Montreal, June 9, 2023 - The Corporation des propriétaires immobiliers du Québec (CORPIQ) welcomes the tabling of Bill 31 by the Minister of Housing, France-Élaine Duranceau, to modernize the rules in the residential rental sector. This bill has been eagerly awaited for several years, as it aims to modify a framework that was essentially designed in the early 1980s. CORPIQ will be conducting a full review of the legislation in preparation for the hearings scheduled in the coming weeks.
Illegal evictions, Section F, assignment of lease: all revised by transferring responsibilities to the landlord
Several provisions of the bill transfer more responsibilities to the landlord, with the aim of freeing the tenant from obligations, to better protect them. This applies in particular to several previously problematic situations: evictions, Section F of the lease and assignment of lease, all of which have been revised in favor of greater clarity and better supervision.
Bill 31 specifically tightens the conditions surrounding illegal evictions by considering a tenant's failure to respond as a refusal, and will reverse the burden of proof, which must now be presented by the landlord in court. The bill clarifies and considerably increases the compensation to be paid to tenants who have to vacate their dwellings. Also, the revised conditions of Section F will ensure greater transparency by forcing the builder or manager of new buildings to include in the lease the maximum rents that can be applied for the first 5 years.
Finally, the bill now allows landlords to release tenants from their obligations if they wish to move out during the term of the lease. The landlord would then have the right to release the tenant by terminating his or her obligations, and the landlord would take responsibility for re-renting the property and finding future tenants.
Section G: A disappointment for CORPIQ
CORPIQ is calling on the legislator to abolish Section G of the lease, as it poses a real challenge to fair negotiation in the residential rental market. Unfortunately, Section G of the lease leads tenants to go back on their decision after agreeing to sign a lease at a certain agreed price, which runs counter to the transparency underlying legal contracts. "It's incomprehensible that a legal document imposed by the government includes a section that invalidates one of the main elements of the lease, the price, which was agreed to by both parties. The Quebec government absolutely must review the provisions of Bill 31 in order to abolish Section G of the rental lease, otherwise it will continue to bog down the Tribunal administratif du logement (TAL) and fuel bad relations between the parties. We need to put an end to this situation, which is causing more problems than solutions to the housing crisis," concluded the CORPIQ representative.
Lack of renovation incentives
In addition, CORPIQ is hoping for a revision of the regulations, in the fall of 2023, on the rate of return for major improvements and the formula for calculating rents at a time when the rental stock is in need of renovation. "This by-law amendment is absolutely necessary to reduce illegal evictions in the context of major renovations," said Marc-André Plante, Director of Public Affairs and Government Relations.
CORPIQ will intervene in the fall to defend its opinions during the parliamentary commission on the bill.
A non-profit organization that brings together 30,000 owners and managers who own close to 600,000 rental units and condos, CORPIQ has been the largest association providing services to homeowners and defending their interests for over 40 years. It serves all regions from four offices with a total of 60 employees. Quebec landlords provide housing for 1.5 million tenant households, and seven out of ten of them own a duplex or triplex.
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Director, Public Affairs and Government Relations - Corporation des propriétaires immobiliers du Québec