A lease is a rental agreement between a landlord and a tenant that defines their respective commitments regarding a dwelling.
This contract begins on the date the tenant is scheduled to move in and is in most cases for a fixed term but can also be for an indefinite term.
How do I get a lease?
Since 1996, the lease form from the Tribunal administratif du logement (TAL) is mandatory. You can order an official lease with a 10% discount via the CORPIQ website which includes the annex and the building regulations. Furthermore, the CORPIQ’s electronic lease is a quick and efficient solution. In addition to being legally valid, it is secure and reliable. By registering now, you will get it at a promotional price of $4.49 (plus taxes).
There are specific situations where this contract can be modified or terminated. What is a lease termination? What is the difference with an assignment of lease? And what happens to the responsibilities of a tenant who sublets a lease to a new occupant in the dwelling?
Termination of a Lease
Termination of a lease is an exceptional mechanism that allows a tenant to end his or her lease prematurely. It is only with a reason considered as serious that a tenant can terminate his or her lease, and thus put an end to the rental contract with a 2-month notice.
There are only 4 serious reasons that allow a tenant to terminate his or her lease (by clicking on these links, you will be redirected to the TAL website):
- Allocation of low-cost housing
- Inability to occupy the dwelling due to a disability
- Domestic Violence or Sexual Assault
- Elderly person permanently admitted to a seniors’ residence
Assignment of a Lease
The tenant must send a notice of assignment to the landlord. This type of form can be downloaded here. It must contain the contact information of the person who is transferring the lease and the expected start and end date of occupancy of the dwelling. After the landlord has received this notice, he or she has 15 days to indicate whether or not he or she agrees. If there is no response within 15 days of receiving the notice, the applicant is considered to have been accepted. However, the applicant may be refused for reasons such as poor credit rating, ability to pay rent, or behaviour. If the applicant is accepted, the landlord may charge the tenant for the cost of investigating the applicant.
A new tenant who takes over a lease after a lease transfer (called an assignee) cannot negotiate new terms. He or she is bound to all the terms and conditions of the lease of the tenant who has just assigned it to him or her (called the assignor) and will not have to sign a new lease with the landlord. The transferee will therefore have to keep a copy of the previous transferor’s lease to ensure that the terms and regulations of the lease are respected. A lease assignment form is available here.
This is the act of keeping the lease and all its obligations and responsibilities while letting another occupant live in the dwelling and paying the rent. The tenant must therefore ensure that the unit is returned in the same clean and livable condition as it was at the beginning of the lease.
Unlike an assignment or termination of a lease, by subleasing the tenant can renew the lease if he or she intends to return to occupy the dwelling. This is usually a preferred solution for a tenant who is temporarily away for a few weeks or months and intends to keep the unit for the longer term. When a candidate is found, you must inform the landlord of the dwelling who will be your sub-tenant and what the duration of the sub-tenancy will be.
The lease is automatically renewed on the same terms. However, if the landlord wishes to change a rule or modify the rent, he or she must give written notice between 3 and 6 months before the end of the lease, stating these changes (if the lease is for a year or more). Other deadlines apply depending on the length of the lease or whether it is for an indeterminate or fixed term. If the tenant does not wish to renew the lease and decides instead to leave the dwelling at the end of the lease, he or she must send a written notice of non-renewal to the landlord within 30 days of the notice or, if no notice has been received, between 3 and 6 months before the end of the lease. For a lease of less than 12 months, the deadline for such notices from both the landlord and the tenant is 1 to 2 months before the end of the lease.