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If there is one thing most Montrealers can agree to have in common, its our transitory existence. Don’t worry, I’m not getting metaphysical on you... I’m talking about living situation.

As the young coming-of-agers we all are, our apartment-needs are always changing...and with every new apartment you can always count on a quirky new landlord. Don’t forget that while the place you call home might be always changing, your rights and obligations as a tenant stay the same.

The Basic Lowdown 

Essentially, every instance of apartment-style living is based on a lease. This lease acts as a contract between you and your landlord made up of a set of mutual agreements which include:

  • The rent amount and the date upon which it will be paid.
  • The form in which rent will be paid ( ie; cash, money order, cheque, bank draft etc.)
  • The intended use, form, destination, and sanitary conditions of the dwelling.
  • To act in a way so as not to disturb the normal enjoyment of other tenants of the dwelling ( Ie; easy on the keggers!)
  • To abide by general rules and standards of dwelling repair and maintenance as set by the landlord (Word to the wise; avoid changing your own locks.)

Rent Rights of the Landlord:

  • The standard for what is considered as rent is paid full, the landlord is not required to accept partial payment.
  • If the tenant fails to pay it on the agreed date, they will be considered "in fault" the next day. At this point, the landlord has the right to file an application to the Régie du Logement to recover the rent owing.
  • If rent payment is frequently late or is more than three weeks late, the landlord then has the right to request that the lease be terminated (a.k.a. eviction).
  • Given the offense, the Régie can order the termination of the lease at any time. Yes, even in the Winter.

Rent Rights of the Tenant:

  • Once the Régie has made its decision, all parties must comply.
  • However, there is a certain delay between the landlord’s application for termination and the Régie’s decision.
  • If the tenant succeeds in paying the rent as well as any fees within this time period, BAM(!), the eviction cannot go through.
  • If the landlord does decide to go through these proceedings the tenant should be formally informed at the get-go. There is no such thing as surprise eviction.

The Bottom Line

When signing a lease with any landlord, make sure anything you are agreeing to is clear and concise from the very beginning. Beyond all other jargon, that’s the real way to avoid complications.

For all the info, check out the Régie du logement's online documents here
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