Summaries of decisions

Condition of the dwelling

The Régie makes summaries of decisions on various topics available to you.

That tool could be useful to prepare your application or as part of a conciliation session. For example, it could help you estimate the amount of damages to which you are entitled or the nature of the orders likely to be issued by the tribunal.

Warning

The following examples of judgements are provided for information purposes only.

Several factors can influence a judge’s decision. For example, a clause provided for in the lease, the relevance and quality of the evidence provided, etc. In summary, each case is different and each decision depends on the evidence submitted to the tribunal.

Issue

Excessive humidity

Unpleasant odour

Mold in dwelling

Harassment

Summary of the application

The lessee seeks:

  • 50% rent reduction
  • $465 in damages
  • $7,500 in moral damages
  • $5,000 in punitive damages for harassment
Outcome

The administrative judge awards the lessee:

  • $570, representing a 40% rent reduction for the period between November 1, 2015, and January 31, 2016
  • $1,500 in moral damages
  • $2,000 in punitive damages
Reasons

The lessee suffered an allergic rhinitis, with headaches and dizziness.

The lessee suffered a loss of actual, serious and substantial enjoyment of the premises.

As a result of this situation, the lessee had difficulty concentrating and trouble sleeping.

The lessor harassed the lessee for him to leave the dwelling.

Full judgment

Rajab c. Miron (February 20, 2019)

 

Issue

Major construction work to add a 5-storey wing to a residence for the elderly

Summary of the application

Lessees seek:

  • $73,381 in rent reduction, material damages, moral damages and punitive damages
Outcome

The administrative judge awards the lessees:

  • $13,500 in rent reduction
  • $10,000 in damages for cleaning the dwelling, trouble and inconvenience, stress, purchase of tissue and meals, travel and cleaning of furniture
Reasons

Inaction on the part of the owner for about 13 ½ months.

Unbearable noises starting early in the morning.

High vibrations.

Dust.

Full judgment

Richard c. 9181-1430 Québec inc. (January 16, 2019)

 

Issue

Carrying out major work in the dwelling

Temporary evacuation of the premises

Summary of the application

Lessees seek:

  • $1,802 in rent reduction, material damages and moral damages
Outcome

The administrative judge awards the lessees:

  • $423 for accomodation costs
  • $175 for food
  • $250 for transportation costs
  • $100 in rent reduction
  • $200 in moral damages
Reasons

Dwelling uninhabitable due to thick dust in all the rooms.

Lessees are within their rights not to return to their accomodation.

Failure to comply with the obligations to maintain the dwelling in a good habitable condition and to restore it to a good state of cleanliness after the completion of repair work.

Full judgment

Seignon c. Dumais (January 16, 2019)

 

Issue

Work in the building

Expansion and construction of another dwelling unit

Summary of the application

The lessee seeks a 20% rent reduction.

(monthly rent is $505)

Outcome

The administrative judge awards the lessee:

  • $870 in rent reduction, i.e. $30 per month
Reasons

Lessee was deprived of free and safe access to her balcony and a part of her shed for 29 months.

Full judgment

St-Jacques c. Tran (December 18, 2018)

 

Issue

Presence of rats and mice in the dwelling

Summary of the application

Lessees seek:

  • resiliation of the lease
  • $3,000 in material damages
  • $1,000 in moral damages
Outcome

The administrative judge declares the lease resiliated and awards the lessees:

  • $340 for moving and travel expenses to find a new dwelling
  • $50 for cleaning of the dwelling
  • $800 for trouble and inconvenience suffered
Reasons

The condition of the dwelling (presence of rats and mice) constituted a serious threat to the health and safety of the occupants of the dwelling.

The dwelling was unfit for habitation.

The abandonment of the dwelling was justified.

Full judgment

Mabrouki c. Assad (December 18, 2018)

 

Issue

Infestation of cockroaches

Noise caused by a neighbour

Summary of the application

The lessee seeks:

  • 50% rent reduction per month
  • $5,000 in moral damages

(subsidized monthly rent is $293)

Outcome

The administrative judge awards the lessee:

  • 3% rent reduction for the presence of cockroaches
  • 10% rent reduction for noise from the neighbouring dwelling
  • $500 in moral damages
Reasons

The lessor must, within a reasonable time, take action to eliminate cockroaches in the building.

