There is a popular belief that it is possible to terminate a residential lease by giving a three-month notice, but in reality, it is rather exceptional. This is the first in a series of articles explaining in different situations how to terminate a residential lease as a landlord.
Here is a first situation:
You rent your house, condo or apartment, with a written lease for one year, using the Régie du logement’s mandatory standard lease form.
You cannot terminate the lease by giving a three-month notice. Also, you cannot wait for the end of the term to evict the tenant. He has security of tenure, that is to say he has the right to renew the lease indefinitely.
You can terminate the lease by contacting the Régie du logement for either of the following reasons:
- Delay in payment of more than 3 weeks
- Repeated late payments causing serious damage to the landlord
- The dwelling has become unfit for habitation
- You want to repossess the dwelling to live in it yourself or to house a member of your family (repossession of a dwelling)
- You want to do major work such as subdivision, expansion or change of use (eviction)
- You suffer serious prejudice due to your tenant.
What constitutes a serious prejudice is left to the discretion of the court and greatly depends on the evidence that will be presented, hence the importance of properly documenting your case.
In a case of eviction or repossession of a dwelling, you must give the tenant a six-month notice.
In all cases where the tenant refuses to leave, even in cases where you are entitled to terminate the lease, you cannot take the law into your own hands. The tenant’s eviction must always be ordered by the Régie du logement.
The rules on residential leases are not simple and can be confusing. Keep in mind that you should start early and plan ahead when trying to evict an undesirable tenant. Having a lawyer to help you along the way can save you many headaches