Section: Word of the editor
The importance of signing the lease should not be neglected. Too often mistakes are made during the drafting of the lease which poses significant problems for the future.
Today we are going to talk about three of these issues that we regularly have the opportunity to see in our interactions with rental property owners.
Jonathan Tremblay’s article in the Journal de Montréal clearly demonstrates the dangers that our current rental system represents for rental property owners.
In its investigation, the Journal de Montréal was able to highlight this particular tenant who accumulated months of unpaid rent, from one landlord to another.
The article discusses what rental housing owners can go through in Québec. The winning combination for fraudsters lies in a mixture of delays, restrictions on applying for a security deposit, the impossibility of seizing most government benefits such as social assistance and the complexity of recovering the sums of money that are due to the owners because of significant costs for the bailiff and the Court stamp.
Many landlords feel that they have an advantage in handing over the keys to the dwelling and verbally agreeing on the amount of the rent without giving a written lease to the tenant.
Regularly the owners tell me that they proceeded in this way because they did not trust the tenant. By doing so, the owner mistakenly believes that he is protected. Many landlords believe that by not giving a lease they can simply decide to end the tenancy by telling tenants that they must leave the dwelling.
In a decision rendered on May 28, 2021, the Administrative Housing Tribunal ordered the landlord to reimburse the tenants’ insurance company the sum of $975.03.
In this case, the tenants suffered losses to some of their household items as a result of water damage that occurred through infiltration from the roof.
The insurance company claimed from the landlord, by being subrogated to the rights of the tenants, the sum of $1867.20 that had been paid to the tenants to compensate them for the loss of two mattresses. This amount was reduced at the hearing by diminishing the value claimed to $933.60, considering that the age of the mattresses represented a depreciation factor of 50%.
In a recent case heard by the Tribunal Administratif du logement (1) the TAL had to rule on the existence of a lease for the dwelling and on the issue of damages claimed by the tenant and the reimbursement of one month's rent deposit, which had been paid in the amount of $580, at the time the lease was signed.
In this case, the tenant argued that a lease existed, even though the landlord had not given him a copy.