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Advice for your tenants : Take out insurance and keep your peace of mind!

Advice for your tenants : Take out insurance and keep your peace of mind!

Upon signing your lease, your role as a tenant undoubtedly materializes when you get a home. Moreover, this benefit keeps you guaranteed of several responsibilities and obligations that must be faithfully observed. Indeed, the tenant is obligated to use his housing with care and diligence, to keep it in good condition but also to ensure putting it back to its original state at the end of his lease. For any damage caused by your fault to the housing, you then need to compensate the owner.

While these are just a few examples of obligations, they result in several situations. Notably, in a recent case where the tenant has caused major bathtub overflows causing significant damage to the ceiling and property located in the apartment below his, he was forced to undergo a termination of the lease together with an eviction from his housing (1). If the owner has insurance, the tenant will be forced to pay a fee to compensate him for the damage caused. Indeed, in a case heard by the Régie du logement, the tenant was forced to pay more than thirty-three thousand dollars to the insurance of the owner who repaired the damage caused by the overflow of the bathtub of the tenant in the property (2). These amounts covered the reparations, the demolition and the cleaning of three floors, and thus of three units, which were affected by the damage. Let us also keep in mind similar circumstances where the tenant, inadvertently, set fire to his home. Although he will only be found responsible for paying damages if the owner proves that the fire was caused by his fault or by one of his visitors, if that should be the case, the insurer of the owner is subrogated to the latter's rights and can therefore claim large sums of payment. The same result could happen to you if ever someone gets hurt because of you in your home.

Although, at first glance, many tenants think that insurance is not necessary, we believe that it is a serious mistake and that a tenant-insurance benefits you greatly in the long term. Indeed, not only are the costs of such warrants generally low, but in addition, you warrant coverage for damage you cause, but also damage your visitors cause in your home. To keep your peace of mind, taking property and liability insurance will be a rather simple solution to adopt and it is most likely to help you deal with many possibly complicated situations!

(1) Immeubles Adveric Inc. vs. Searle, 2013 QCRDL 6672
(2) Desjardins Assurances générales Inc.. vs. Marchand 2010 QCRDL 39050

About the author

Martin A. Messier

Me Martin A. Messier a fait ses études au Collège St-Jean-de-Brébeuf avant de continuer ses études en droit à l'Université de Montréal. Il est membre du Barreau du Québec depuis 1992, et œuvre auprès des propriétaires de logements locatifs depuis 1993.

Il est entre autres président de l'Association des propriétaires du Québec, propriétaire d'une compagnie de gestion immobilière. Il est fréquemment invité comme conférencier dans le cadre de conférences et de séminaires juridiques et de gestion portant sur le louage immobilier.

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