Eviction or Repossession: Know Your Rights!

In the News

Many tenants have already received – or will receive by year’s end – a notice of eviction or repossession. An increasing number of tenants have received such notices in recent years. However, landlords must respect strict legal conditions for these notices to be valid.

According to the Coalition of Housing Committees and Tenants Associations of Quebec’s (RCLALQ), attempts by landlords to evict tenants by various means have increased by 500% since 2020.  

A notice of eviction or repossession must include specific legal information and be sent within a certain timeframe to be legally valid. For example, for a 12-month lease, the notice must be sent six months before the renewal date. This means that, if your lease will be coming up for renewal on June 30, 2024, your landlord must send you the notice before the end of December.

To move in or house a family member

In general, landlords can repossess a rental unit to

  • live there themselves
  • have their children or parents live there
  • have any other relative, or family member by marriage, live there if the landlord is that person’s main source of support (for example, a mother-in-law or son-in-law), or
  • have an ex-spouse (married or civil union) live there after a separation or divorce — if the landlord is the spouse’s main source of support.

However, your landlord cannot repossess your unit or evict you if you (or your spouse) is age 70 or over and has lived in the apartment for ten years or more and has an income that would qualify them for low-rental housing. These conditions must be present on the intended date of eviction or repossession.

However, even if you meet all the above conditions, your landlord could still move ahead with the repossession or eviction if:

  • your landlord is age 70 or over and wants to move in
  • the person who will move in is age 70 or over, or
  • your landlord is age 70 or over, lives in the building and wants to house a person younger than 70 in your apartment.  

Eviction to carry out major work

Eviction is a legal process for a landlord to take back an apartment for any of the following major projects: 

  • subdivide it (for example, convert an eight-room apartment into two four-room apartments) 
  • demolish it (for example, transform a duplex into a single-family home)
  • enlarge it substantially (for example, add a room) 
  • change its use (for example, convert it to a commercial space)

It’s important to note that it’s illegal for a landlord to evict a tenant simply to do renovations. Also, contrary to eviction and repossession, selling a building is not a legal reason for a landlord to cancel a lease.

Important! If you contest a notice of eviction, the Tribunal administratif du logement (former Régie du logement or rental board) must verify that the project is authorized by all zoning and other applicable by-laws.