What’s worse than visiting the dentist to have a root canal job done without the benefit of Novocaine? Being a residential property landlord is what’s worse. Especially within the “Distinct Society” of Quebec. At least, at the dentist, the job’s eventually finished, and the pain goes away. But not with tenants.
Here is a list of Quebec’s Landlord Rights – NONE!
Landlords can not check-out potential tenants for references and financial records.
Landlords can not ask for a security deposit; just in case the tenant decides to make a midnight move, or leave the property in a shambles.
Landlords can not ask for a series of post-dated rent checks, so as not to have to chase the tenants for the rent each and every month.
Landlords can not ask the tenant to leave, even after the lease has expired, unless the landlord or someone from the landlord’s immediate family is going to actually take possession of the property, and move into the premises. And even then, there are unrealistic procedures.
Landlords must make all renovations necessary, in order to maintain the property in the condition the tenant received it. However; not only do tenants not have to reciprocate in kind. There is nothing to compel tenants to inform the landlord when there is serious damage. Therefore; damage that could have been minimized, very often becomes a financial nightmare.
Landlords can’t raise rents in order to make their investments as profitable as the marketplace can bear; as virtually every other business can; even when a lease is terminated, and a brand new tenant comes on-board.
According to Quebec law, the new tenant has the right to demand to see the old lease, and can force the landlord to keep the rent at the same level the previous tenant paid, with only the “maximum allowable” increase.
Landlords within Quebec, are also held to an artificial rental timetable of the Quebec government’s making. For instance: all residential Quebec leases must terminate on the last day of June. Imagine the stupidity of having virtually everyone in Quebec move on the same day. July 1. Canada Day no less.
Because of this idiotic prefixed moving date, landlords do not have the opportunity to renovate; since, as one tenant moves out, another is moving in on the same day.
It seems, that the only rights a landlord has in Quebec, is to lose money every month, chase after monthly rent checks, visit the rental board for every little problem, and learn how to deal with the stress of someone else’s making.
So, what’s in it to be a landlord in Quebec? NOTHING! And that’s why there is a critical shortage of rental properties. Who the hell wants to build or buy a residential rental property knowing in advance what lays ahead?
And from what I hear, Quebec isn’t the only province with absolutely ridiculous rules that make investing in residential rental real-estate so unattractive that no one wants to do it.
Not all tenants are horrible. Anne and I were tenants before we became homeowners. We paid our rent without having to be asked. We maintained the properties in which we lived as if they were our own. And when we left whichever property it was where we lived, we left it in virtual move-in condition.
Many of our friends were also renters at one time or another, and some still are. But; to the best of my knowledge, none of my friends were amongst the tenants from hell. And I am certain there are a great many other decent tenants out there. Unfortunately, we seem to have never found any.
Finally. We have sold our last property within the province of Quebec, after turfing out our tenants from hell. The filth, damage and odor from these people was debilitating. The fact that we spent two years constantly “begging” them for the rent was only secondary to the costs of repairing the disaster they left behind. Not to mention the two months rent they stiffed us for. And what can we do about it? NADA! Except to celebrate the fact that we got rid of them without any more “collateral” damage.
Believe it or not, with these folks, we actually got off easy. And these were not the only tenants from hell we had experienced.
We’ve had tenants who decided to open walls, paint over interior bricks, destroy $25 per yard wall paper, cut down mature trees, steal a 100 year old reconditioned 300 pound antique wood burning pot bellied stove, remove an energy efficient wood burning Chestnut fireplace to make more room for their moving boxes in the den, use the backyard as a an automotive garage, run electricity to an outside structure of their own making, move a second family in. And more.
And in virtually every instance, the tenants left the property looking like a slum.
Please understand, this one property in question, in St Lazare, was where Anne and I had lived. We were tenants there, and we liked the house so much, that we bought it. After purchasing a small farm afterwards, Anne and I decided to keep this beautiful home as an investment property towards our retirement. What a mistake!
The property is now in the process of being sold. We have engaged the services of an excellent renovation crew who are restoring it to the condition it was in when Anne and I lived there. The cost will be more than $10,000, in addition to everything else we spent constantly repairing and cleaning up after tenants. And we aren’t making a penny on the renovations. We won’t even get most of our money back. But; it doesn’t really matter. I do not want to hand over a disaster to someone else.
I also want the house restored to the beautiful home that it once was; and which gave Anne and myself so much pleasure. To leave it in the filthy mess left behind by the tenants, would make us no better than them. Therefore; Anne and I opted to make the house beautiful again. And we are thrilled that we are. And so is the couple who are purchasing it.
This severs our last financial tie to “Distinctland”, Quebec’s rental laws and all. What else is there to say?