Understanding your Lease

Lease, renting, apartment hunting, akelius

Apartment searching season has begun. When you finally find the rare gem you’ve been looking for, it’ll be time to sign the lease. Whether it’s your first apartment or third, it is always important that you fully understand your lease. As we know, documents written in a professional and legal tone can sometimes seem complicated or get confusing, which is why we have dissected it into sections for you to easily comprehend.

What does your lease consist of?

The lease is a legal document that binds you to the owner of the dwelling for the entire period that is stated, so be sure to read it in full before putting your name on the dotted line! Educaloi defines the lease as follows:

“The lease is a residential contract between the tenant and the landlord. The final undertakes by the lease, by the payment of the rent, is to offer the peaceful enjoyment of the rented place.”

In Quebec, since September 1, 1996, the use of an official lease form provided by the Regie du Logement is mandatory. This allows for uniformity between leases from on apartment to another and ensures that all legal clauses are listed. Furthermore, in Quebec, the lease must be drafted in French unless there is an agreement between the two parties to translate it into another language.

Mandatory Sections

Items that must be in your lease are the terms of payment, the amount of payment and the work to be done in the apartment, if there is any. It is also important to indicate the clauses of use of the locations. It is in this section that it must be indicated if you are entitled to a parking space or not, but also if the owner provides furniture or appliances in the apartment.

As well, the rules of the building must be given to the tenant at the same time as the lease.

The Rent

The rent is set for the duration of the lease, which is usually a 12-month period. This price cannot be changed during the contract. However, when renewing the lease, the landlord may request an increase in rent, but it must be fair and reasonable. The Regie du Logement provides tenants and landlords with calculation tools for determining the rent increase based on the following costs: building and unit repairs, maintenance, management, staff, occupancy, insurance, energy type and consumption, municipal property and school taxes, as well as other operating expenses.

Credit Check

An audit of your credit can be done before the lease is signed. Know that little information is needed for a credit bureau to know your payment habits. The landlord must first ask for your consent, then he will need your name, address and date of birth to continue. If the landlord asks for your social insurance number, know that this is completely optional, and that he cannot force you to provide it.

Now that you have a good understanding of your lease, remember that a paper version of the lease must be given to you by the landlord and that it is important to keep it for the duration of the lease. The lease is automatically extended from one year to the next unless written notice indicating you do not wish to renew is sent to the owner within 3 to 6 months before the end of your lease.

We’re hoping after reading this that you now understand your lease. At Akelius, we are very familiar with this type of legal document. Don’t hesitate to ask any questions you might have before signing your lease and it will be our pleasure to provide you with the answers you’re looking for. Are you still looking to rent your next apartment? See our available locations here!


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