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The lease

A lease is a written rental agreement that outlines the tenant’s and landlord’s obligations. Leases usually expire on June 30 each year.

Your landlord must write your name, address and phone number in the lease. When you sign the lease, your landlord will ask you to pay the first month of rent and provide proof of your ability to pay (letter from an employer, the bank or your old landlord).

Your landlord cannot ask for your social insurance number or for a cash deposit to reserve the apartment. With your consent, the landlord may request a credit check.

Quebec terminology

1 ½, 2 ½, 3 ½, 4 ½ et 5 ½: These refer to the number of rooms in an apartment. The kitchen, living room and bedrooms count as a full room each and the bathroom as a half room.

Furnished or semi-furnished: Basic household appliances (stove and refrigerator) are provided and included in the rent.

Heated or unheated: Whether or not heating costs are included in the rent.

Rent increases

Your landlord must let you know before March 31 if they intend to increase your rent.

Likewise, tenants must tell their landlord before March 31 if they intend to move out. This means you cannot leave your dwelling without giving prior notice.


In Quebec, landlords do not have the right to evict someone from their apartment to perform renovations.

In order to charge more in rent, some landlords will offer tenants money to voluntarily leave so that they can clear the apartment building and perform renovations. In Quebec, this is called a “renoviction.”

With the shortage of affordable housing in the region, if your rent is relatively low, you should beware of renovictions. You might find the money your landlord offers you appealing, but you will likely have a tough time finding a place to rent at a similar price. You might end up paying more than your landlord offers you in the long term.