A tenant's primary obligation is to pay the agreed rent on the agreed date, no matter what. A tenant cannot withhold rent from the landlord without risking being evicted. If you have a problem with your apartment and the landlord does not fix it, you are required to pursue legal action through the Régie du Logement. In the case of shared accommodation (see our page on Joint tenancy), if your roommate does not pay their portion of the rent, the other roommates can be held responsible.
Other obligations of the tenant during the lease:
- To use the dwelling with prudence and diligence.
- To maintain the dwelling in clean condition.
- To respect the laws pertaining to the safety and sanitation of the dwelling.
- To make the lesser maintenance repairs in certain cases.
- To allow the landlord to make urgent and necessary repairs.
- To act in such a way so as not to disturb the normal enjoyment of the other tenants and/or of the landlord.
- To inform the landlord about a serious defect or deterioration.
At the end of the lease, the tenant is obliged:
- To give a non-renewable notice before the end of the lease.
- To remove all his movable effects.
- To leave the dwelling in good condition.
- To reside in the apartment as long as you want (unless the landlord sends you a repossession of dwelling notice).
- To refuse an unreasonable rent increase.
- To apply to the Rental Board for mediation (if you cannot come to a reasonable agreement with the landlord).
It is legal for a landlord to:
- Ask for references for the purposes of a credit check.
- Require a co-signer for students without a steady income.
- Limit the occupancy of the apartment to a certain number of people stipulated in the lease.
- Refuse to terminate a lease at the tenant's request.
- Ask tenants to leave for a short period of time to make major repairs.
It is illegal for a landlord to:
- Ask for a deposit (other than the first month's rent). No key deposits or damage deposits are allowed.
- Ask for the last month's rent at the beginning of a lease.
- Demand for postdated cheques.
- Ask for payments of more than one month's rent.
- Ask for credit card numbers, passport numbers, bank account numbers, social insurance numbers or information about nationality or citizenship.
- Refuse to give the tenant a copy of the lease. The law stipulates that a tenant is entitled to receive a copy of the signed lease within ten days of it being signed. In the case of an oral lease, the landlord must also give a written document containing his or her name and address and the obligatory provisions of the lease to the tenant.
- Raise the rent in mid-lease.
- Terminate a lease before it expires.
- Forbid a tenant to sublease or assign an apartment unless the landlord has a good reason, which must be communicated within 15 days from the date of your notification.
- To deliver the leased property on the agreed upon start date of the lease, in a safe, habitable and clean condition.
- To give a peaceful enjoyment of the leased property.
- To maintain the dwelling in good habitable condition.
- To make all the necessary repairs, except those that are assumed by the tenant.
- To respect the laws pertaining to the safety, sanitation, maintenance and habitability of the dwelling or the building.
- To make sure that the number of occupants respect the normal conditions of comfort and sanitation.