In rental housing law, as in other areas of law, good faith must govern the conduct of the parties from the beginning till the end of the obligation. For the owners of buildings we are talking about the period from the signing of the lease until the evacuation of the premises at the end of the lease.
The disclosure of a candidate's references is essential for the signing of the lease so that the landlord, following his investigation, can make an informed decision to accept or refuse to rent the dwelling. These references are at the basis of his decision. Their veracity and accuracy represent the good faith of the candidate.
In the context of this legal proceeding concerning a residential lease, it is the applicant who must establish, by a preponderance of evidence, the nature of the breach of contract, injury and causation. That said, and although the application of the ordinary rules requires the demonstration as part of a trial, certain facts supporting the claims of the parties, on the balance of evidence, legislators had hoped that the unsuitability of the housing might have been established and declared by another authority than the one assigned to the Régie du logement.
As smoke is a current subject, it is possible to see a certain evolution in the judgements rendered on the subject. In a recent decision of the Régie du logement (1), the landlord asks for the termination of the tenant’s lease on the grounds that cigarette and cannabis smoke disturb the peaceful enjoyment of the premises for the other occupants of the building.
The peculiarity of this file is that no clause of prohibition of smoking is in the lease. Also, the tenant rents a unit owned by a divided co-ownership (condominium), that is, his neighbours are not tenants, but rather neighbouring owners. The problem began when the smells of tobacco and other substances started to be an inconvenience for the co-owner living above the tenant.
Some landlords ask the Régie du logement to order a tenant to vacate the basement of the building that he occupies without right, as well as the two (2) parking spaces that he has illegally appropriated.
The facts put in evidence show that in the spring of 1997 a lease was entered into on July 1, 1997. This lease was renewed from year to year until June 30, 2016. The building concerned consists of a duplex in which the tenant has occupied for 18 years the housing located on the ground floor, consisting of 5 and a half rooms. Under the lease, the tenant benefits from a parking space inside the garage and has access to the backyard.
Some nuisances or particular situations can cause fears, founded or not. This is particularly the case when talking about mould, asbestos or even bugs in a housing. Do not jump to conclusions however, not all moulds are dangerous. The tenant cannot, therefore, in all the cases where one invokes mould, asbestos or other potentially dangerous situations, clear off and move out without any responsibility. It will have to be taken case by case, and only exceptional situations will justify a premature departure.
In a recent situation (1), tenants asked for the termination of the lease because they claimed that their housing was unfit for habitation. For her part, the landlady believed that the tenants left illegitimately and she claims damages from them.