Tenants’ Resource Guide

Rights and obligations of tenants and landlords

To learn about your rights and obtain legal information, please visit Educaloi website. Educaloi is a neutral and independent organisation whose mission is to explain the law to Quebecers in everyday language and enhance their legal competencies. You will find useful information on the rules regarding lease renewal and rent increases.

For information or assistance on matters related to leases, payment of rent or the use of services, accessories and dependencies of a dwelling, please consult the website of the Tribunal administratif du logement (TAL). The TAL is a specialized tribunal that has competence in residential lease matters. Its mission consists in deciding the applications that have been submitted within the framework of simple rules of procedure that respect natural justice; in informing the citizens on their rights and obligations related to the lease so as to avoid those conflicts occur due to the ignorance of the law; in promoting conciliation between lessors and lessees.

Violation of municipal by-laws

Inspectors from the City of Westmount’s Urban Planning Department can intervene in the event of a municipal bylaws violation (e.g. hygiene, safety, compliance with the Building Code). You can contact the Urban Planning Department by filling out this form, or by calling 514 989 5270.

A few tips

  • For any emergency – fire, crime, medical emergency, gas leak, flood, noxious odour, carbon monoxide, etc. – call 911. Never try to fight a fire yourself.
  • Familiarize yourself with your building, its emergency exits and safety equipment; know what to do in case of a fire.
  • Keep a list of your household goods, insurance policies, important documents and contact information in a safe and accessible place. You may need them in an evacuation situation.
  • Check your lease carefully and find out your rights and responsibilities. A lease or rental agreement is a legal document that sets out the specific responsibilities of the landlord and tenant.
  • For any non-emergency problems, first inform your building manager, landlord or superintendent in writing, if necessary. Do not assume that they already know.
  • If no action is taken after a reasonable period of time to address a problem in your dwelling, contact the TAL, the City of Westmount or another appropriate agency, depending on the problem.
  • 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 TAL 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.
  • Seek legal advice from your lawyer, a legal clinic or the TAL before you act.

Other resources

(Please note that the City of Westmount provides this information as a public service, does not endorse any external website and cannot be responsible for the accuracy of the information nor the quality of the services offered.)

  • Régie du bâtiment du Québec
    545, boul. Crémazie Est, 4e étage
    Montréal (Québec) H2M 2V2
    514 873-0976
    The Régie du bâtiment du Québec oversees the safety of buildings, installations and facilities, enforces Construction, Building, and Safety codes and has jurisdiction in issues related to electricity, plumbing, gas, elevators and other equipment. Its website features information, publications and forms for filing reports and complaints. You can contact the RBQ by phone, in person and via the website.
  • Arnold Bennett Housing Hotline
    514-488-0412 or 514 990-0190
  • Project Genesis
    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
    514 227-3782
    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.

This information was researched and prepared by the City of Westmount and by members of the Westmount Municipal Association, an independent, non-partisan volunteer organization devoted to promoting good, responsive local government.