Calling an exterminator is not enough if the problem recurs systematically.

The lessor must then take more effective measures to solve the problem.

The lessor has not sent a formal notice to the lessees who are making noise, despite the lessee's numerous complaints.

Full judgment

Sugisaka c. Freundlich (November 21, 2018)

 

Issue

Water damage

Installation of a washing machine

Failure to return waste pipe to the valve

Summary of the application

Lessors seek:

  • $2,733 in damages, in legal fees and expenses
Outcome

The administrative judge awards the lessors:

  • $2,500, which is the deductible they had to pay to benefit from their insurance coverage
Reasons

Lessees were negligent when installing their washing machine.

This is not superior force.

They are responsible for the water damage.

Full judgment

Benoit c. Deshaies (November 6, 2018)

 

Issue

Presence of cockroaches

Worn floor in the kitchen

Summary of the application

The lessee seeks:

  • 30% rent reduction per month
  • $2,500 in moral damages
  • that the lessor be ordered to exterminate cockroaches and perform certain work

(monthly rent is $241)

Outcome

The administrative judge awards the lessee:

  • 30% rent reduction
  • $2,500 in moral damages
Reasons

The lessor has requested the services of the exterminators on several occasions to eradicate the cockroaches infestation, without success.

The lessor did not take the necessary steps to ensure that all the other lessees in the dwelling comply with the guidelines for cleaning their dwelling, to yield maximum effect from an extermination treatment for the entire building.

The condition of the kitchen floor is the result of a lack of maintenance by the lessee.

Full judgment

Laroche c. SHDM (November 5, 2018)

 

Issue

Heating

Minimum ambient temperature threshold

Removal of a parking space

Summary of the application

The lessee seeks:

  • that the lessor be ordered to repair or replace the heating system
  • rent reduction
  • $5,000 in moral damages

(monthly rent is $715)

Outcome

The administrative judge awards the lessee:

  • 1 ) For the heating problem
    • $1,200 in rent reduction
    • $2,000 in moral damages

     

  • 2 ) For the removal of a parking space
    • $120 for this loss in rental value
    • $300 for trouble and inconvenience
Reasons

The Règlement sur le logement of the Ville de Montréal requires the owner to have a permanent heating system that ensures a minimum temperature of 21 degrees Celsius.

On every cold winter days, the temperature of a dwelling may drop by a few degrees while the heating system struggles to maintain the required temperature. This situation must be of short duration and the temperature must not reach an unreasonable level.

Full judgment

Moudji c. Saviolakis* (November 2, 2018)

* Application for revocation of judgment dismissed

 

Issue

Overcrowded dwelling

Uncleanliness

Excessive noise

Summary of the application

The lessor seeks:

  • resiliation of the lease
Outcome

The lease is resiliated.

Reasons

The risk of fire or contamination is increased due to the crowded condition of the dwelling, which threatens the safety of the building's occupants.

The lessee disrupts the peaceful enjoyment of the premises by constantly playing her radio, day and night, at a very high volume.

Full judgment

Habitat Métis du Nord c. Béland (April 11, 2019)

 

Issue

Cockroaches and bedbugs in the dwelling

Heating failure

Defects in the dwelling

Summary of the application

The lessee seeks:

  • the resiliation of the lease retroactively to March 1, 2018
  • $3200 in rent reduction for the period from July 1, 2017 to February 28, 2018 (i.e. $400 per month or 57% of the rent)
  • $2800 in rent reduction for the period from March 1, 2018 to June 30, 2018 (i.e. $700 per month or 100% of the rent)
  • $10 000 in moral damages
  • $6124 in material damages
  • $30 000 in punitive damages

(monthly rent is $700)

Outcome

The lease is resiliated on March 1, 2018.

The Régie grants the lessee:

  • $1680 in rent reduction from July 2017 to February 2018 (representing 35% of the monthly rent)
  • $1120 in rent reduction from March to June 2018 (representing 40% of the monthly rent)
  • $8000 in moral damages
  • $624 in material damages
  • $8000 in punitive damages
Reasons

The lessor could not ignore the cockroach and bedbug problem in the building.

At the time the lease was signed, the lessor had an obligation to inform the lessees that there were cockroaches and bedbugs in the building.

The extent of the infestation and the lessor’s inaction in resolving that problem disqualify the habitability of the dwelling and cause the lessee serious prejudice.

