Signing a lease

Notice to a new lessee

At the time of entering into a lease, if no rent was paid during the 12 months preceding the beginning of the lease, the lessor must now give a notice to the new lessee indicating the last rent paid and the date of the payment.

That new obligation stems from the amendment made to article 1896 of the Civil Code of Québec by section 148 of the Act mainly to regulate building inspections and divided co-ownership, to replace the name and improve the rules of operation of the Régie du logement and to amend the Act respecting the Société d’habitation du Québec and various legislative provisions concerning municipal affairs, which is set to come into force on July 21, 2021.

Until that amendment is integrated into section G of the mandatory lease forms, the Tribunal administratif du logement will make a model notice to a new lessee available for lessors, specifically to enable them to meet their new obligation. You may consult the model notice in the Forms and Notices section of the Tribunal’s website.

Mandatory notice to be given by the lessor

When a lease is entered into, the lessor must give the new lessee a written notice indicating the lowest rent paid or the rent fixed by the Tribunal for that dwelling in the 12 months prior to the start of the lease or, if no rent has been paid during this period, the notice shall indicate the last rent paid and the date.

The lessee who subleases his or her dwelling must also give that notice to the subtenant in the same way.

The lessor must, to that effect, complete section G of the lease form.

However, the lessor is not required to do so in the following cases:

  1. The dwelling is rented by a housing cooperative to one of its members.
  2. The dwelling is located in an immovable that was built in the last 5 years or whose use for residential purposes results from a change of destination in the last 5 years.
  3. The dwelling is located in a low-rental housing immovable.

With regard to the two first exceptions, the lease must state those restrictions in section F of the lease form.

Recourse for the fixing of rent

The new lessee (or subtenant) may ask the Tribunal to fix his or her rent if he or she pays a rent higher than the rent indicated in the notice or the rent already fixed by the Tribunal.

The application must be filed within 10 days after the date the lease (or the sublease) is entered into.

If the lessor did not give such notice at the time the lease (or the sublease) was entered into, the application must be filed within two months after the beginning of the lease.

If the lessor gave a notice in which there was a false statement, the application must be filed within two months after the day the lessee becomes aware of the false statement.

Punitive damages

If the notice contains a misrepresentation or the lessor knowingly fails to give notice, the lessee may demand that the lessor be condemned to pay punitive damages.

Note: This measure does not apply to leases entered into before February 21, 2024.