Last month, MTLBlog gave you allthe things that are illegal for a landlord to do during your tenancy. It's a great list to refer to before you sign a lease, as some apartments in the city might try to get away with tricky contract conditions or rules that can't actually be enforced.
But what about all of the things landlords are actually allowed to do during your lease?
You probably know that the Régie du logement Québec has a set list of rights and obligations landlords have, so it's important for any tenant in the province to be well versed in them.
Luckily, most of us have a fair bit of knowledge on renting in Quebec, but for any newbies to renting or signing a lease, you may want to study everything listed below.
TL;DR There are a few things every tenant should know their landlord can legally do while they' have a contract together. Refer to the list below of 12 things a landlord is allowed to do when you're renting a unit in Quebec.
With the help of the Régie and other Quebec homeowner's sites, we've come up with a list of things your landlord can legally do during your tenancy. Needless to say, hopefully, you're prepared to comply with everything listed before signing your next lease.
1. Your landlord can enter your apartment without permission if they believe they have just cause
If your landlord suspects there is a leak or other emergency in your unit, they have the legal right to enter without your consent AND to enter even if you aren't home. This also means that you legally cannot change the locks on doors without consent from your landlord.
2. A landlord can force you to renew your lease
If you fail to provide a written notice of non-renewal to your landlord 3 months in advance of your lease ending, but no more than 6 months before the lease ends (for lease agreements of 12 months or more), then your landlord has the right to automatically renew your lease for the same amount of time, with the same conditions. So if you're planning on moving, make sure you tell your landlord with the proper notice.
3. A landlord can refuse to lease to someone who is pregnant or has children if there is a justifiable reason
A refusal can be made on the grounds that a unit is too small to house children or additional occupants. In this case, a tenant can take the issue to the Régie du logement where the landlord will need to provide reasoning and proof for their argument.
4. If you move out, your landlord can make you leave behind certain additions you added to the apartment
According to Legal Logik, if it is impossible to remove modifications or additions to your apartment without causing damage, your landlord can request that you leave them behind. Better yet, they are also not obligated to pay you for it, even if you installed the changes yourself.
So think twice about adding fancy shelves if they may end up causing damage - cause your landlord might get to hold on to them when you move out.
5. Your landlord has the right to evict you if one of your roommates is late paying their rent
If the full rent for a unit is more than three weeks late, a landlord can request the tribunal to not only force the tenant(s) to pay the rent in full, but also pay interest as well as face possible eviction. All tenants of the apartment can be evicted, even if only one person has refused to pay rent on time.
6. A landlord is allowed to make the tenant perform their own maintenance work on minor repairs
Yes, your landlord is obligated to take care of any major work that could endanger a tenant's well-being, but anything minor such as painting, changing light bulbs, shovelling snow and anything else that does not need immediate attention is up to the tenant.
7. Your landlord can hold you responsible for apartment damage, even if you did not cause it
For example, in the case of a major plumbing issue or faulty wiring, you must notify your landlord immediately of the problem. If you fail to let your landlord know of the maintenance concern within a reasonable time, and the state of the apartment worsens because of it, you can be held responsible for all or part of the cost to fix it.
8. A landlord has the right to repossess an apartment if it is for themselves or a relative
This only applies if your landlord is also the owner of the unit... but they do have the right to kick you out if they would like to move in or want a family member to occupy the dwelling. According to the Civil Code of Quebec, a landlord must give you 6 months notice of the expiry date of the lease if they plan to repossess the unit.
9. Your landlord can force you to get rid of your pet if your lease specifically prohibits animals
Of course, the building by-laws must also prohibit animals for this to be valid. If both the lease and building by-laws say no pets are allowed, you will either be forced to give up your animal or be evicted. You can take this up with the Régie du logement if you believe the restriction is unreasonable, but typically the Régie will agree with the landlord on this one.
10. If you are subletting your apartment, your landlord can hold you accountable for any damages caused
When you sublet your apartment, the subtenant has all of the rights as a regular tenant except for responsibility of maintaining the lease agreements. This means if they refuse to pay rent, your landlord can hold you responsible for paying it. The same applies to any damage to a unit caused by a subtenant.
11. Your landlord can evict you for consuming cannabis in your apartment
Although controversial, under the Cannabis Regulation Act a landlord had until January 15, 2019, to send any tenants a notice that, during the term of a lease, cannabis is prohibited in the unit. The tenant would have then been able to refuse the modification within 30 days if they had medical reasons for using cannabis. If not, then you could be at risk of being evicted.
12. The landlord has a right to evict a tenant if they're apartment is too "messy"
This includes leaving copious amounts of trash lying around or even refusing to clean up your cat's litter box. According to the Régie du logement, you must use a dwelling with "prudence and diligence", meaning as a tenant you're in charge of keeping up with hygienic requirements.
If you or your landlord have concerns or questions about a lease agreement, your best bet is to contact a lawyer in Quebec for further information and advice.
This list is not comprehensive and includes paraphrased information. Visit the Régie du logement website for more complete information.