The lessee is not entitled to the full amount of the rent, since the lessee lived in the dwelling and the dwelling was not declared unfit for habitation.

The intentional and malicious behaviour on the part of the lessor’s employees (formal notice sent to the lessee by mistake, heating failure, disrespectful behaviour) justifies the awarding of punitive damages.

The amount of punitive damages awarded must reflect the financial capacity of the person who commits the prejudice, to avoid sending the message that one can violate another person’s fundamental rights with little consequence.

Full judgment

Lumande c. Raamco International Properties Canadian Ltd. (June 25, 2019)

 

Issue

Dwelling unfit for habitation

Mould

Necessary repairs

Summary of the application

The lessees seek:

  • the resiliation of the lease
  • $10 060 in rent reduction (50% from April to December 2015)
  • $10 000 in moral damages
  • $28 201 in material damages
  • $804 in expert fees
  • $258 for attendance before the tribunal

(monthly rent is $2500)

The lessors seek:

  • $7500 in lost rent (3 months)
  • $16 500 in material damages
Outcome

The lease is resiliated.

The Régie grants the lessees:

  • $10 060 in rent reduction
  • $8000 in moral damages
  • $1171 in material damages

The lessors’ application is dismissed.

Reasons

To establish that a dwelling is unfit for habitation, the evidence of contamination must be based on objective criteria; the contamination and its extent must be identified.

An inspection of the house revealed the presence of highly toxic mould.

Vacating the premises was justified.

The symptoms experienced by the occupants (nose and throat irritation, sinusitis, loss of voice, coughing and mucus buildup, etc.) are directly related to the condition of the dwelling.

The evidence shows a significant and substantial loss of enjoyment of the premises for the lessees (water infiltrations in the basement, hole in the living room ceiling, condition of the patio wooden boards, unusable swimming pool, cluttered storage spaces).

Full judgment

Lemay c. Fernie (June 19, 2018)

 

Issue

Cockroach and mouse infestation

Intense heat in the children’s bedroom

No screens in the windows of the dwelling

The lessor’s negligence in resolving the problems

Summary of the application

The lessees seek:

  • the specific performance of the lessors’ obligations
  • a 50% rent reduction as of March 2017
  • $2000 in moral damages

(monthly rent is $765)

Outcome

The Régie grants:

  • $2100 in rent reduction
  • $1500 in moral damages
Reasons

Genuine, serious, significant and substantial loss of enjoyment.

The lessor showed little concern for the problems experienced by the lessees and did not follow the recommendations of the exterminator.

Full judgment

Bouzidi c. 9291-5370 Québec inc. (June 19, 2018)

 

Issue

The lessee fell down the stairs in her dwelling.

She was injured when she fell on her back.

Summary of the application

The lessee applies for moral and material damages in the amount of $84,999.99.

Outcome

The Régie awards the lessee:

  • $1,000 for the medical expert evidence
  • $2,000 for moral damages
  • $350 for material damages

for a total of $3,350, i.e. $1,675 after apportioning liability between the parties.

Reasons

Lessors must deliver a dwelling in a good state of repair and habitable condition, provide the lessee with the peaceful enjoyment of this dwelling and carry out maintenance repairs.

The lessors failed to install a hand rail on the stairs.

At the time of the accident, the lessee was barefoot and answered the door quickly.

Having moved into the dwelling only the day before, the lessee should have acted in a prudent and diligent manner, which she did not do.

Liability for the accident is shared equally between the lessors and the lessee.

The Régie must assess the direct and immediate nature of the damage in question.

Full judgment

Moses c. Chagnon (June 11, 2019)

 

Issue

Bedbugs

Dwelling that is unfit for habitation

Lessees left the dwelling before the end of the lease without paying the rent.

Summary of the application

The lessees apply for:

  • resiliation of the lease
  • $6,262 in moral and material damages

The lessor applies for:

  • resiliation of the lease
  • $750 in recovery of unpaid rent (month of August)
  • $3,750 in damages and re-rental indemnity (representing 5 months’ rent)

(monthly rent is $750)

Outcome

The Régie awards the lessor:

  • $2,250, which represents 3 months’ rent

The lease is resiliated due to the fault of the lessees, because they left the dwelling unlawfully.

Reasons

The concept of “serious danger to the health or safety” (art. 1913 C.C.Q.) is not assessed according to each person’s particular sensitivity, whether physically or psychologically.

