What are the rights and prohibitions of the tenant?

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What are the rights and prohibitions of the tenant?
Even though the owner/landlord may have all the power in a lease, the tenant still has a few rights of their own. They have a right to live in a clean home, make certain adjustments to the space, and live quietly without the constant disruption of the owner/landlord. At the same time, there are also a few things they're prohibited from doing. Namely, disturbing the neighbors and carrying out renovation work without the owner/landlord's permission.

What are the rights of a tenant?

It's important to remember that the rental property serves as the tenant's residence. Therefore, the tenant is entitled to certain rights upon using the property of their accord. They include:

  1. Living peacefully without the owner/landlord's presence 
  • The landlord must respect the privacy of his tenant and must not make untimely visits without warning.
  1. Living in a property in good condition
  • The owner/landlord must offer rental housing that is up to standard and functional. If the property requires major maintenance and renovation work, the owner/landlord must pay for it. 
  1. Making adjustments to the space 
  • For example, doing energy renovation work at the tenant's own expense (i.e. insulation of floors, installation or replacement of a ventilation system, insulation of an attic, etc.)
  1. Receiving rental receipts
  • In exchange for paying the rental fee, the tenant is entitled to receive rental receipts as proof of their payment
  1. Hosting other people on the property for free
  • If the tenant asks the other person for compensation, it technically becomes subletting and will require the authorization of the owner/landlord. 

What are the tenant's prohibitions?

Even though the rental property serves as the tenant’s residence, there are still some things they’re prohibited from doing. They include:
  1. Stop Paying Rent, Association Dues, and Utility Bills
  • Failure to settle unpaid rent can result in a District Court case.
  1. Subletting without permission
  • If the tenant is financially compensated for hosting another person on the property, this is automatically referred to as subletting
  1. Possessing a dangerous animal
  • Animals that aren’t household pets (i.e. dogs, cats, birds, etc.) are considered dangerous within a property.
  1. Causing disturbance
  2. Vacating the property without prior notice
  • The tenant must follow the proper procedure in terminating the lease and vacating the property. This often includes a time period of one to a few months. 
  1. Carrying out major renovation work without proper authorization
  • Various works done on the property are considered major renovations, including:
  • Tearing down a partition
  • Replacing a bathtub with a shower, and vice versa
  • Remove sanitary equipment (i.e. toilet, sink, etc.)
  • Installing an armored front door
  1. Not maintaining the property properly
  • By signing the lease, the tenant automatically assumes the responsibility of maintaining the property (throughout their tenancy). These include taking charge of and paying for repairs such as:
  • Chimney sweeping (if applicable)
  • Boiler maintenance visits
  • Changing the joints when necessary
  • Ensuring the proper function of the smoke detector
  • Replacing switches that are no longer working
  • Ensuring the maintenance and proper opening of doors and windows
  • Maintaining the good condition of exhaust ducts, pipes, floors, walls, etc.

Ce qu’il faut retenir :
  • Since the rental property is regarded as the tenant's residence, they are afforded a set of rights that the owner/landlord should respect.
  • Despite that, there are also things that the tenant is prohibited from doing on the property within the duration of the lease. 
  • The landlord reserves the right to add to those prohibitions as long as it doesn't go against the rights of the tenant.

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