January 23, 2024

Reposessing a residence: what are your rights and responsibilities?

In Quebec, all tenants benefit from the right to remain in the residence. As long as they comply with their lease obligations, this right allows them to renew. However, there are exceptions that allow a landlord to terminate a lease or end its renewal—also known as a repossession. Whether you are a tenant or a landlord, check out this article to learn about your rights and responsibilities.

What is repossession?

Only four circumstances allow a landlord to repossess a residence:[1]

  • To live there themself;
  • To have their parents or children live there;
  • To have a parent or step-family member live there if the landlord is their primary support;
  • To house an ex-spouse (married or civil union) if the landlord is the spouse’s primary support.

A landlord cannot otherwise repossess a residence unless there is an agreement with the tenant. From a legal standpoint, repossession is different from an eviction notice which occurs when a landlord wishes to carry out a major project under specific conditions.[2]

Repossession restrictions

A landlord may not repossess a residence where the tenant or his or her spouse is 70 years of age or older, who has occupied the residence for at least 10 years, and whose income does not qualify for affordable housing, except in the following circumstances:[3]

  • The landlord is 70 years or older and wishes to live in the residence;
  • The beneficiary of the repossession is 70 years or older;
  • The landlord is 70 years or older and wants to house a person under the age of 70 in the residence they live in.

Mandatory notice of repossession

The landlord is obliged to send a notice of repossession to the tenant in writing indicating their intention, including:[4]

  • The anticipated date of repossession;
  • The name of the person affected by this change (who is to live in the residence);
  • The degree of relationship of this person to the landlord;
  • The restrictions that apply if the tenant or their spouse is 70 years of age or older.

The deadline for sending the notice of repossession varies according to the duration of the lease. Visit the Tribunal administratif du logement website for more information.

The tenant has one month to respond to the notice of repossession. They can then accept or decline by communicating their decision in writing. If they fail to do so, they are deemed to have refused to leave the residence.[5] The landlord must therefore apply to the Tribunal administratif du logement for permission to repossess the residence.

Repossession of residence and compensation

The Tribunal administratif du logement may authorize the repossession by imposing certain conditions deemed reasonable, including compensation equivalent to moving expenses or postponing the tenant’s departure date[6].

Whether you are a landlord or a tenant, understanding your rights and obligations is key to navigating this complex process.

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See also:

Joint tenancy: benefits, obligations and lease

Owning and occupying a plex: the pros and cons

What is the percentage of the 2023 rent increase?

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