The standard is whether, objectively, an ordinary person can live in the conditions like those described at the hearing.

To establish that a dwelling is unfit for habitation, the lessees must prove that:

  1. the problems are related to the thing rented or in the building in general
  2. they complained to the lessor
  3. the lessor failed to perform his obligations
  4. their departure was justified because the dwelling was unfit for habitation and, if the occupants’ health is in danger, medical proof is required
  5. a causal connection between the condition of the dwelling and the damages claimed

The presence of bedbugs, even in large quantity (which is not the case here), does not make the dwelling unfit for habitation.

The lessor was diligent in managing the crisis and took all the necessary steps to contain the proliferation of the insect.

The resiliation of the lease due to the fault of a lessee does not terminate the obligation to pay the agreed rent for the entire term of the lease.

The lessor must establish that he took steps to rent the dwelling again to reduce his damages.

Full judgment

Chabot-Fournier c. Gagné (April 25, 2019)

 

Issue

Vermin

The lessor received a security deposit upon the signing of the lease.

Summary of the application

The lessees apply for:

  • authorization to deposit the rent at the Régie
  • a monthly rent reduction of $600 as of July 1, 2018
  • $800 each in damages for trouble and inconvenience, for a total of $2,400
  • reimbursement of the security deposit of $1,250
  • resiliation of the lease

(monthly rent is $1,250)

Outcome

The Régie awards the lessees:

  • a rent reduction of $150 as of March 1, 2019 (date of the formal notice), for a total of $750
  • $500 each in damages for trouble and inconvenience, for a total of $2,000
  • $1,250 for the reimbursement of the security deposit

The lease is resiliated due to the lessor’s fault.

Reasons

The lessees suffered a real, serious and substantial loss of use of the premises due to the presence of mice and rats in their dwelling soon after they moved in.

The presence of mice and rats in the dwelling has persisted for ten months and only three extermination operations have been carried out.

The lessees suffer serious prejudice.

Article 1904 C.C.Q. prohibits a lessor from claiming any deposit whatsoever, except the rent for the first month of the lease.

Full judgment

Lahlou c. Drouin (July 26, 2019)

 

Issue

Major construction work in the neighbouring building

Summary of the application

The lessees apply for:

  • a 30% reduction in the monthly rent
  • $1,500 for moral damages
  • $900 for material damage (heating costs)
  • resiliation of the lease as of March 31, 2017
  • $1,350 for reimbursement of the rent paid for April 2017

The lessor applies for:

  • $2,700 in rent recovery (May and June 2017)

(monthly rent is $1,350)

Outcome

The Régie awards the lessees:

  • $2,430, i.e., a 30% rent reduction from November 2016 to April 2017

In view of the notice of abandonment of the dwelling given to the lessor, the lease is resiliated as of May 1, 2017.

Reasons

Construction began in October 2016 and was not yet complete when the lessees vacated the dwelling on April 30, 2017.

Work started early in the morning and continued until 8:00 p.m. during the week and until 6:00 p.m. on the weekend.

Major work reduced the lessees’ peaceful enjoyment of the premises throughout the entire period.

Full judgment

Lefoulon c. Blagojevic (July 11, 2019)

 

Issue

Water quality in the dwelling

Loss of enjoyment of the premises

Summary of the application

The lessee appeals the decision of the Régie du logement granting in part her application for rent reduction.

Outcome

The appeal is dismissed.

Reasons

An appeal against a decision should not seek to obtain a second opinion on the assessment of the evidence made by the tribunal of first instance.

The tribunal of first instance rendered a reasonable decision in concluding that the fact that the lessee had to run the tap water for approximately five minutes before the water ran clear every time she used it did not result in any actual, serious, significant or substantial loss of enjoyment of the leased premises.

The reports filed by the City of Montreal confirm that the water meets the standards of the Regulation respecting the quality of drinking water and that it is safe for consumption.

Full judgment

Ming c. Cromwell* (June 11, 2019)

* Application for leave to appeal dismissed and Application for judicial review

 

Issue

Lease of a room in a residence for independent or semi-independent persons

General uncleanliness of the dwelling

Foul odour

Lessee’s poor hygiene

Lack of cooperation from the lessee to remedy the situation

Summary of the application

The lessor applies for the resiliation of the lease.

