Tenant Insurance Series: The tenant’s obligations
A residential lease is a contract concluded between a landlord and a tenant. By signing a lease, the tenant and landlord enter into a legal relationship in which they both have rights and obligations.
Here are the main obligations of the tenant:
- To pay the agreed rent on the agreed date
The tenant’s principal obligation is to pay the rent as agreed in the lease. Payment must be made in full and on time. A tenant may pay by cash, certified cheque, money order (postal or bank) or bank draft. Most landlords will accept regular cheques, but be aware that they are not obliged by law to do so.
- To use the dwelling with prudence and diligence
The tenant must use the dwelling in a responsible and reasonable manner. In case of defects, deterioration or breakage inside the dwelling, the tenant must repair the damage and/or inform the landlord within a reasonable time so that the problem does not worsen.
- Not to change the form or destination of the dwelling
The tenant cannot change the form of the dwelling, such as demolishing a wall or building one up. Similarly, an apartment cannot be used for commercial purposes, unless the landlord has agreed and it is clearly stated in the lease.
- To maintain the dwelling in clean condition
The dwelling must be clean, safe and secure. The tenant is also required to carry out minor maintenance such as filling a hole that was made for hanging a frame.
- Not to disturb the normal enjoyment of other tenants
Every occupant of a building has the right to peaceful enjoyment of the premises. A tenant, and all persons who have access to the dwelling, must act so as not to disturb the peace of other tenants, particularly with respect to noise.
- To allow the landlord to verify the condition of the dwelling
Tenants must allow access to the dwelling for inspection, visits by potential buyers or tenants, and for repairs to be made.
- To return the dwelling to its initial state
At the end of the lease, tenants must leave the dwelling in the condition in which they received it. They must also remove all additional furniture and personal effects to ensure the premises are completely empty on the date indicated in the lease.
To avoid disputes or misunderstandings, the Régie du logement has imposed a mandatory lease form. This form must be used for any residential lease whether it is a room, an apartment, a condominium, or even a house. The lease must be written in French, unless the tenant and landlord have both agreed on the use of another language.