First of all, in Québec it is generally thought that the first and foremost obligation of a tenant is to pay his rent, and the Régie du logement assigns therefore a certain priority to the procedure of evicting a tenant who has not paid his rent and who still remains on the premises. Indeed, Section 1971 of the Civil Code of Québec allows the owner to file a request for termination of lease for non-payment of rent if the tenant is late for more than 3 weeks. The landlord does not, in principle, have the obligation to send a formal notice to the tenant prior to the filing of the request. Indeed, the tenant is automatically in default by the sole effect of the law.
Owners of multi-unit buildings who deal with criminal acts, erratic, disturbing or violent behaviour, vandalism or theft in their buildings may decide to have surveillance cameras installed as a security measure. The following question should be asked then: what are the criteria and guidelines that make such means acceptable to the residents' right to privacy? The jurisprudence of the Régie du logement sets out some criteria that require your attention.
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.