Bill 31 passed: What does it mean for property owners?

The recent adoption of Bill 31 has major repercussions for landlords and tenants in Quebec. This legislation, which introduces significant changes in the field of residential leasing, directly influences the rights and responsibilities of the parties involved in a lease. Let’s explore the main changes brought about by this legislation and their impact on landlords.

Changes in lease assignment

Bill 31 makes major adjustments to the assignment of leases. Henceforth, a landlord has the right to refuse an assignment of lease without cause, thereby releasing the tenant from his or her obligations. In addition, the law prohibits assignment or subletting for profit, giving landlords greater flexibility while preserving tenants’ rights.

Lease assignment process

Following the adoption of Bill 31, the lease assignment process has also evolved. When a tenant wishes to assign his or her lease, he or she must inform the landlord in writing, providing details of the potential new tenant. The landlord then has 15 days to respond to the assignment request. If accepted, the assignee replaces the former tenant under the same conditions.

Changes to subletting
Bill 31 imposes a ban on subletting for profit, reinforcing the clause stating that the dwelling is rented for habitation purposes only. It also introduces a presumption of refusal to vacate the premises if the tenant fails to respond to a notice of non-renewal of the lease.

Compensation in the event of eviction
In the event of eviction due to demolition, substantial enlargement, subdivision or change of use, landlords are now required to compensate tenants according to a specific formula, offering better protection to tenants.

Reversed burden of proof
Bill 31 reverses the burden of proof in cases of eviction, placing the onus on the landlord to prove the legitimacy of his project.

New Clause F in the lease
The law introduces a new obligation for new leases, requiring the indication of the maximum rent for the first 5 years, offering tenants greater predictability.

Impact on Clause G of the lease
Bill 31 introduces stricter consequences for landlords who provide false information in the notice to new tenants, thereby strengthening tenant protection.

Dwellings unfit for habitation
The law now allows tenants to claim punitive damages in the event of a dwelling being unfit for habitation due to the landlord’s negligence, thus encouraging better management of rented accommodation.

Appeal procedure before the Court of Québec
The law also modifies the time limits and procedures for appeals to the Court of Québec, encouraging parties to scrupulously respect the applicable time limits.

In conclusion, Bill 31 brings significant changes to the field of residential tenancy in Quebec, aimed at protecting the rights of tenants while providing a clearer, more balanced framework for landlords.

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