Assigning your lease or subletting?

MONTREAL, April 21, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ - Contrary to popular belief, a tenant who wishes to leave his or her dwelling after renewal of the lease cannot cancel the lease simply by sending a three-month notice. Unless there is an agreement between the landlord and the tenant, there are only four situations in which a lease can be cancelled during its term:

  • the tenant is allocated a dwelling in low-rental housing;
  • the tenant can no longer occupy his or her dwelling because of a handicap;
  • the tenant is an elderly person permanently admitted to a CHSLD, to a facility operated by an intermediate resource, to a private seniors' residence or to any other lodging facility where the nursing care and personal assistance required by his or her state of health are provided;
  • the tenant is subjected to the violent behaviour of a spouse or former spouse or has been the victim of a sexual aggression, even by a third party, and the safety of the tenant or of a child living with the tenant is threatened.

For any other reason, such as the purchase of a house, the loss of a job or a move, the tenant cannot force the landlord to cancel the lease.

If there is no agreement, a tenant who wants to cancel his or her lease during its term has two options: the tenant can assign the lease or sublet the dwelling to another person. Specific rules apply in each case. Note that the decision to assign or sublet the dwelling is up to the tenant, who will determine the option that best meets his or her needs.

The notice of assignment or sublet

A tenant must give the landlord a written notice of his or her intention to assign the lease or sublet the dwelling. The notice must indicate the name of the person to whom the lease is to be assigned or to whom the dwelling is to be sublet, and his or her address. The notice should also indicate the anticipated date of assignment or sublet.

The landlord has 15 days, as of the date of receipt of the notice, to respond to it. If the landlord does not respond, he or she is deemed to have agreed. If the landlord agrees, he or she can claim reasonable expenses incurred (for example, for a credit check). The landlord cannot refuse the person proposed unless it is for a serious reason. If the landlord refuses, he or she must inform the tenant of the reasons for the refusal within 15 days of receipt of the notice.

The Régie du logement is the tribunal with exclusive jurisdiction over rental housing in Québec.


SOURCE Régie du logement

For further information: For any additional information, consult the Régie du logement's Website, at, which offers, among other things, an advice leaflet entitled Assigning your Lease or Subletting. Please note that, in certain cases, there may be restrictions on the right to assign or sublet; You can also call the Régie du logement: Montréal region, (514) 873-2245 (BAIL); Anywhere else in Québec, 1 800 683-2245 (BAIL)


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