The new 45-day deadline and the closed files

Article locked Published on by Me Jean-Olivier Reed

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 new 45-day deadline and the closed files

Is it possible to ask the Tribunal du logement to be relieved of a defect?

Since September 1, 2020, the government has not only changed the name of the Régie du logement to “Tribunal administratif du logement,” but it has added several more restrictive and mandatory rules, taking by surprise several owners of income buildings in recent months. Several of them had their files closed for failing to comply with these same rules.

Indeed, one of the biggest changes concerns the new notification obligations that used to be called “service” or “proof of receipt.”

The changes are significant and numerous and must be taken very seriously:
• The notification must be made within 45 days of the opening of the file;
• New obligation to create and notify a list of documents or notify the documents themselves within the same period of 45 days of the opening of the file.
• Obligation to send to the Tribunal (upload to the Court's file) the list of documents within 45 days of the opening of the file;
• Obligation to transmit to the Tribunal (upload to the Court’s file) the report of notification (proof of receipt) of the request, amendment or any other demand.
• For the rent-setting portion: obligation to give notice of the “Information necessary for setting the rent” form to the tenant within 90 days of the opening of the file;
• Obligation to send (upload to the Court’s file) the RN Form to the court within 90 days of the opening of the file;
• Requirement to submit the notification report of the request and the RN Form to the Tribunal within 90 days of receipt of the request and the form.

What happens if one or another of these new rules are not respected? In the case of notification and transmission to the Tribunal at the very least, the file becomes out of date and is closed simply and automatically on day 46.

However, the new section 59 of the Act respecting the Administrative Housing Tribunal allows, in very limited and exceptional cases, to request to be relieved of the defect that caused the file to be closed. The law mentions the word “may,” so, far from being automatic.

This request must also be notified with a list of documents of the proof of the defect within the time limit.

Here are a few examples where the person was relieved of the defect:

Transmission of documents to the Tribunal at an incorrect address:
Woods v. Garden Dale Realties, 2021 QCTAL 10361 (CanLII)

Death of a tenant and inability to find successors within 45 days:
Trudeau v. Succession de Tremblay, 2021 QCTAL 12632 (CanLII)

The error of the plaintiff’s lawyer:
Neveu v. Immeubles Mamode inc., 2021 QCTAL 10040 (CanLII)

The absence of prejudice to the defendant:
Groupe immobilier Genco inc. v. Querizareih, 2021 QCTAL 10134 (CanLII)

Mere forgetting or ignorance of the law will not be considered as valid grounds for being relieved of the defect:
Pokidko v. Akelius Montréal Ltd., 2021 QCTAL 10889 (CanLII)

It is necessary to act diligently and the original claim must be serious and prove the absence of prejudice to the defendant.
Auclair v. Agence du revenu du Québec, 2019 QCCQ 5919 (CanLII)

Finally, be aware that some judicial officers (bailiffs), for minimal costs offer to send their report directly to the Tribunal and send you proof of transmission.

We have deliberately avoided talking about the reasons related to the pandemic that are temporary reasons over time.

In any case, it is better to do it right away than to have to deal with such a request.

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