner at any office of the Régie du logement.
McGill's Off-Campus Housing Service
A plain-language guide to renting in Montréal, with good Quebec-specific information on renting.
Comité D'Action De Parc Extension
Offers a wide range of information and support on rights and obligations of tenants and landlords.
419, rue Saint-Roch
Comité logement Ahuntsic-Cartierville
Serves the needs of local area tenants.
10 780 rue Laverdure
Local 208 et 211
Comité logement Ville-Marie
Offers consultation services on tenant's rights and the appeal process.
1710, rue Beaudry, local 2.6
Comité logement Petite Patrie
Acts as an advocate group for tenants.
6839-A Drolet Street
Comité logement Rosemont
Provides housing help and advocacy for individuals renting in this neighbourhood.
5350, rue Lafond, local R-145
Conseil communautaire de Notre-Dame-de-Grâce / Notre-Dame-de-Grâce Community Council
An organization that offers a wide range of programs for residents of the neighbourhood, including advice on tenant rights and regulations.
Entraide logement Hochelaga-Maisonneuve
Helps tenants understand their rights and obligations.
1500 Orleans Avenue
Infologis de l'est de l’Île de Montréal
Informs tenants about their rights and obligations.
2532 rue des Ormeaux
POPIR — Comité logement de St-Henri
Provides assistance to tenants who wish to know their rights.
4017 Notre Dame Street West
Represents renters in this community, and keeps them informed of their rights.
4735 Côte St. Catherine Road
OEIL de Côte-des-Neiges
Offers advice on landlord and tenant issues.
3600 Barclay Street, suite 344
Action dignité Saint-Léonard
Helps local tenants learn their rights and seek the proper help.
9089 - A Boulevard Viau
Saint Leonard, QC
Comité d'action des citoyennes et citoyens de Verdun (CACV)
An organization that advocates housing issues on behalf of tenants.
3972 rue De Verdun
Le Regroupement des comités logements et associations de locataires du Québec (RCLALQ)
A group of combined tenant associations that work to promote rights for residents.
2000, boul. Saint-Joseph Est, Local 35
Tel: 514-521-7114, or toll free: 1-866-521-7114
Arnold Bennett Housing Hotline
Offers legal help to tenants.
Tel.: 514-488-0412 or 514-990-0190
Association des locataires de Sherbrooke
421, Wellington Sud
Canada, J1H 5Z2