Some tenants know that '' time is money ''

Article locked Published on by Me Martin A. Messier

Topic(s): Legal

Source: Messier, Soucy, Avocats

Some tenants know that '' time is money ''
The old adage that “time is money” has been used by many tenants who seem to have understood that by using certain regulations of the Régie du logement, they can take advantage of not paying their rent, or by using delays to their advantage. Unfortunately, some even abuse this by introducing a request for retraction before the Régie du logement.

This procedure allows a person to suspend the execution of a decision by the Régie du logement. In fact, the simple introduction of a request prevents the landlord for all intents and purposes to proceed with eviction of the tenant.

This procedure is normally justified but should only be used for special cases. The example of a seriously ill person shows the necessity for having recourse to this in our legal system. From time to time, landlords can use this regulation when serious reasons are present.

Unfortunately, certain tenants are abusing this procedure, and submit unfounded requests with the motive of delaying eviction. Often, a tenant who abuses this procedure (often more than once), will have the retraction certified at the last minute at the same time that a bailiff is preparing to execute the decision of the Régie du logement at the landlord’s request.

Our lawyers have handled some of these requests over the past few months and the way to proceed is often the same. Tenants usually use the same reasons which normally would be pertinent, but which often cannot be proven before the Régie, whereas the rent still remains unpaid.

Once a tenant repeatedly introduces retraction requests without bona fide reasons, it is possible to request that the régisseur declares that the tenant is forbidden to present a new retraction request unless he/she obtains prior authorization from a an authorized member of the staff of the Régie.

The fallout is often significant once this ruling is handed down. In fact, the landlord has already lost many months of unpaid rent which will most likely be very – or impossible - difficult to recover.

We contacted the office of the Minister Responsible Nathalie Normandeau, to meet with her to discuss this new problem issue for landlords who have become powerless faced with this type of abuse from some tenants.

We would ask our decision-makers to act and modify the rules regarding retraction requests to avoid abuse and to establish a more expedient procedure when a retraction request has been received.

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