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Are you moving into a new apartment, or about to?
Several questions may be on your mind. You should know that the law provides a specific framework for an apartment lease. You have rights that protect your interests as soon as you sign the lease. It is important to know them well.
A lease, also called a " rental agreement ", is an agreement between you and the owner of a building. This agreement specifies the conditions under which you agree to rent an apartment or room. These terms include, for example, the rent and the lease length.
A lease must always be drawn up on the form provided by the Tribunal administratif du Logement (Rental Administration Tribunal, or TAL), formerly called the Régie du logement.
Your landlord must give you a copy of the lease. You must receive this copy no later than 10 days after signing. You cannot ask to end the lease.
A verbal agreement is entirely possible. The lease is formed once you and your landlord have agreed on the essential elements of the lease. The amount of rent is an essential part of the lease, as is the term of the lease.
Your landlord must give you a written notice that details the oral agreement. They must write the notice on the form provided by the TAL and give it to you by 10 days after the agreement.
Your landlord must inform you of the lowest rent paid in the last 12 months. They must do this in writing when you sign the lease. Your landlord must also indicate changes to the dwelling and services.
If no rent has been paid in the last 12 months, the written notice must show the date and amount of the last rent paid.
Section G of the TAL housing lease form is specifically provided to record this information.
If you have a verbal agreement with your landlord, the information is in Section D of the written notice the landlord must give you.
For some types of dwellings, your landlord does not have to tell you the lowest rent in the last 12 months, which is the case for dwellings that are in:
a cooperative of which you are a member,
a low-income housing dwelling (HLM),
a building built less than five years ago
a building where dwellings have been available for rent for less than five years.
If the difference between your rent and the rent shown seems too high, you can exceptionally request the TAL to determine a new rent.
Otherwise, you will have to pay the rent listed in your lease for the entire lease term.
This tribunal specializes in matters involving a residential lease. It was formerly called the Régie du logement (Rental Board). Any application about your lease must be made to the Tribunal, including an application to set a new rent.
You must complete an application form and send it to the TAL. This application can be made online.
You must send a copy of your application to your landlord and provide the TAL with proof that your landlord has received it. This proof must be sent to the TAL within 45 days of your application; otherwise, the TAL may simply close your file.
You must act quickly. You must file your application with the TAL within ten days of signing the lease or verbal agreement.
If your landlord did not inform you of the lowest rent in the last 12 months, then the time limit is two months from the start of the lease.
If your landlord gave you false information, the time limit is two months from when you realize the information is false.
The TAL calculates the new rent according to the criteria set out by law. This calculation takes into account the income and expenses of the building, as well as any major work done on the dwelling or building. Therefore, your landlord is normally required to provide documentation that proves the income and expenses of the building.
The TAL has a tool on its website that can be used to estimate the new rent.
The rent set by the TAL will generally be for the term of the lease. However, the term cannot be longer than 12 months.
If you paid more rent in the months before TAL's decision, you have the right to be reimbursed for the difference between the amount you paid and the new rent amount.