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Rent payment rules in Quebec

This article summarizes some key laws related to rent payment for residential units in the province of Quebec. We’ve used the Civil Code of Quebec and other publicly available legal resources to research this article. This article is only intended as an information resource and is not a substitute for qualified legal advice. Rental laws are always changing and you are responsible for performing your own research into the laws that apply to your unique situation. If you have legal questions or concerns, please contact a lawyer who specializes in rental laws in Quebec.

Can landlords charge a security or rent deposit in Quebec?

No. Landlords may not collect any form of deposit in Quebec. This includes key deposits, which are not legal in Quebec (article 1904 Paragraph 1 Civil Code of Quebec).

Can Quebec landlords ask for the first month’s rent upon signing the lease?

Yes. Landlords in Quebec can require advance payment of rent for the first payment period (e.g. month, week, etc) when the lease is signed (article 1904 Civil Code of Quebec).

Do landlords have to pay interest on rent deposits in Quebec?

This question is not relevant to Quebec because rent deposits are illegal.

Can landlords demand that rent is paid by post-dated cheque in Quebec?

No. Landlords cannot require that rent is paid by post-dated cheque or any other post-dated method (article 1904 Civil Code of Quebec).

Is there a grace period for rent payment in Quebec?

No. Rent is payable on the first day of each payment period (e.g. month, week), unless otherwise agreed (article 1903 Civil Code of Quebec). On the second day it will be considered late. On this day, the landlord may file a request with the Régie du Logement to obtain rent payment, and after 21 days overdue, the landlord can ask the Régie du Logement to terminate the lease (article 1971 Civil Code of Quebec).

Can tenants in Quebec avoid eviction by paying their rent?

Yes. A tenant can avoid being evicted for non-payment of rent, even after receiving a notice of termination, simply by paying the total amount of rent they owe plus interest. The interest rate should be determined by the rate specified in section 28 of the Tax Administration Act or at any other lower rate agreed with the landlord (article 1883 Civil Code of Quebec).

How should rent be paid in Quebec?

The method of rent payment in Quebec must be mutually agreed on between the tenant and landlord. Potential payment methods may include cash, money order, certified cheque, regular cheque, bank draft, credit card, e- transfer or debit card if the landlord has the capability for these payments. It’s up to both to determine the best method.

Do landlords have to provide rent receipts in Quebec?

Yes. According to the Quebec Civil Code, tenants are entitled to a receipt for the payment of rent in cash (articles 1564 and 1568 Civil Code of Quebec).

It is wise to always ask for a rent receipt because in the event of a dispute the burden of proving that the rent was paid lies with the tenant. Make sure that rent receipts include the address of the rental unit, name of the tenant(s), amount and date for each payment and what it was for (e.g. rent, rent deposit, arrears), name of the landlord, signature of the landlord or the landlord’s agent.

How often can a landlord increase the rent in Quebec?

When the lease is renewed. Therefore, how often rent can be increased depends on the term of the lease. A lease with a term of more than 12 months may undergo only one adjustment of the rent during each 12-month period. No adjustment may be made within the first 12 months (article 1906 Civil Code of Quebec).

Do landlords need to provide a written notice of rent increase in Quebec?

Yes. Quebec Landlords must a provide written notice of rent increase. The written notice must be in a format approved by the Régie du logement and must clearly state the amount of the new rent and the date the rent increase starts. If the Notice of Rent Increase is in the wrong format and/or the landlord does not provide enough notice, the rent increase does not apply and a new written notice must be given.

How much notice must landlords provide before raising the rent in Quebec?

The notice period for a rent increase in Quebec depends on the term of the lease:

  • If the lease is one year or more, three to six months’ notice is required
  • If the lease is less than one year, one to two months’ notice is required
  • If the lease has no set end date, one to two months’ notice is required
  • If the lease is for a room, 10 to 20 days’ notice is required

How much can landlords increase the rent in Quebec?

There is no limit on the amount that landlords can increase rent in Quebec. However, both tenants must agree that rent increase is reasonable and have the right to refuse an increase proposed by the landlord. If both parties cannot agree on the rent increase, the landlord can file an application with the Régie du logement no later than one month after the date of receipt of the tenant’s reply.

What is a reasonable rent increase in Quebec?

To help tenants and landlords  agree on rent increases, the Régie du logement publishes a recommended rent increase calculator on their website. These tools help to establish what the Régie considers a reasonable rent increase by taking into account variation in municipal and school taxes, insurance, major improvements and all the building’s operating costs.

Can landlords increase the rent for repairs or renovations in Quebec?

No. During the term of the lease, the landlord cannot increase the rent due to major repairs or renovations. However, a landord may raise the rent at the end of the lease provided notice is given in accordance with the law.

Can the landlord increase rent in Quebec if a roommate or partner moves in?

We were unable to find any authoritative or specific related to landlords charging tenants extra rent for extra occupants. However, given that rent can only be raised when leases renew, that in other provinces this is not allowed, and that tenants have a right to take rent increase disputes to a tribunal, this should not be an issue that arises mid-way through a lease.

Can tenants withhold rent for repairs in Quebec?

In some urgent situations, tenants may carry out repairs at their own expense if the landlord neglects to do so. These situations may include major pipe leaks, faulty wiring, blocked sewer pipes, collapsed stairs or balconies, furnace breakdowns during the winter and defects in locks on access doors to the dwelling. In these cases, the landlord must reimburse tenants for reasonable expenses. If the landlord refuses to reimburse tenants for urgent and necessary repairs, tenants have the right to withhold the amount from the future rent without authorization from the Régie.

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