Decision

Executing a decision

Executing or contesting a decision

After an application is filed with the Tribunal administratif du logement, a hearing is held, and you receive a decision. The decision may either dismiss the application or allow it in whole or in part.

The plaintiff has two choices:

  1. Accept the decision as is and see it executed
  2. Contest the decision if they are dissatisfied with it

The defendant also has two options:

  1. Freely accept the decision and execute it voluntarily, if the decision was rendered against them
  2. Contest the decision if they are dissatisfied with it

For more information on contesting a decision of the Tribunal, consult the section Contesting a decision.

The following information focuses on the forced execution of a decision by the Tribunal.

Executing a decision

If the defendant refuses to comply with the decision voluntarily, or negotiations to have the decision executed are unsuccessful, the plaintiff must take steps to force the defendant to comply with the decision.

It may be better to come to a compromise with the other party before forcing the execution of a decision.

When does a decision become executory?

First, you should check to see whether a specific deadline for execution is given in the decision. For example, in the case of major repairs, eviction from the premises or an exceptional emergency, the Tribunal may, if it deems it appropriate, order the provisional execution of the decision, in whole or in part, or order its execution by a specific deadline.

If no specific execution deadline is given in the decision, the deadline depends on the type of application.

Execution deadlines
(from the date that the decision is signed)

Type of application

Execution deadline

Alienation of a building in a housing complex

Immediately

Conversion of a rental property to divided co-ownership

Immediately

Demolition

Immediately

Authorization to deposit the rent

Immediately

Review of a decision for the fixing of rent

10 days

An application whose sole object is the recovery of an amount of money that is a small claim.

20 days

An application concerning only fixing of the rent

1 month

All other applications

30 days

Note that a decision by the Tribunal administratif du logement, like any other judgment, can only be executed within 10 years of the date on which it is rendered. The creditor’s right is prescribed (extinguished) if that time is allowed to lapse.

Procedure for a forced execution

Before the creditor initiates the procedure to execute a decision ordering the debtor to pay a sum of money, they will avoid unnecessary expenses and steps if they have some basic information about the debtor, such as the debtor’s sources of income, the type of property they possess, and whether the property is worth seizing.

To force the execution of a decision, the creditor provides a bailiff with the decision and the instructions for execution and pays them the amount required for the execution. After they receive the instructions, the bailiff completes a notice of execution, files the notice in the office of the Court of Québec with a copy of the decision and serves the notice to the debtor.

However, if another creditor has already sought the forced execution of another judgment against the same debtor, the execution instructions must be given to the bailiff who is already responsible for the case.

Small claims (20 day execution deadline)

A small claim is an application whose sole object is the recovery of an amount of money and that this amount does not exceed a certain limit. For example, a claim for $5,000 in unpaid rent is a small claim, whereas an application to terminate a lease accompanied by a claim for $5,000 in unpaid rent is not.

In the case of a small claim before the Tribunal administratif du logement, the creditor can proceed as was explained in the previous section.

Furthermore, if the only measure taken to execute a decision is the seizure of the debtor’s income (garnishment of wages) that is in the possession of a third party (seizure in the hands of a third person), the creditor may draw up the notice of execution themselves, without having to retain a bailiff. The notice is then filed in the office of the Court of Québec (Small Claims Division) and signed by the court clerk, and the creditor then notifies the debtor and the third party. The court clerk may assist the creditor in the execution of the judgment.

If the creditor decides to draw up the notice of execution themselves, the administration of the seized income, including its receipt and distribution, is entrusted to the clerk of the Court of Québec.

The fees for execution paid to the bailiff or clerk by the creditor may be claimed from the debtor, up to the maximum rates set for such fees. This debt is immediately payable by the debtor upon execution.

Most common methods of execution

Seizure in the hands of a third person

  • Income

For this method, you need the name and full address of the employer of the party the decision was rendered against. Note that the full salary cannot be seized from the employer; only part of it may be seized, and the amount varies based on the debtor’s income and the number of dependants they have.

  • Accounts with a financial institution

To seize money in the debtor’s bank account, you need the name and full address of the debtor’s financial institution.

  • Seizure of debts

Any amounts owing to the party the decision was rendered against may be seized, other than amounts covered by the exceptions or restrictions provided for by law. You need the names and addresses of the persons owing these amounts; the amounts can then be seized directly from these persons.

Seizure of movable property

The debtor’s movable property may be seized by a bailiff and sold under judicial authority. The creditor is partially or fully reimbursed with the proceeds of the sale. Under the law, the bailiff may be required to exclude certain kinds of property from the seizure, including:

  • Movable property that furnishes or adorns the debtor’s main residence, used by and necessary for the life of their family, up to a market value of $7,000 as determined by the bailiff, and, if that value has not been attained, the personal items the debtor chooses to keep
  • The food, fuel, linens and clothing needed for the debtor’s life and the life of their family
  • Work instruments needed for the debtor to personally perform their professional activities

Other items that cannot be seized include family papers and portraits, medals and other decorations.

If the debtor has movable property at the residence of another person, the movable property at that residence can be seized.

Eviction of the lessee and other occupants

If a decision orders the eviction of the lessee and other occupants of a dwelling and they refuse to comply, the lessor may instruct the bailiff to proceed with their eviction. A notice of execution involving the eviction of a lessee and other occupants must be served by the bailiff at least five days before the execution. The notice orders the lessee to remove all movable property within a specified time limit or pay the costs incurred for its removal and informs the lessee that if they fail to comply, the movable property will be deemed to have been abandoned. The bailiff may then sell the movable property for the creditor (lessor), give it away to a charity, or otherwise dispose of it as the bailiff sees fit if it cannot be given away.

An eviction cannot take place on a holiday or during the period from December 24 to January 2.

In all cases, the bailiff is authorized by law to use whatever force is necessary to carry out an eviction, provided that they comply with the required formalities.

Contesting forced execution

The debtor can contest the forced execution of a decision where applicable – for example, if they wish to annul the seizure or have a part of the property that the bailiff is preparing to seize excluded. In such cases, it will be up to the Court of Québec to rule on the merits of the contestation.

Note: If the decision terminates the lease due to non payment of rent and the lessee pays the rent owing, the costs and the interest before the decision is rendered, the lessor cannot initiate eviction proceedings.