RÉGIE DU LOGEMENT
Whether you are a landlord or a tenant, we can provide you with legal opinions and represent you. There are many issues pertaining to residential rentals that fall under the jurisdiction of the Régie du logement. Below are a few relevant rules.
The law states that the provisions regarding a residential lease are public and that they cannot be limited by the parties, even in the case of a signed contract. For example, a landlord could only require advance payment of the first month of rent. This legal framework creates both rights and obligations for both tenants and landlords. Failure to comply can lead to a lawsuit before the Régie du logement, which is the only court of first instance having jurisdiction to hear a dispute between a residential tenant and a landlord.
The law also states that the rent must be paid on the first day of each month. Unless stated otherwise, the rent is collected at the tenant’s premises. The payment of the rent represents one of the most important obligations set out in the residential lease. Should the tenant fail to pay, the landlord may file an application with the Régie du logement to get a conviction. If the delay in receiving the rent goes beyond 21 days, the landlord may also request the termination of the lease. The tenant can avoid the termination of the lease by paying, prior to the rendering of the decision, in addition to the owed rent and fees, the interest at a rate established by law.
Frequent delays in paying rent may also bring about consequences for the tenant if such delays cause serious prejudice to the landlord. In the event of a demonstration by a preponderance of these two elements, an administrative judge of the Régie du logement may terminate the lease. The law does, however, allow the judge to order the payment of the rent at a specified date, which is in most cases the date set out in the lease, i.e. the first day of each month. Failure to comply can lead to the termination of the lease if the landlord files another application. The limitation for the order may vary and has already been the object of many debates.
The law stipulates that the tenant has the right to maintain occupancy of the dwelling. A landlord can, however, repossess the dwelling under certain specific conditions. A written notice must be sent to the tenant at least six months prior to the expiry of the lease, if it has a fixed term, or one month prior to the expiry of the lease, if it has a term of six months or less. The tenant can accept or refuse. Should the tenant refuse, the landlord can then refer to the Régie du logement to determine if the request is founded. Should the tenant accept, the court can then impose conditions that it deems fair and reasonable.
The tenant’s behaviour can also have an impact. Indeed, a tenant can become a problem for the dwelling or for the other tenants in the building. For example, a tenant can cause serious prejudice to other tenants due to their behaviour, their lifestyle or the noise they make. In such cases, the landlord can refer to the Régie du logement to have the lease terminated. The other tenants could also have recourse against the landlord for loss of enjoyment and/or against the problematic tenant for neighbourhood disturbance. We can help you determine the best way to deal with a situation of this nature and accompany you to the hearing.
Finally, the law specifically prohibits the harassment of a tenant so as to restrict their right to the peaceful enjoyment of the rented dwelling or to make them leave their dwelling. Of course, harassment is difficult to prove since it is often hidden. This is a situation where it is possible to obtain punitive damages along with common damages.
Many conflicts may arise out of labour standards and workplace health and safety. It is therefore recommended to obtain relevant legal advice and, if necessary, to be represented.
There are many rules regarding labour standards and they apply to practically all types of workers. A conflict of this nature can have serious repercussions on the employer and the employee. Depending on the rule in question, these consequences can be deep and permanent, which is why it is often necessary to evaluate the problem beyond legal matters and to determine the best options available. We accompany employers throughout the process preceding the institution of a measure against a problematic employee and/or after having received a complaint, either before a mediator or a tribunal. We also help employees come to an amicable settlement to their satisfaction. If this is not possible, we then help them find the appropriate resources and accompany them throughout the mediation process.
Legal issues pertaining to health and safety in the workplace can be complex. Furthermore, given our dualistic regime between the employer and the employee, the intervention of medical experts and the possible difficulty in determining if an indemnity is available by virtue of the law, resolving such issues can be arduous. For these reasons, and given the impact a favourable or an unfavourable decision can have, it is important to assemble a complete file so as to maximize chances of success. Let our team help you.
ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNAL OF QUÉBEC
The Administrative Tribunal of Québec is an administrative court that hears the majority of appeals of decisions rendered by administrative bodies. While not as formal the common-law courts, the Administrative Tribunal of Québec does require that a certain form be respected.
Therefore, if you believe that an administrative body has rendered a wrongful decision, this tribunal will be the forum to which you will refer your case to challenge the decision. Since this is not an actual appeal court, the burden of proof required by this tribunal is not as heavy.
However, a complete case must be presented at the hearing since, if the decision rendered is not favourable, the only option left will be to apply for a judicial review, where the burden of proof is very heavy for the applicant, as described below.
Municipal law is another branch of administrative law that covers a wide range of subjects, namely regulations, zoning, and expropriation. We focus our efforts on claims for damages.
Therefore, if you considered that a city or a municipality is liable for damages you suffered, we can provide you with legal advice and represent you, if needed.
Claims for damages usually ensue following a fault committed by a municipality or one of its contractors. Causes for damages can vary, e.g. faulty workmanship or maintenance, erroneous decision, etc.
Municipal law does, however, contain one important exception. The statutory limitation—in other words, the time limit for filing a claim with the municipality or to institute an action—is very short. While under civil law, such statutory limitations are usually established at three years (with some exceptions), under municipal law, they can be as short as six months or less.
For this reason, it is important to act quickly for cases under municipal law, since recourse may be lost due to the passing of time.
APPLICATION FOR JUDICIAL REVIEW
Applications for judicial reviews are, along with applications for an appeal, among the most demanding under civil law, more specifically with regard to the burden of proof and necessary pleadings.
The judicial review is a power of control and of supervision that the Superior Court holds over quasi-judicial tribunals, commonly referred to as administrative tribunals.
This power allows the Superior Court to verify the legality of decisions rendered by these tribunals. However, the control criteria that must be satisfied by the appellant are stricter than those for an appeal of a decision rendered by a common-law tribunal.
Indeed, given that the Superior Court considers that it should not be required to review the decisions rendered by specialized tribunals created by the government for these very purposes, it is almost necessary to prove to the Superior Court that the decision rendered is so far from the applicable law or of the evidence submitted that maintaining the decision would be the equivalent of violating the core principles of justice.
This being said, the control standard of the Superior Court may differ from that of a given tribunal. A tribunal could be entitled to a very high standard of deference, while another could receive a lower one. After having analyzed these elements, the Superior Court will apply the appropriate standard to the decision for which a judicial review has been requested.
Therefore, it is usually necessary to perform a thorough review of the file before submitting an application. It is only after such an analysis that our firm will determine if there is cause or not to proceed with a review.