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Repossession of residential apartments for family members


Family law, Civil and commercial litigation


George, from Chomedey, writes :

"Since January 2010, I am the owner of a triplex in Laval. The triplex was built in 2005. When I purchased it, two out of the three units were already leased, and had been for numerous prior years. Regarding the third unit, which had been somewhat more difficult to lease according the previous owner, I managed to lease it in February 2010. I made a verbal lease with my brother’s friend, Chris, for $600.00 per month, without any formal, written document. Also, no duration was ever determined between us. Chris lives in a 650 square foot unit, but uses 150 square feet of it to run his small internet business.

I would now like to repossess the unit, for my son’s use. My son is financially autonomous and would like to move in as soon as possible. Can I take back the unit, and if so, when can it be done?

Also, I was told that should I ask to repossess the unit, I will have to pay Chris a monetary compensation, representing 3 months’ worth of rent, as well as other amounts. Is that so?"

Your Rights as an Owner

Dear George,

We are dealing here with special rules respecting leases of dwellings, provided by the Civil Code of Québec. Section 1957 of the code provides that, since you are the owner and lessor of the dwelling, you may repossess the unit as a residence for yourself or for any parent or child, or a relative or person connected to you by marriage or civil union, of whom you are the main support.

Furthermore, you can, in fact, repossess your unit for your son’s use, by sending Chris a notice, 6 month’s prior to your son’s move, according to section 1960 of the Civil Code of Quebec, since your lease if of an indeterminate term.

Regarding the indemnity equal to three months’ rent, since you are not evicting Chris, but rather repossessing your unit, you will not be responsible for such indemnity. In the event of a complaint from Chris, the Housing Authority will have jurisdiction to establish any conditions.

Sonia Rotondo, Attorney-at-Law
Alepin Gauthier avocats inc.

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