Return to news

Repossession of a dwelling: conditions, time limits and notices

Part of category Appartment

Tuesday, 1 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 resiliate a lease and put an end to its renewal, in other words terminates the lessee’s possibility of renewing the lease.

Accordingly, the law provides that an owner may repossess a dwelling as a residence for himself or herself. 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.

First of all, please note that only one owner may repossess a dwelling, provided that he or she is the sole owner or the only other owner is his or her spouse. The owner of the dwelling whose repossession is sought must also be the lessor.

Repossession of a dwelling

The owner-lessor can repossess the dwelling at the end of the lease for the following purposes:

  • to live in it;
  • to house his or her first-degree ascendants or descendants (father, mother, children);
  • to house any other blood relative or relative by marriage of whom the owner is the sole support;
  • to house his or her spouse, if the owner is the main support of the spouse after a divorce, separation from bed and board or dissolution of a civil union (this does not apply to de facto spouses).

Restrictions on the right to repossess a dwelling

The owner-lessor of a lessee’s dwelling may not repossess it if the lessee, or the lessee’s spouse, at the time of the repossession, 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. housing, except in one of the following situations:

  • the owner-lessor is 70 years of age or over and wishes to occupy the dwelling in question;
  • the beneficiary of the repossession is 70 years of age or over;
  • the owner-lessor is 70 years of age or over, occupies the immovable, and wishes to have a beneficiary under 70 years of age reside in the same immovable as he or she.


The owner-lessor must give the tenant written notice of his or her intention to repossess the dwelling within the time limits stipulated by law. The notice must indicate:

  • the anticipated date of repossession;
  • the name of the person for whom the dwelling is to be repossessed and the person’s degree of kinship or connection with the owner-lessor;
  • the restrictions and exceptions apply in certain circumstances where the lessee or the lessee’s spouse is 70 years of age or over.

Length of lease

Notice by owner-lessor

Lessee's reply

Application to the Régie du logement by the owner-lessor

Lease of more than 6 months

6 months before termination of the lease

Within 1 month after receiving the owner-lessor's notice.

If the lessee fails to reply, he or she is deemed to have refused to vacate the dwelling.

Within 1 month after the refusal or the expiry of the period granted to the lessee to reply.

Lease of 6 months or less

1 month before termination of the lease

Lease with an indeterminate term

6 months before intended date of repossession

For example, for one-year leases ending on June 30, 2017, the owner-lessor must notify the tenant no later than December 31, 2016.

In the event of refusal, if the owner-lessor does not file with the Régie du logement an application for authorization to repossess the dwelling, the tenant retains the right to occupy the dwelling.

At the hearing before the Régie du logement, the owner-lessor must show that he or she truly intends to repossess the dwelling for the purpose mentioned in the notice to the tenant and that the repossession is not a pretext for other purposes.

When the Régie du logement authorizes the repossession of the dwelling, it may impose the conditions it believes are fair and reasonable, including payment to the tenant of compensation equal to moving expenses.

The tenant can be awarded damages for repossession in bad faith, whether the tenant consented to the repossession or not.

In matters of repossession, co-owners of a residential building acquired before 1988 have acquired rights. It is recommended that you ask the Régie du logement about this.

NOTE: Conversion to co-ownership does not threaten a lessee's right to remain on the premises. Lessees retain their right to remain in the dwelling for as long as they wish, provided they meet their obligations.

From the date of the notice of intent, the right to retake possession of the dwelling cannot be exercised against the lessee (with exception). The Régie refuses to authorize the conversion if the dwelling has been retaking illegally or with a view to convert it.

To obtain additional information, see the section Repossessing a Dwelling. 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.