Rent increase: what to watch out for

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If you are a tenant, you may receive a notice of rent increase before the end of your lease. Other aspects of the lease can also be modified. In any case, certain rules must be respected.

The notice must be in writing

If you are a tenant, your landlord must generally send you a written notice 3 to 6 months before the end of your lease if they want to increase your rent. After this time, your landlord cannot increase the rent for the next year. In Quebec, residential leases often start on July 1st of each year and are usually one year-long.

This written renewal notice must state the lease’s new terms and the deadline to respond.

To renew your lease or not?

If you do not receive a rent increase notice by the deadline, your lease is automatically renewed under the same conditions. For example, if your current lease ends on June 30, 2023 and you do not receive a notice before March 31, 2023, your lease will be renewed on July 1, 2023 under the same conditions.

However, if you do receive a rent increase notice, you have one month to act. You can:

  • accept the increase and renew your lease;
  • notify your landlord that you intend to move;
  • refuse the increase and stay in your rental unit.

In case of disagreement

If you do not respond to the notice, it means you have accepted it. If you refuse the increase and want to stay in your rental unit, the Tribunal administratif du logement (TAL, formerly the Régie du logement) will make a decision. You can also assess whether the rent increase is reasonable using the TAL’s calculation tool (available in French only).