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''It is very noisy upstairs”

''It is very noisy upstairs”

It is unbearable, do something about it. You’ve heard me sir, you are the one who is living there, so you talk to him. I already did talk to him. Nothing changes. Moreover, Mr Landlord, according to the law you are the one who must procure me peaceful enjoyment of the premises1. I’ll check, dear sir, and I’ll get back to you on this.’’

How often do we hear this frequent and bitter story, let’s say…in one week ? The owner of a rentable dwelling must indeed procure peaceful enjoyment of the premises at all times for the duration of the lease2. Whether un-peaceful enjoyment of the premises results from your actions or those of other tenants or from those of people having access to the premises, thanks to another tenant, makes no difference3. So, whenever one of your tenants tells you something is too noisy or that the music plays too loud or that the children are always running around or that the doors are being slammed, you should act as a landlord.

First, we suggest you discuss the problem with your tenant. If that does not solve it, we strongly urge you to admonish him/her to respect peaceful enjoyment of the premises. If the tenant does not respond to your exhortation, you should by all means try to avoid a reduction of the rent4 and/or interest payments for supposed damage by filing a request for termination of the lease5 on the grounds of serious prejudice to the Rental Board caused by a troublemaking tenant. In case there have been tenants leaving and/or losses related to the behaviour of the peace-disturbing tenant one can add interest payments for damages6 to your request against him.

Be advised that the waiting period at the Rental Board for termination of a lease caused by serious prejudice varies to, on average, between ten (10) and fourteen (14) months.

The troubled tenant who complains may ask the Rental Board for a reduction of the rent against your wishes or for a termination of his lease. If so, you should think about what is best for you, for him, for your property or for your wallet.

Sometimes it is better to terminate the lease of a complaining tenant in order to avoid paying him a sum of money. Other times it is better to wait for another outcome if the complaint seems to be ill-founded. The complaining tenant has to inform you about the trouble before starting legal action against you7.

For more information call Cabinet Messier, Soucy Avocats.well-informed

1 Article 1854 of the Quebec Civil Code

2Article 1854 du Code civil du Québec et article 1858 du Code civil du Québec

3 Articles 1859 and 1860 of the Quebec Civil Code

4 Article 1861 of the Quebec Civil Code paragraph 1

5 Article 1860 of the Quebec Civil Code

6 Article 1862 of the Quebec Civil Code

7 Articles 1858 and 1861

About the author

Me Mélanie Chaperon

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