Lease Assignment and the Grounds for Refusal

Lease Assignment and the Grounds for Refusal

(*important – please note that some of the dispositions have changed since the adoption of Bill 31 on February 21, 2024 – see our article Projet de loi 31 et moratoire)


You are receiving more and more notices of assingment of lease in the course of your daily managment. The question at hand is to know the legal grounds on which they can be refused.

In a case, Desrochers v. Courville(1), an interesting decision was rendered by the Régie du logement in favor of landlords. This particular situation involved two parties, whereby one party had taken out a lease from July 1st 2009 to June 30th 2010. Rent was 520.00 $ monthly.

On June 9th 2009, the tenant submitted a notice for the assignment of her lease to the landlord, proposing two candidates. Upon receiving the notice, the landlord carefully studied both the personal and financial situations of the potential tenants. At the time, one of them had a temporary job and was about to become a teacher-in-training. His income was deemed insufficient by the landlord. Regarding the second candidate, in addition to filing for bankruptcy in December 2008, he had an ongoing lease with another landlord until June 30th 2010. In her letter written on June 17th 2009, the landlord refused the assignment of both candidates because their credit was deemed inadequate, leaving them incapable of paying the rent with their joint income.

Following the landlord’s refusal, the tenant sent a new notice for the assignment of her lease on June 22nd 2009 in favor of another possible candidate. The landlord refused yet again the proposed assignment because this person had an income of only 750.00 $ per month. The landlord claimed these funds to be insufficient in order to cover the rent plus the heating, electricity and other fees related to the apartment. She had evaluated these costs at approximately 700.00 $ per month.

The Court, after consulting the jurisprudence, decided that a landlord’s refusal can justifiably be based on such factors as a candidate’s capacity to pay, on their insolvency or on their failure to conform themselves to certain lease obligations.

(1) Desrochers c. Courville, R.L. 27 090622 006 G, le 13 août 2009

Partager cette chronique