The top 10 obligations of a landlord that you should know

In Quebec there are many regulations that protect renters from living in deplorable conditions. The thing is, if you don’t know what rights you have as a tenant, you may feel powerless in an unpleasant situation. Take a look at the landlord’s top 10 obligations in order to better understand your rights as a tenant.

1. Only enter the tenant’s apartment with consent.

Landlords must provide 24 hours notice, either verbal or written, if they wish to enter your apartment, unless your apartment is up for rent. In both cases, the landlord needs your consent to enter. Only in cases of emergency is the landlord allowed to enter your apartment without your consent.

2. Perform necessary repairs.

It is the landlord’s responsibility to perform urgent and necessary repairs in a timely manner and to cover any related costs. This includes repairing heating problems in the winter.

3. Only rent dwellings fit for habitation.

The landlord must maintain the dwelling in a clean condition, fit for habitation. A caved in ceiling, for example, is unacceptable! If you see that your place poses a health or a safety hazard, take pictures, contact outside help, such as a city inspector and read about abandonment!

4. Do not ask for private information; including credit card numbers, social insurance numbers, and/or passports.

The landlord cannot collect credit card numbers, bank account numbers, social insurance numbers, visa or passport, driver’s permit or health insurance. They may ask a future tenant to show their ID to confirm their name. They are allowed to ask for references, full name, current or previous addresses and date of birth for a credit check. To learn more take a look at The lease and protection of personal information

5. Do not ask for additional rental fees, such as security and/or key deposits!

The landlord cannot ask for a deposit greater than the full amount of the first month’s rent in advance. That means no security deposit, no damage deposit, no key deposit!

6. Do not demand post-dated cheques.

Post dated cheques are cheques which are cashable at a later date. There is absolutely no reason for the landlord to require post-dated cheques. By law, they cannot demand this from a tenant.

7. Use an official Quebec lease.

Quebec has an official lease that can be found at any corner store for just over 2 dollars. The landlord has an obligation to provide this lease. It is also your right to have the lease in either English or French depending on your preference.

8. Do not add illegal clauses to the  lease.

Although the lease is a legally binding document and the landlord may have added a clause which conflicts with your rights as a tenant,  you cannot sign your rights away. Therefore illegal clauses are invalid even if you have signed the lease.

9. Ensure full and peaceful enjoyment of the dwelling.

It is your landlord’s responsibility to to provide full and peaceful enjoyment of the dwelling. This means the landlord must deal with noisy neighbors, your plumbing and maintain the appliances (if they’re included in your lease)!

10. Be available for the tenant to provide notice for non-renewal.

Leases renew automatically in Quebec. A written notice of non-renewal is required if you want to leave in the case of a: 12 month lease: 3-6 months notice; less than 12 months or indeterminate: 1-2 months notice; no written agreement: 10 days notice.