The tenant lies to the owner, the Régie expels him

Article locked Published on by Me Annie Lapointe notaire

Topic(s): Legal

Note aux lecteurs : Ces articles sont des résumés de décisions rendues dans les affaires citées. Veuillez noter qu'il ne s'agit pas d'une revue de la jurisprudence et que d'autres décisions peuvent être rendues par la suite ou être différentes et changer l'état du droit. C'est également le cas si les faits ne sont pas les mêmes que ceux présentés dans l'affaire mentionnée.

The tenant lies to the owner, the Régie expels him

In a recent case, the owners agreed to accept some tenants’ application on the basis of the information they had given to them. It was not until some time later, following the verification of the references and the signing of the lease, that they realized that the tenants had given false references to them. The owners, in this recent decision, asked among other things, the cancellation of the lease because of lack of consent and termination of the lease.

According to the decision in question, during a visit of the premises, the candidate-tenants gave references about the owner of the house they were renting at the time. Following the validation of the information with the person mentioned, the owners decided to rent their property to the candidate-tenants in question.

However, the real owner of the premises previously inhabited by the tenants came into communication with those to whom they moved to give real and actual references about: payment of the rent, cleanliness of the house, animals, etc... However, the lease was already signed. It turned out that the particular person of reference was actually the sister of the tenant.

According to the decision, the actual previous owner was heard in Court and blamed the tenants for having left the house in a, quote: “deplorable state.” Also, the decision mentions that the tenants admitted having given false references in order to obtain the location of the rented accommodation.

In her analysis, the Judge discusses legal articles relating to good faith, abuse of law and fraud. Briefly, good faith must govern the conduct of the parties, from the beginning until the end of an obligation. According to the authors cited in the decision, good faith often imposes a duty of disclosure before the formation of the contract, so that consent is given in an informed manner and in order to punish abuse.

Misinformation may vitiate consent, that is to say, it is a consent that is not free nor informed and which can therefore lead to the nullity of the contract, as evidenced by the following section of the Civil Code of Quebec, cited by the Judge:

“1401. Error on the part of one party, induced by fraud committed by the other party or with his knowledge vitiates consent whenever, but for that error, the party would not have contracted, or would have contracted on different terms.

Fraud may result from silence or concealment.”

The decision mentions that the owners have argued that, if they would have had the real information, they would never have let their housing to these tenants.

The Judge also concludes that the tenants have given a bad reference and did not act in good faith, which caused the error of the landlords. Accordingly, the Court canceled the lease previously signed.

27 120907 002 G (3 July 2013).

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