Most people value their privacy, especially when it comes to their homes. You wouldn’t want a stranger going through your things and invading your space! The Civil Code of Québec protects privacy and creates rules about how landlords must respect your privacy. But landlords do have the right to visit an apartment in some situations.
I will be leaving my apartment when my lease is up. When can the landlord start showing it to potential tenants?
As soon as you give your landlord a notice of non-renewal or a notice of lease cancellation, the landlord can show your apartment to potential tenants and post a "For Rent" sign.
For more information on lease cancellation, see our article A Tenant's Right to End a Lease.
What rules apply to visiting apartments for rent?
Here is what happens after you have given your landlord notice that you are leaving:
- You must let the landlord show your apartment to potential tenants and buyers.
- The landlord must always get your permission before entering your apartment.
- The landlord must give you 24-hours notice before a visit by a potential buyer. The notice can be verbal or in writing.
- Visits must be between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m., otherwise you can refuse.
- You can insist that the landlord or her representative be present during the visit.
Is my landlord allowed to enter my apartment during the term of the lease?
Yes. In addition to visits by a potential tenant or buyer, your landlord can enter in these situations:
Check the Condition of the Apartment
Landlords have the right to verify the condition of an apartment throughout the term of the lease. They must give you 24 hours notice, either verbally or in writing. The visits must take place between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. Landlords must exercise their right to access in a reasonable manner.
Do Work That Is Not Urgent
Minor work: The landlord can do work in the apartment. He must give you advance verbal or written notice of at least 24 hours. The work must be done between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.
Major improvements or repairs: A landlord who wants to do major improvements or repairs must notify you in writing at least 10 days before the work begins. The work must be done between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. If you must leave your apartment temporarily while the work is being done, the landlord must compensate you in money. If you must vacate your apartment for more than a week, the landlord must advise you in writing at least three months ahead of time. The landlord’s written notice and compensation must respect the rules in the Civil Code of Québec.
Landlords have the right to access your apartment at any time in case of emergency. Advanced notice is preferable, but it is not required by law. You cannot deny a landlord access in an emergency. In some situations, the landlord can even enter the apartment when you are not around, for example, if leaky taps are causing water to overflow into the apartment below.
What can my landlord do if I don’t let him into my apartment?
If your landlord follows all the rules regarding visits, you must give access. Otherwise, he can ask the Régie du logement to order you to give access.
If you shut the door in the landlord’s face or refuse to answer the door when he arrives, he can file a complaint with the Régie du lodgement. If your actions caused him damage, the Régie could order you to pay him money.
What can I do I have if my landlord enters my apartment without notice or permission?
- First, you can discuss the situation with him.
- If this fails, you can send him a letter telling him to respect the legal rules.
- If the situation still doesn’t improve, you can file a request with the Régie du logement to limit the landlord’s access to your apartment and ask for a reduction in rent, money to compensate your or cancellation of your lease.
It is a good idea to keep copies of the letters you send, to record the times your landlord visits and to write down the names of any witnesses.
Can a landlord or tenant limit access to an apartment?
When the right is exercised in a reasonable manner, in good faith and according to the law, neither a landlord nor a tenant can limit the right to access an apartment.
Changing the locks or adding a safety chain or an alarm system without telling the other person go against the right to have access to an apartment.
If you must change the locks because your apartment was broken into, you must inform your landlord and he has the right to get a copy of the keys.
This article explains in a general way the law that applies in Quebec. This article is not a legal opinion or legal advice. To find out the specific rules for your situation, consult a lawyer or notary.