Being a lessor

Housing complex

Overall process

  1. Required authorization

Under the Act respecting the Administrative Housing Tribunal (CQLR, c. T 15.01), with rare exceptions, any person who wishes to alienate (sell, trade, assign, etc.) one or more properties located in a housing complex, or confer a right of occupancy or any other right that entails dismemberment of the right of ownership of such a property, must obtain authorization from the Tribunal administratif du logement.

The application must be submitted along with the fee required by regulation.

A “housing complex” is defined in article 45 of the Act respecting the Administrative Housing Tribunal as “several immovables situated near one another and comprising together more than twelve dwellings, if such immovables are administered jointly by the same person or by related persons within the meaning of the Taxation Act (chapter I-3), and if some of them have an accessory, a dependency or part of the structure, except a common wall, in common.”

  1. The application

Given the complexity of the process, applicants are advised to consult a notary or lawyer for assistance with the application and hearing.

If a notary is consulted, the notary shall see that the application is signed by the applicant and may act only as a witness for the applicant. The notary may not be considered a representative, as stipulated in sections 72 and 74 of the Act respecting the Administrative Housing Tribunal; these stipulations include a mandate free of charge.

  1. Notification of the application

At the applicant’s expense, notice of the application must be individually given to each lessee of the housing complex, each joint tenant where applicable, each purchaser (if there are undivided purchasers) and, if the application was submitted by a person who has promised to purchase the property, the owner. Any other third parties must also be notified. This notice of the application must include supporting documents or a list of supporting documents stating that they are available upon request.

The most common methods of notification are:

  • Registered mail

  • Person to person

  • Bailiff

Notice may also be given using any other method that provides proof of receipt. For example, an owner could deliver the notice by hand, in which case the proof of receipt might be an acknowledgment of receipt.

Proof of notification should then be added to the application file at the Tribunal, along with a list of the application’s supporting documents, within 45 days after the application was first filed.

  1. Hearing

The Tribunal will notify the parties and lessees of the location, date and time of the hearing. Unlike for certain types of application before ordinary courts, no notice of presentation is required.

Notice of the hearing will be sent to the addresses declared in the file. The parties must ensure that the Tribunal is informed of any change of address that occurs after the initial filing of the application.

Otherwise, the Tribunal may reach a decision even if a party is absent. A party who failed to notify the Tribunal of their change of address cannot apply for revocation of the decision on the grounds that the notice of hearing was sent to their former address.

If the applicant is a natural person (an individual), they must attend the hearing. If they are unable to attend, an applicant may mandate their spouse or may be represented by a lawyer. An applicant may also mandate in writing a relative, a person connected by marriage or civil union, or a friend to represent them. If the applicant is a legal person (a company, etc.), they may be represented at the hearing by a duly mandated officer, director or employee, or a lawyer.

A party may be assisted by a trusted third party, for reasons such as their age, their state of health, a vulnerable situation or their level of language proficiency. A person assisting a party must do so free of charge. However, note that this person may not represent the party. They may not give legal advice or legal opinions, nor examine or cross examine a witness, nor plead before the Tribunal. Assistance from a trusted third party does not prevent a party from also being represented as the law stipulates.

The hearing is not a mere formality. It is important to be aware that failure to provide any required evidence may result in your case being postponed, or even in rejection of your application.

Applicants or their representatives should be able to provide testimony and/or documentation in support of all the facts related to the application for alienation. When an applicant is being represented and the representative is not personally aware of the facts, the applicant should ensure that there are witnesses able to relate the facts that relate to the application.

If a party wants a person to testify at the hearing, that party must, at their own expense, send a subpoena to the witness by bailiff at least three days prior to the date of the hearing; this subpoena must be signed by an administrative judge, a special clerk of the Tribunal or their lawyer. To obtain the signature of an administrative judge or special clerk, come to one of our offices. A subpoena form is available on our website. Your lawyer can also fill out and sign this document.

  1. Posting of notice

The law stipulates that a notice must be posted in front of the property. The Tribunal requests owners’ cooperation concerning the logistics of this posting. The posted notice should include the statement that any person may make a written representation in relation to the application within 10 days of the posting or, if applicable, of the publication of a public notice.

The Tribunal may, if it deems it advisable, hold a public hearing or hear any person who has made a representation.

  1. Decision

The Tribunal will provide a copy of its decision to the parties and to each lessee identified on the list appended to the application.

  1. Sanctions

It is important to be aware that any alienation (for example, a sale) carried out without the Tribunal’s authorization, when such authorization is required, may cause that contract to become null and void. Any interested party, including the Tribunal administratif du logement, may ask the Superior Court to declare such a contract invalid.