Nuisances caused by a neighbour who is not a tenant

Published on by Me Jean-Olivier Reed

Topic(s): Regulation

Source: Messier Soucy Avocats

Nuisances caused by a neighbour who is not a tenant

It can happen that a neighbour next door to your building disturbs your tenants in one way or another, through renovation/construction work, parties, noise, etc Can these have consequences for you as a landlord? Yes, they can. Insofar as these disturbances significantly affect your tenant's peaceful enjoyment of their apartment.

Even if your initial reflex is to ignore these problems because they don't directly affect you, be aware that article 1859 of the Québec Civil Code, allows a tenant who is disturbed by a neighbour with no ties to you or the building, to make a claim for a reduction of the rent because of this disturbance of their enjoyment of the premises. Fortunately, the tenant can't claim damages from the landlord, unless the landlord has contributed to the problem.

In these circumstances, it is important to be proactive when a tenant notifies you of a problem related to a neighbour. Taking time to notify neighbour in writing and informing the municipal authorities are simple measures to reduce the risk of, or avoid the tenant from asking you for a reduction of the rent on these grounds.

Taking legal action against a neighbour who is at fault is always possible if you are sued by the tenant. This is why it is important to send written notices in all circumstances. Notifying the neighbour verbally isn't sufficient.

The notion of peaceful enjoyment of the premises is a very important one in the law surrounding residential property and touches several facets of everyday life. The landlord should not neglect to follow-up on a tenant's complaint, especially if it can be dealt with and solved quickly. Neglecting this aspect has already been very costly for several landlords.

If you're unsure about how to deal these problems, do not hesitate to consult the APQ's team of legal advisors.

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