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06 June 2012

Subletting is a good solution when you must leave your housing temporarily. Example: if you're seeking to travel for several months or leaving for study or work temporarily in another city, you sublet your housing to another person which prevents you from having to pay two places at the same time.

According to the law, there's three exceptions to your right to sublet your housing:

If you are student and are renting a room in a school establishment,

If the housing is the family residence, you cannot sublet it without the written assent of your spouse.

Excluding exceptions, subletting is seldom allowed if you live in a housing co-operative or in an OSBL (a not-for-profit organization).

As a sub-lessor, you have obligations. You play the part of “owner” for your subtenant.

You must deliver the housing in good condition of habitability and of any kind of repair, and you must provide the enjoyment of the premises. For example, in the event of repairs that are delayed, the subtenant could take recourse against you. It is up to you then to force the owner to respect his obligations towards you.

When you have found the future subtenant, make a written agreement (you can use the form of lease of the Régie du logement by indicating sub-lessor and sub-tenant instead of owner and tenant) with this person and register all the principal obligations which you must respect towards the owner (e.g.: snow removal, etc…) Always keep in mind that with subletting you remain fully responsible for all the obligations of the original lease. The subtenant is entitled to a copy of the lease of sub-renting as well as to a copy of the regulations of the building if it's necessary. Remember that you cannot grant to the sub-tenant rights that you do not have yourself (e.g.: animals, carry out constructions or exceed the duration of the original lease).

Therefore, you must forward a notice of sub-renting to your owner. This notice must include the name of the sub-tenant, his/her address as well as at what time the sub-letting will be effective. It is always better to forward this notice by registered mail with acknowledgement of delivery because the owner has 15 days as from the reception of the notice to accept or refuse the sub-letting. He cannot however refuse without serious reasons. For instance: incapacity to pay, behavioural disorders, etc… If the owner does not answer within the 15 days following the reception of the notice, that automatically means that he accepts.

The owner can ask for the cancellation of the subletting when the sub-tenant caused himself a serious damage or harms the other tenants of the building.

If you choose not to renew the original lease, you must, within the set deadline, deliver a notice of non-renewal to the owner. If the sub-tenant wishes to remain in the housing, he will then be able to try to conclude a new lease directly with the owner.

Copyright Association des Propriétaires du Québec (APQ)