Modification of a lease

By Me Guy Audet

As a landlord, you sometimes want to modify the conditions stipulated in the lease of your tenant. For example, you can want to take back a parking or a storage space that was used by your tenant.

The question that can be asked is whether or not you can do this and, if you can, under which conditions?

The Régie du logement made a decision regarding those questions (1).

After hearing the tenant’s testimony, the Régie concluded that “[TRANSLATION] according to the circumstances, there is no ground to grant the modification demanded by the landlord for the parking space. The landlord’s mandatory has brought forward lots of hypothetically grounds, but nothing proves that the modification is justified by a reel need of the landlord to immediately take back the parking space.”

About the storage space, the Régie concluded: “[TRANSLATION] that it is not a condition of the lease, but a privilege given by the landlord for a certain amount of time. Distinguishing between a condition and a privilege is a question of facts.” In this case, it was proven that the storage space had not been given during the signature of the lease and that no paying had been planned for it.

The main criteria taken into account by the Régie du logement to allow or not a modification is a tenant’s right to maintain occupancy. For example, a landlord wanting to forbid smoking in an apartment will probably see his demand rejected. Indeed, for a smoker, being able to smoke or not in his apartment is determining in his choice to stay or not in an dwelling.

(1) 9068-5173 Québec Inc. c. Sachs et al. 31- 09519 041 F, 20 mai 2010 (R.L.)

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