Tribunal administratif du logement
Tuesday, 29 November, 2016
Generally speaking, in Québec, the lessee of a dwelling has the right to maintain occupancy. That right entitles the lessee to renew the lease and stay in the dwelling as long as he or she complies with the obligations related to the lease.
However, the law provides for exceptions to this rule. Under certain circumstances, the lessor may prevent a lease from being renewed, in other words terminate the tenant’s possibility of renewing the lease.
Accordingly, the law provides that a lessor may evict a lessee in order to subdivide, enlarge substantially or change the destination of the dwelling. In that case, specific rules apply. Consequently, whether you are a lessee or a lessor, it is important to be well-informed of the rules that apply and of the legal time limits to be complied with.
The Régie du logement wishes to remind Quebecers of the main legal provisions governing the eviction of a lessee.
Restrictions on the right to evict
The lessor of a dwelling may not evict a lessee if the lessee, or the lessee’s spouse, at the time of the eviction, is 70 years of age or over, has occupied the dwelling for at least 10 years, and has income equal to or less than the maximum threshold to qualify for a dwelling in low-rental housing under the By-law respecting the allocation of dwellings in low rental housing.
Notice to the lessee
The lessor must give written notice to the lessee, while complying with the time limits listed in the table below.
Length of lease
Notice by lessor
Lease of more than 6 months
6 months before termination of the lease
Within 1 month after receiving the lessor's notice.
If the lessee does not object, he or she is deemed to have accepted to vacate the dwelling.
If the lessee object, the lessor shall show the tribunal that he or she truly intend to divide, enlarge or change the destination of the dwelling and that he or she is permitted to do so by law.
The lessor shall pay an indemnity equal to three months' rent and reasonable moving expenses to the evicted lessee, whether the lessee has constested the eviction or not.
Lease of 6 months or less
1 month before termination of the lease
Lease with an indeterminate term
6 months before intended date of eviction
For example, for one-year leases ending on June 30, 2017, the lessor must notify the lessee no later than December 31, 2016.
The notice must indicate the date and the reason for eviction and incorporate the contents of article 1959.1 of the Civil Code of Québec (restrictions on the right to evict if the lessee is 70 years of age or over). It must also be sufficiently clear so that the lessee is able to fully understand the lessor’s intentions and evaluate the impact.
Important : Contrary to the repossession of a dwelling, when a lessee objects to the eviction for subdivision, enlargement or change of destination of the dwelling, he or she must contest the justification for it before the Régie du logement. The lessee must file the application with the office of the Régie du logement in the month following receipt of the notice. Failure to do so mean the lessee is deemed to have consented to vacate the dwelling and must move by the date indicated in the notice.
If the lessee files an objection with the Régie du logement, the lessor must demonstrate that he or she really intends to subdivide, enlarge or change the destination of the dwelling and that the law allows him or her to do so. At the lessee’s request, the Régie du logement can set the eviction for a later date than the one given in the notice.
An evicted lessee is entitled to an indemnity. The lessor shall pay an indemnity equal to three months’ rent and reasonable moving expenses to the evicted lessee, whether the lessee has contested the eviction or not.
If the lessee believes that the prejudice sustained warrants higher damages, he or she can apply to the court to set the amount. The indemnity is payable at the expiry of the lease and the moving expenses are payable upon presentation of vouchers.
To obtain additional information, see the section Eviction to Divide the Dwelling, Enlarge it Substantially or Change its Destination. The Régie du logement can also be reached by telephone at the following numbers:
Montréal, Laval and Longueuil
514 873-BAIL (2245)
1 800 683-BAIL (2245)
The Régie du logement is the tribunal with exclusive jurisdiction over rental housing in Québec.