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The Landlord is responsible for the occasional Noise made by his Tenants

The Landlord is responsible for the occasional Noise made by his Tenants

Going back to school, be it to university or to Cegep, always involves its share of festivities. And so it happens that these « parties » are organized by your tenants in one of your dwellings. Many will say that « one sparrow does not bring spring » ... But evidently, when habit becomes ingrained, what should the landlord do?

It is essential to know that the Civil Code of Quebec holds the landlord of a residential rentable dwelling responsible for occasional trouble made by his tenants. Specifically, this signifies that when you are, for instance, having a noisy tenant, you must absolutely act in order to stop this behaviour because otherwise the other tenants of the dwelling may initiate legal recourse against you in order to be compensated for the loss of peaceful enjoyment of their apartment. A tenant, neighbour of the tenant at fault, could thus, after having sent a subpoena announcing the problem to you, submit a request to the Rental Board in order to obtain a diminution of the rent. In extreme cases, such a problem could even cause termination of the lease of the complaining tenant.

In order to avoid losing all of your tenants because one of them has been a bit too noisy measures should be taken in different stages. The first of these stages often begins following a complaint by a tenant mentioning exaggerated noise coming from the apartment of a neighbouring tenant. Being the landlord you must investigate further as to what happened. You may then interrogate the other tenants in the dwelling to find out if they suffer from the same inconveniences. Should that be the case a subpoena must be expedited to the faulty tenant in order to stop undesirable behaviour. If, in spite of this warning, the noise persists, we strongly advise you to « put a file together » which could serve as proof during possible legal proceedings. If you live in the premises you could keep « a log book » in which you should write the dates, the time, the noise coming from the apartment in question, the number of persons going in and out of the dwelling, etc ... In case you would not live in the dwelling in question, or if your apartment would be rather far away from the one of the faulty tenant, you can ask the tenants who live near the delinquent one to do likewise.

Following that, you may then start, either the necessary procedures, or a request to terminate the lease. You are strongly advised to continue accumulating your notes while waiting for a hearing because it will be held several months after your request has been submitted.

At the time of the hearing, you and your tenants will be given the chance to make statements implying that the faulty tenant constantly makes noise, and this in a completely unreasonable manner. The tenants will also have to give witness as to the prejudice this noise causes them. Likewise, tenants or owners of neighbouring dwellings may also give witness about everything they could possibly have had knowledge of. You will also be able to submit police reports and have policemen, who may have had to go to the apartment of the tenant in question because of the noise, give witness.

Briefly, one should remember that the landlord must absolutely act in such circumstances and that the evidence must be strong if one wants to obtain the termination of the faulty tenant’s lease.

For any question, do not hesitate to contact our legal service.

About the author

Me Renée Roy

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