Outcome

The lease is resiliated.

Reasons

The lessee has the obligation to maintain his dwelling in clean condition and not to breach statutory requirements for the safety and sanitation of the leased premises.

The lessee also has the obligation to use the dwelling with prudence and diligence.

The lessee’s room is dirty (presence of excrement) and cluttered.

The lessee no longer has sufficient autonomy to apply the most basic care and hygiene to himself and his dwelling.

Due to his poor hygiene, the lessee compromises the quality of life of the other lessees and occupants of the building who have to share common areas with him.

Full judgment

Résidence Les Jardins Gordon c. R.C. (August 6, 2019)

 

Issue

Water infiltrations

Air quality

Fungal contamination

Lessor’s inaction

Abandoning a dwelling

Summary of the application

The lessees apply for:

  • resiliation of the lease
  • rent reduction of $2,050
  • damages
  • moral damages of $5,000, i.e. $2,500 to each of them

(monthly rent is $625)

Outcome

The Régie awards the lessees:

  • $1,500 in rent reduction
  • $1,347 for the difference between the rent for their new dwelling and the rent charged for the dwelling in question
  • $1,141 for their moving expenses
  • $313 in damages
  • $1,500 to each of them in moral damages

The lease is resiliated retroactively due to the lessor’s failures.

Reasons

The lessees informed the lessor of their concerns about the impact of the air quality in the dwelling on their health issues. The lessor needed to act, which he has not done.

An air quality report found fungal contamination and medical reports link it to the state of the lessees’ health.

The lessees suffered a reduction in the enjoyment of their dwelling due to the water damage and fungal contamination.

As the dwelling was unfit for habitation, they were able to leave the premises.

Full judgment

Martin c. Lavoie (December 19, 2019)

 

Issue

Water heater

Water damage

Repair work

Summary of the application

The lessees apply for:

  • 30% rent reduction, for a total of $2,025
  • $350 in material damages
  • $6,500 in moral damages

(the monthly rent was $1,100 from July 1, 2016, to June 30, 2017, and $1,125 the following year)

Outcome

The Régie awards the lessees:

  • $2,025 in rent reduction
  • $1,500 in moral damages
Reasons

The water heater of the lessees’ neighbour broke, causing water to infiltrate their dwelling.

Given that the water heater had exceeded its useful life, this incident was foreseeable.

From June to mid-October 2018, the lessees lived in a dwelling with open ceilings in the kitchen and hallway, with paint flaking in places to the point where plasterboard was falling to the floor.

Repair work began more than four months after the incident occurred, which is an unreasonable delay.

Full judgment

Klitbo c. Aubé (January 21, 2020)

 

Issue

Sink

Foul odour

Necessary repairs

Harassment

Summary of the application

The lessee applies for:

  • monthly rent reduction of $200
  • damages
  • moral damages ($5,000)
  • punitive damage ($3,500)

(monthly rent is $580)

Outcome

The Régie awards the lessee:

  • 10% rent reduction retroactive to October 13, 2018 (i.e. $812), and in effect until the kitchen sink is repaired
  • $2,000 in moral damages
  • $1,500 in punitive damages

The lessor is also ordered to take all necessary steps to ensure that the drain in the lessee’s kitchen sink functions properly and that foul odours stop coming out of it.

Finally, the lessor must cease harassing the lessee.

Reasons

The sink in the lessee’s kitchen has been clogged for a long time, releasing foul odours into the room.

The lessor did not explain his inaction.

He does everything in his power to ensure that the lessee cannot peacefully enjoy the dwelling and that he leaves it prematurely.

The lessor has repeatedly harassed the lessee.

Full judgment

Chaib c. Del Duca (January 21, 2020)

Note to reader: The above examples of decisions were selected and summarized by SOQUIJ. In rare instances, they may have been appealed from before a higher court. If you wish to cite one of those judgments before a tribunal, it is recommended that you check the plumitif of the courthouse in question.

Continue searching

If need be, you can consult other decisions with regard to dwelling leases by using the search engine (in French only) available free of charge on the SOQUIJ website. For best results, simply select a tribunal (e.g. Régie du logement), and enter French key words such as “bruit” (noise), “moisissure” (mould), “zoothérapie” (animal therapy), “résiliation” (resiliation), “expulsion” (eviction), etc.