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Bill tabled to limit the right to amend a lease for a new housing

Bill tabled to limit the right to amend a lease for a new housing

At the sitting of February 24, 2022, Andrés Fontecilla, MNA for Laurier-Dorion, from Québec Solidaire, introduced his Bill 892, “An Act to broaden a lessee’s right to have the rent fixed and to have other conditions of the lease modified by the Administrative Housing Tribunal.”

According to the abstract, this bill(1): “abolishes the exception that neither the landlord nor the lessee of a dwelling situated in a newly built dwelling, or whose use for rental purposes results from a recent change of use, may have the rent fixed or other conditions of the lease amended by the Administrative Housing Tribunal within five years after the date on which the housing is ready for the use for which it is intended.
However, the bill maintains this exception for housing rented by a housing co-operative.”

The Association des Propriétaires du Québec (APQ) is against this bill, which once again wants to limit the rights of rental housing owners.

Remember that clause F of the mandatory lease form, which is discussed here, is an important clause for any owner of new housing.
If checked, this clause provides that the owner can modify, in the first 5 years of existence of the building, the price of the rents without the tenant being able to refuse the increases transmitted.

This latitude encourages the construction of new housing and in some regions there is a lack of available housing. This is particularly the case in several cities where the vacancy rate is rather low. For instance:
Trois-Rivières: 0.6%;
Saguenay: 0.9%;
and in Gatineau: 0.8%.

It is difficult to estimate a rental price between the time of construction and the date of tenant. Also, some costs may be added to expenses that were unforeseen and/or unknown.

Moreover, the tenants are notified at the signing of the lease of the existence of this clause and they can knowingly refuse to sign and rent in another dwelling.

The APQ recalls that the price of a dwelling is also subject to the law of the market; if a dwelling is too expensive, no tenant would want to sign a lease and it will remain vacant.

But according to the Association des Propriétaires du Québec (APQ), we must return to what is essential: the removal of clauses F and G from the lease!
The Association des Propriétaires du Québec (APQ) is convinced that controls on rental housing owners must be relaxed to promote the market and stimulate the construction and renovation of housing.

Increased protection for tenants is promulgated by clause G which maintains the price of rent even after the tenant has left.

Currently, the new tenant can request that the rent be reduced to a lower price, even though he has freely negotiated and signed the lease. The current law does not take into account the imperatives of the rental market, which must be able to benefit from a certain flexibility in order to remain competitive with other sources of investment, whereas currently the application of the law thus violates the contractual freedom of the parties.

Supply and demand must simply govern this type of situation and the control of the price of rents, between two rentals, should be abolished.

The APQ is also calling for a new rent-setting system that will take into account the reality of the rental market. A method of more than 40 years old that only allows $1.67 for every $1,000 of major work should be reformed, and should be denounced as a flagrant lack of political will for change.

The Association des Propriétaires du Québec (APQ) has made its position clear on clause F to the Ministère des affaires municipales et de l’habitation.
And we will, if the bill continues its progress in the National Assembly, argue the usefulness of clause F for as long as a real rent-setting system is not established.

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Québec Landlords Association

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