While 3% of units are occupied by tenants who have not renewed their leases, time is running out to list the apartment on the market.
However, not all tenants are cooperating during the pandemic, even though visits have never been banned.
According to the survey conducted by CORPIQ from May 6 to 11, 30% of landlords who have an occupied unit, but soon available, have themselves decided not to allow visits for the moment. For all the others who wish to make visits, the task is not easy.
In fact, one out of two landlords (48%) has at least one tenant who refuses access to their dwelling. More specifically, 17% have no cooperation from any of their tenants, while 31% have some tenants open the door only for re-rental visits. In some cases, however, tenants who have already found their next unit refuse to allow a visit to the unit where they will be living for a few more weeks. The other half (51%) can count on the cooperation of all their tenants at the end of the lease.
Let us recall that on March 24, the government had advised restricting visits for the next three weeks, without going so far as to prohibit them. This reinforced the tenants' preference not to open their doors to strangers.
Legally, landlords have the right to enter the dwelling between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. to show it (unless, of course, the tenant is in quarantine). In the event of refusal, a court order can be obtained and, subsequently, damages can be awarded for any loss arising from such refusal of access. The jurisprudence is in favour of landlords; however, things are getting more complicated in this time of pandemic.
Although it is permitted to file an application online with the Régie du logement, summonses and hearings are suspended until further notice from the government, except when an exceptional situation constitutes a risk to the safety of persons or the building. It is not known how the judges of the court, when it resumes its activities, will eventually deal with cases of refusal of access to the dwelling to show it. What will be their willingness to award damages to landlords for loss of rent due to the failure to re-rent in time to avoid a vacancy between the departure and arrival of tenants?
In the previous April survey from CORPIQ, 38% of respondents with a rental unit to rent said they present virtual visits to interested candidates.
If the tenant does not allow visitors but allows the landlord to take photos and a video of his or her dwelling, CORPIQ proposes to use its ProprioMarché service. It allows the photos to be "cleaned" to present the dwelling in a better light, without the existing furniture or decoration.
For more information on visits during a pandemic, see questions 8 and 9 on our Q&A page on COVID-19.