Notice of lease modification: precautions to avoid problems - rent increase compromised

Article locked Published on by Me Jean-Olivier Reed


In general, it is considered that the use of the bailiff is the safest way to deliver a document to one’s tenant. This is true for many documents but you have to be very careful about this statement in the case of a simple notice.

Indeed, when we speak more specifically about the notice of modification, as in section 1942 of the Civil Code of Québec, the law and jurisprudence require the landlord-owner to ensure that the notice of modification of the lease is received by the tenant.

And to do this, it was decided by the Régie du logement that the delivery by the bailiff of the notice under the door or in the mailbox did not prove the receipt of the notice by the tenant.

The only way that the bailiff can validly deliver the notice to the tenant is to hand it to the person or persons directly by hand and they must also attest to the receipt with their signature.

It is therefore up to the landlord-owner to ensure that he gives the precise instructions required to their bailiff to deliver the notice in accordance with the previously mentioned requirements and that he gives you a report attesting to this receipt including the signature(s).

It is also for this reason that registered mail is only valid if the landlord-owner obtains from Canada Post proof of receipt of the notice including the signature of each tenant appearing on the lease.

As a suggested first means of mailing, the registered mail also has the advantage of “reserving” - so to speak - your deadline, as this initiative proves that you have “acted.” This allows you, if the tenant does not get his registered mail, to give it to him by another means, by hand for example and this, even after the period provided by law.

For instance, for a lease from July 1 to June 30, the landlord-owner must send his notice of modification of the lease between January 1 and March 30. A problem arises: you are, for instance, informed that on January 5 the tenant has gone abroad for 4 months, i.e. after the deadline. Never mind, you send your notice of modification of lease by registered mail on January 5 anyway. Three weeks later, you obviously have information from Canada Post that the tenant did not pick up his mail. This method has the advantage of allowing the landlord-owner to send the notice back to the tenant in May because you have “acted” on time. However, you must notify the tenant as soon as possible.

We also wish to remind you that notices of changes to the lease (notice of rent increase, for instance) must be sent between 3 and 6 months from the end of the lease for a period of 12 months or more, and between 1 and 2 months from the end of a lease of less than twelve months, and for indefinite leases between one and two months of the proposed change. The calculations are available on the APQ mobile app available on Apple and Android.

This procedure also applies to the repossession notice and the eviction notice.

Be aware that the certificate of receipt by signature can also be made by the landlord-owner directly.

You can do this by making sure to write the following sentence on your own copy: “I, (name of tenant) confirm receipt of this notice of lease modification.” Then add a place for the signature and the date of the day.

For any questions, contact us, we are here to assist you.

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