Placement of an Application on the Roll
Each application filed with the Régie du logement is assessed by a master of the rolls. The assessment criteria are essentially based on the remedies sought, as well as the objects (conclusions sought) and the reasons set out in the application (grounds for the application).
The master of the rolls determines the time required to hear the application, which varies based on the complexity of the application. During the assessment, the application is also placed in a specific category.
At that time, the applicant’s profile (lessee or lessor) is not taken into consideration.
There are five categories of hearings:
- non-payment of rent;
- rent fixing or revision;
- urgent civil cases;
- priority civil cases;
- general civil cases.
The non-payment of rent category is comprised of applications for the resiliation of a lease following failure to pay the rent.
Rent fixing or revision involves applications concerning annual rent increases.
Urgent civil cases involve evictions, lease assignments and orders for execution of the obligations of a party to the lease. This category also includes applications for the repossession of a dwelling or eviction of a lessee who is 60 years of age or over.
Priority civil cases involve applications for the resiliation of a lease for reasons other than non-payment of rent.
General civil cases concern disputes that do not involve the occupation of the dwelling (e.g. damages or a rent reduction).
In assessing an application, if the reasons given involve risks to the occupants’ health or safety, the master of the rolls systematically considers such applications as urgent civil cases.
The party’s reasons should, therefore, be clearly set out in the application, since the master of the roll relies on the form in assessing each application. If no health or safety issues are spelled out, none will be considered by the master of the rolls in determining the category to which the case belongs.
Once an application has been filed, an amendment must be filed in order for the master of the rolls to consider any changes to the initial situation. In such cases, the master of the rolls reassesses the case, which may result in it being moved to a category that is processed more quickly.
First arrived, first served
The time required to obtain an initial hearing varies, depending on the category. As number of factors result in the first-come, first-served rule not being applied systematically.
Here are a few examples:
- The estimated time required to hear an application can influence the date on which it is entered on the roll. A roll is a half-day period during which applications are scheduled to be heard. Some rolls may include 30 applications, others a single application. An application may be selected from a waiting list because of its short duration, in order to fill a time slot in a half-day roll. An application that requires a short hearing (e.g. half an hour), may be selected before an application that requires more time (e.g. an hour and a half).
- The parties involved in an application can also affect when it is placed on the roll. The same parties may be involved in a number of different applications. Applications involving the same parties may therefore be placed on the same roll for the sake of efficiency. In such situations, the applications may not be scheduled chronologically.
- Such arrangements can either accelerate or delay the placement on the roll, for example, applications involving the fixing of rent, when several applications concern the same building. In such situations, all the applications that concern the same building are often heard together, so that any common evidence can be examined at the same time. The order in which the applications were filed would not necessarily be followed.
- The place where the hearing is located can also influence the order of placement on the roll. In order to make the most of a commissioner’s or special clerk’s trip to a regional office, rolls may be planned in order to deal with the pending applications in that office, or at least hear as many applications as possible during that trip. In such situations, a specific application may be heard within a shorter time period than usual.