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Photo: James Morgan

Québec landlord-tenant tribunal to begin hearings again

Québec Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Andrée Laforest has announced that hearings before the Régie du logement, which is Québec’s rental housing tribunal, will resume as of June 1.

The announcement follows an earlier one by Québec Minister of Justice, Sonia Lebel that several Québec administrative tribunals, including the Régie du logement, will gradually resume their activities.

This recovery will be done in compliance with the health rules issued by the Department of Public Health.

Thus, the 35 courtrooms and other premises of the Régie du logement have been fully refurbished in recent weeks, in order to meet the recommendations. Starting next week, all types of requests will be heard by the Régie du logement. The use of technological means will however be favored when the circumstances allow it and the in-person hearings will continue to be held in-camera.

The effects of any decision of the Régie du logement or any judgment of a court authorizing the repossession of a dwelling or the eviction of the tenant of a dwelling remain suspended for the moment. The same applies to the effects of any decision or judgment ordering the eviction of the tenant or occupant of an accommodation unless the accommodation has been re-let by the landlord before March 17, 2020, and this suspension prevents the new tenant from taking possession of the premises.

The gradual lifting of this measure is set for July 6, 2020 for decisions made before March 1, 2020, and July 20, 2020 for decisions made after March 1, 2020.

Until then, the Régie du logement or a court may, on request, and when exceptional circumstances justify it, order the execution of one of its decisions or one of its judgments despite this suspension.

“Despite the pandemic, it is important for our government to respect the rights of tenants and landlords. The gradual resumption of activities will be done in compliance with the health guidelines established by Public Health and the use of technology will be preferred when possible. In closing, I would remind you that we have put measures in place to help Quebec households: they can get an interest-free loan to pay their rent. They may also receive financial assistance for temporary accommodation,” said Laforest.

Financial assistance program for tenants to pay their rent:

http://www.habitation.gouv.qc.ca/programme/programme/programme_daide_financiere_aux_locataire_pour_le_paiement_de_leur_loyer_dans_le_cadre_de_la_pandem.html

Financial support for households awaiting their residence:

http://www.habitation.gouv.qc.ca/programme/programme/soutien_financier_pour_les_menages_en_attente_de_leur_residence_propriete_ou_logement.html

Régie du logement website: www.rdl.gouv.qc.ca