Ahh... your own apartment! Freedom! But getting your own apartment also means new responsibilities, and sometimes a few problems too. Not being able to pay your rent, noisy neighbours, a cockroach invasion—these are some of the problems you might have. Luckily, the law has some solutions.
1 - Trouble paying your rent? Talk it over with your landlord.
Your rent is due on the date written in the lease, not the day after.
If you’re late in paying your rent, your landlord can go to the Régie du logement (rental board) to force you to pay.
Careful! If you take too long to pay your rent, you can end up in serious trouble. For example, your landlord can ask the Régie to cancel your lease if you’re more than 21 days late.
If you’re having trouble paying your rent, talk it over with your landlord. This will give you a chance to suggest a solution and promise that the rent will be paid.
2 - Can’t pay your rent anymore? You have options.
You can’t cancel your lease just because you can’t pay the rent. But you still have these options:
If you’re under 18, you can ask to cancel the lease.
This can be done, for example, if your rent is too high compared to what you’re actually able to pay. To learn more, contact the Régie du logement.
3 - Problems with a neighbour? Your landlord must do something about it.
Your neighbour is blocking the hallway with boxes? Another neighbour is complaining about the noise from your apartment?
Landlords must make sure their tenants have peaceful enjoyment of their apartments; in other words, the tenants are not disturbed. If there’s a problem, landlords must do something about it. If the situation is very serious, landlords can ask the Régie to cancel the lease.
Your landlord doesn’t fix the problem? The problem continues even after your landlord has tried to fix it? You can apply for a rent reduction to compensate for the disturbance. In some cases, you can also apply to cancel the lease.
Try talking with your neighbour before things get too bad. If you’re still having problems, you can try citizen mediation (French only).
4 - Your apartment is unfit to live in? You don’t have to live there.
Your landlord has to make sure your apartment is in good livable condition, which means it must be clean and functional. For example, it must have running water and electricity, and not be affected by mould or vermin (insects, rats, etc.).
If your apartment is unfit to live in, you’re allowed to move out. Careful!There are some steps you must take before moving out.
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.