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Increase and setting of the rent: beware of tax cuts and insurance

Increase and setting of the rent: beware of tax cuts and insurance

In this season, when many landlords will submit rent-setting requests to the Régie du logement, it is relevant to explain that certain situations could turn out to be mighty unpleasant for certain landlords.

Putting it all in context: the rent-setting hearing

First of all, a rent-setting hearing usually takes place before a special clerk. The special clerk has limited powers and it is also possible that he refuses to hear certain other topics that do not concern the setting of the rent. This applies to the landlord as well as to the tenant.

During such a hearing, the special clerk takes into consideration only the invoices submitted by the landlord. Indeed, all other variables such as the geography of the premises, the history or the emotional or relational context of the dwelling will not be considered (example: the rental rate is lower than the average rate of the market).

Moreover, if your invoices from municipal or school taxes, or your insurance bills show a decrease during comparable periods of time, the Régie will decrease the rent relative to the pre-established calculation. Oh yes, you could possibly suffer a decrease of the rent during such a hearing.

Be thus very prudent, when you think about beginning a rent-setting case. You should calculate first in order to determine the relevance of opening a rent-setting case. We suggest that you use the calculation scale prepared by the Quebec Landlords Association which is freely available at www.apq.org It will allow you to know in advance which amount of increase is provided for by the regulations of the Régie du logement.

Moreover, here’s a small detail concerning invoices, the Régie du logement requires that the contractors that you use and who send you an invoice, must have and register their valid tax numbers (GST/ TVQ) and the invoice must have the heading of a recognized company. If not so, the social insurance number of the person that did the work for you will be required.

Once the file is on its way the Régie will ask you to fill in the case « Information necessary for rent-setting ». It is on this case that the Régie relies during the hearing.For your information, the quicker this case will have been filled in and returned to the Régie du logement, the sooner the hearing is going to take place.

Finally, should you feel the need to be assisted in calculating the rent or in the case of a rent-setting hearing, our lawyers will be pleased to support you in your endeavour.

About the author

Me Jean-Olivier Reed, avocat

Me Jean-Olivier Reed est diplômé du Collège l'Assomption en technique juridique en 1997 puis de l'Université de Montréal en droit en 2001. Membre du barreau depuis 2004, il fut avocat et gestionnaire d'immeuble pour une de 2004 à 2006.

Avocat chez Messier Soucy avocats depuis 2006. Il évolue dans le droit immobilier et plus particulièrement en droit locatif et en droit de la copropriété.

Il a écrit plusieurs articles dans le journal "Le Propriétaire" sur divers sujets traitant du droit locatif.
Il donne des conférences aux membres de l'Association des propriétaires du Québec sur des sujets actuels en droit locatif.

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