Do you know where to get help?
When problems arise, it’s important to know how to deal with them and who to call when you need help. Depending on the severity of the problem, more than one authority may be involved. Westmount inspectors can intervene only when municipal by-laws are violated, generally in matters of sanitation, safety, and other issues related to the Building Code. Situations that concern lease conditions or provincial law, such as the regulation of heat and other comforts, should be addressed to the Quebec Rental Board (Régie du logement).
Be prepared before situations happen
- Keep records of your household inventory, your insurance policy, insurance agent, and other important contact information in a safe and accessible place. You may need them in the event of an evacuation.
- Be informed of your rights and responsibilities. A rental agreement is a legal document that establishes landlord and tenant responsibilities.
- Become familiar with your building, its fire exits and safety features; know what to do in the event of a fire or other emergency.
FOR ALL EMERGENICES SUCH AS FIRE, CRIME, MEDICAL ASSISTANCE, GAS LEAKS, FLOODS, NOXIOUS ODOURS, CARBON MONOXIDE, ETC., CALL 911.
Never try to fight fires by yourself.
Follow these general guidelines
- For non-urgent problems, start by informing the building manager, landlord or superintendent (in writing if necessary). Don’t assume they already know the problem exists.
- Check your lease. If a problem under the landlord’s responsibility persists beyond a reasonable period of time, contact the Quebec Rental Board/Régie du logement, the City of Westmount or other appropriate authorities, depending on the problem (see the list below).
- Document all dates and times of the problems and the names of people contacted, and the dates you contacted them. Send e-mails but remember that there is no proof that an e-mail has been sent unless you receive an acknowledgement or other reply to it. Take photos, and record the date they were taken. Send all important requests and notices in writing, and use registered mail as proof that it was received.
The Rental Board will ask you for written or photographic evidence documenting the issues, as well as any actions taken by the tenant and the landlord, and any interventions made by other individuals, City departments or organizations.
Solving problems: what to do, who to call
The following table can help direct you to the appropriate authority for enforcing regulations. Depending upon the nature and severity of the problem, more than one authority might be involved. Begin with the following list before moving on to the next step, and seek legal advice before taking action. This could be from your own lawyer, a legal clinic or the Rental Board.
Please note that the City of Westmount provides this information as a public service and does not endorse any external website and cannot be responsible for the accuracy of the information nor the quality of the services offered.
Quebec Rental Board (Régie du logement du Québec)
1425 René-Lévesque Boulevard West, Suite 600
Montréal, H1T 3X1
The Quebec Rental Board is a public organization and specialized tribunal that has jurisdiction in matters of residential leases. It informs citizens about rights and obligations that relate to leases to help avoid conflicts and resolve problems between landlords and tenants. The QLB offers online publications, provides answers to frequently asked questions and information about rental adjustments. You may contact the QRB by phone, in person and by email through its website.
Régie du bâtiment du Québec
545, boul. Crémazie Est, 4e étage
Montréal (Québec) H2M 2V2
The Régie du bâtiment du Québec oversees the safety of buildings, installations and facilities; it enforces the Construction Code, the Building Act and the Safety Code and has jurisdiction in issues related to electricity, plumbing, gas, elevators and other equipment. Its website features information, publications and forms to file reports and complaints. You can contact the RBQ by phone, in person and via the website.
4735 Cote-Ste-Catherine Rd. (Metro Cote-Ste-Catherine)
Montreal, H3W 1M1
Project Genesis is a drop-in centre that offers free help to tenants as well as other services. It serves residents in the Côtes des Neiges/Snowdon district, but is anyone may use its services.
Centre de justice de proximité du Grand Montréal
407 Boulevard Saint-Laurent, bureau 410
Montréal, QC, H2Y 2Y5
The CJPGM is a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote access to justice by fostering the participation of citizens through legal information, support and referral services provided in addition to existing resources. It offers a free legal clinic with or without appointment.
Éducaloi is a non-profit organization founded in 2000 and a leader in the movement to improve access to justice in Quebec. Its mission is to improve access to justice for citizens and to explain the law to Quebecers in accessible language.
Many thanks to the Westmount Municipal Association
This information was researched and prepared by the City of Westmount and by members of the Westmount Municipal Association, and independent, non-partisan volunteer organization devoted to promoting good, responsive local government.