Once again, you have to defend your rights against rent increases. Here is what you need to know.

Most tenants receive rent increase notices each year. Before you accept, refuse, or make an agreement with your landlord, it is important to know the following.

The notices

1. You have to receive a notice of lease modification within the time limit required by law. For a lease of 12 months or more, your landlord can sent a notice from 3 to 6 months before the end of your lease. If your lease starts July 1 and ends June 30th, the notice has to be sent between January 1st and March 31st. However, if you have a lease of less than 12 months, your landlord must send the notice between 1 and 2 months before the end of your lease. For instance, if your lease starts on December 1st and ends on June 30th, the notice has to be sent between May 1st and May 30th. These time limits are respectively reduced to 10 and 20 days when it is a lease of a room.

2. The notice of a lease modification has to specify the amount of the new rent, the term of your lease, any new clauses as well as the time limit of one month that you have to refuse the requested rent increase or other changes.

The timing of your response

Regardless of the term of your lease, you have one month to answer from the time you receive the notice.

Ways to answer to the notice

1. If you accept or you do not answer the notice of lease modifications: your lease will be renewed with the new conditions;

2. If you notify your landlord by writing of your intention to leave, your lease will come to end and you have to leave at the end of the lease even if you have not found a dwelling.

3. If you refuse the changes and you still want to live in your dwelling, you have to answer indicating that you will renew your lease but that you refuse the increase as well as any new clauses if applicable.

We strongly recommend all answers be sent by registered mail, because it is important to have a proof that they have received your response. Keep the post office receipt as well as the notification you have received and your answer.

The consequences…

1. If you refuse the modifications and you renew your lease: your landlord has one month to submit a request to the Régie du logement (rental board) to have them determine the rent increase. If he or she omits to do, your lease will be renewed at the same price and the same conditions.
2. If the landlord contacts the Régie du logement, he has to send you a copy of the request. Then, the Régie du logement will send you a notice of the hearing.
3. If your landlord wants to settle with you after you sent your refusal, you can refuse to make an agreement if it does not suits you. If you accept, do it in writing and keep a copy.
4. Do not forget that your right to remain in your dwelling is not any way aftected if you refuse. You have the right to keep your dwelling.

How much can the landlord increase?

It is good to remember that there is no fixed rate in Quebec; only the calculation grid applied by the Régie du logement can determine the increase that the landlord can have. In order to help you to estimate this amount, you can use the general indications issued by the Régie, multiplied by your rent.

Indices of the Régie du logement for 2019
0,5 % for dwelling heated by the tenant
0,4 % for dwellings electrically heated by the landlord
0,4 % for dwellings gas heated by the landlord
2,6 % for dwellings oil heated by the landlord

In addition to the indices, you have to take into consideration the differences between the last two accounts of municipal and school taxes as well as the repairs and major improvements done to your dwelling or on the building in 2018. For each bracket of $1000 of repairs, the landlord has the right to an increase of $2.25 per month (2.7% of the amount spent on repairs, divided by 12 months).

To know the amount of taxes in Montreal, you can call the following phone numbers, give your address and specify that you want to know the amounts for the last two years. Divide the difference between amounts of taxes by the number of units and by 12 months.

School taxes : 514-384-5034, ext. 0 or https://tfp.cgtsim.qc.ca/asp/tfp.aspx
Municipal taxes : 311 Accès-Montréal or https://servicesenligne.ville.montreal.qc.ca/sel/ictl/recherche.do

If you would like assistance in estimating the amount of rent increase that your landlord could receive through the Régie du logement, contact us.