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Know your rights when it comes to lease renewals, say Montreal officials


Lease renewal season is upon us, and municipal officials want tenants to know their rights.

The City of Montreal is launching its annual awareness campaign Wednesday.

"Our administration is, of course, preoccupied by all the aspects right now of the housing crisis," said Benoit Dorais, Montreal's executive committee vice-chairperson.

According to the law, landlords have three to six months before the end of a lease to give tenants written notice of a price increase.

This year, Quebec's housing tribunal estimates landlords could raise rent in unheated dwellings by four per cent -- the highest in three decades.

"Tenants can negotiate with the landlord if they think that the increase of the lease is too high," said Dorais, adding Montrealers can ask for help contesting a rent increase by calling the city or contacting their local tenants' association.

"Tenants have the right to refuse the condition, the increase, and stay in the apartment," explains Catherine Lussier, who works with housing advocacy group FRAPRU. "Then the landlord has to go to the tribunal administrative housing court to justify the increase that he's asking."

She says landlords are allowed to factor in tax increases and repairs, so rent hikes could be between six to 10 per cent.

"When we consider the repairs, it's ones that have been done the year before, so in this case, 2023," said Lussier.

If tenants choose to contest a rent increase, Lussier says a response must be given in writing and sent by registered mail.

"It is important for tenants to answer because if they don't answer or give any answer in 30 days, or a month after they received the letter, then they will be considered that they accepted the condition," she told CTV News.

Rent increase notices for leases ending on June 30 must be sent by March 31.

More information is available on the city's website. Top Stories

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