Montréal, July 1, 2021 – More tenants are moving this week compared to last year during the same period, and CORPIQ would like to take the opportunity to encourage landlords and tenants to act with caution and respect. Here are 12 useful things to know.
You are not in your home on July 1st!
Usually, 17% of tenants move each year. In 2020, the number dropped to 13%. For leases that end on June 30, the outgoing tenant is basically not considered to be in his home anymore at the time of waking up. It’s not the time to do boxes but to take out his personal stuff to let the new tenant move in. A discussion must take place, around 13% of landlords have noticed a move scheduling conflict at least once in the last 2 years.
An obligation to get insured
A landlord cannot demand a tenant to subscribe to an insurance policy during a lease, but he can require it for a new lease. If the lease provides it, a landlord can ask for a proof of insurance. According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada, 37% of tenants are not covered by a tenant insurance policy.
Animals are more accepted than we think
Landlords have the right to refuse animals, unless it’s a service dog for a tenant with a disability. There are still 24% of landlords that are accepting dogs and 71% that are accepting cats, under certain conditions. Unfortunately, 29% of landlords have witnessed a new tenant not complying with the interdiction as indicated in the lease. Sometimes, an irresponsible tenant will abandon its animal in the apartment (5% of landlords have experienced it).
Goods abandonned by a tenant
The landlord doesn’t have the obligation to keep abandoned goods deemed to have no value. If they do have a certain value, it is preferable to make an inventory of the goods with a neutral witness and to contact the tenant by certified mail at his new address. If there are no ways possible to reach the tenant, you must publish an ad in the local newspaper under the heading of "Public Notices". Law indicates that valuable goods remain the property of its owner, whether they were forgotten or lost. If the goods are claimed in under 90 days, the outgoing tenant must pay for the storage fees. After this deadline, the landlord is free to dispose of to sell the goods.
The new tenant is conspicuously absent
A tenant who doesn’t take possession of the apartment is considered to have committed an abandonment of the dwelling. An action can be brought by the landlord to recuperate the unpaid rent, but the tenant must be tracked down by the landlord and must demonstrate to the tribunal the attempts to re-let the dwelling to another person to minimize damages. Around 11% of landlords have deplored such a situation at least once in 2 years.
Leaving without paying or with damages left behind
One tenant out of three leaves a unit in an unacceptable condition for the next tenant. In addition, 44% of landlords have had a case of unpaid rent at some point in the past two years when a tenant left. These sad situations should begin to diminish, however, as 21% of landlords collected a security deposit from at least one of their tenants in 2021. The security deposit is legal if it meets certain criteria, as confirmed in 2020 by a court decision obtained by CORPIQ. It is recommended that landlords prepare a report on the state of the premises at the beginning and end of the lease.
Where are my keys ?
It's more common than you might think. One in three landlords have not seen the keys to at least one of their units after the tenant has left. Does he have to duplicate keys or even change the locks? Not an easy thing to do on July 1st when the new tenant wants his keys.
Is a tenant required to declare his new address when he leaves?
Not in Quebec, but since 2020, at least one situation requires it. If the landlord who filed an application with the court had time to notify the tenant before leaving, the tenant is now required by law to declare his or her new address for further proceedings.
The first rent is not even paid...
Although it is unwise, too many landlords still hand over the freshly signed lease to their tenant without demanding the first month's rent. As a result, 11% of landlords say they have had a tenant move in without paying the rent!
Causing damages when moving in
One in three landlords (36%) have witnessed damages done to the unit at least once in the past two years when a new tenant moved in. So it's best to be there to prevent this from happening.
Who is responsible for the electricity?
Since obtaining a favorable court decision in 2015, CORPIQ no longer receives complaints from homeowners who once had to pay $361 plus taxes to Hydro-Québec to have a dwelling reconnected where the electricity had been interrupted. In 2018, Hydro-Quebec released an app that allows landlords to choose in advance whether to shut off or maintain electricity when a tenant leaves, at no cost.
Turning off the water
Before an emergency occurs, landlords should inform their new tenants where the valves are located to shut off the water to the unit. If a pipe or equipment breaks, the damage can become major before the landlord has time to arrive.
Finally, it should be noted that CORPIQ's services, including its telephone lines to speak to a management consultant, will be available on July 1. Contact information is available at www.corpiq.com.