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  • Writer's pictureMartin B DeBellefeuille

Rent Increase: Refusal - Acceptance - Negotiation

Did you know that you can refuse a rent increase?

The landlord of a residential building in Quebec can annually, usually at the time of lease renewal, proceed with a reasonable increase in the rent amount.

If a landlord wants to increase the rent of their units, they must send a written notice to the tenants clearly indicating one of the following three elements:

  • the new rent amount;

  • the rent increase amount;

  • the percentage of rent increase.

Upon receiving such notice, the tenant then has a one-month period to make one of the following three decisions:

  • they can renew their lease and accept the rent increase;

  • they can choose not to renew their lease and leave the premises at the end of the lease;

  • they can choose to renew their lease while refusing the rent increase proposed by the landlord.

When a tenant refuses a rent increase, the landlord has a few options. First, the landlord and the tenant can negotiate to find an increase that suits both parties.

The landlord must be reasonable in their increase, and the tenant must have reasonable expectations regarding the renewal.

If both parties agree, the lease is renewed at the negotiated new rent amount. Finally, the landlord has a one-month period following the receipt of their tenant's response to make an application to the Rental Board to have the rent fixed.

The landlord and the tenant must then adhere to the rent amount fixed by the Rental Board, regardless of what it is. If the landlord does nothing within the month following their tenant's response, then the lease will be renewed under the same conditions, i.e., without the rent increase.

This procedure also applies to any modification of another condition of the lease that the landlord wishes to implement, such as:

  • a change in payment terms;

  • a modification of services;

  • a new regulation.

Don't hesitate to consult a lawyer specialized in rental law if you have any doubts about the renewal of your lease and the received increases.

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