Everything about retirement homes' leases

Lease in private residence for seniors and help with search Bonjour Résidences

Have you just signed a lease in a private residences for seniors or are you thinking of doing so? Would you like to know your rights as an occupant ?

This essential guide based on information from the Régie du logement is here to help you. It has been specially written to provide you with information on private residences for seniors, as well as the different conditions of the lease in Quebec. Keep reading to know everything about it ...


1. Residences for Seniors Networks 

In Quebec, you must know that there are two networks: the public and the private sector, which offer the same services. However, the public is not accessible to all seniors because they must be losing their autonomy and evaluated by a social worker.


What is a private residence? (RPA)

According to the Department of Health and Social Services, a private residence is defined as: "an entire or part of a residential complex occupied or intended to be occupied primarily by people 65 years of age and over and where are offered by the operator of the residence various services ». In other words, it is a place of accommodation according to the degree of autonomy , that is to say autonomous until the loss of autonomy. This living environment is managed by an owner or a private group.

Private residences are subject to government standards and must be certified by the Ministry of Health and Social Services. They are also listed in the register of private homes for seniors, as well as in the directory of Bonjour Résidences .


2. I want to sign a lease in a residence

When signing a lease in a private residence, a mandatory lease form from the Régie du logement must be completed. This is a contract that allows a person, the tenant, to rent a place to live. It is in this lease that will be indicated the services offered to the tenant by the landlord.


The services offered must be listed in the mandatory lease. For example, nursing services, meals, personal assistance, medication, etc.


What are the obligations of both parties?

As indicated by the Régie du logement, here is a table summarizing the obligations of the elderly person and the owner of the residence, when signing a lease:

Obligations of signing a new lease in retirement home

Following the signing of the lease, the owner has the obligation to give you a copy of the lease within 10 days after the conclusion of the lease .


3. I want to modify my lease

If you want to change the terms of your lease because it comes to an end, because your landlord wants to impose excessive regulations, such as an unreasonable rent increase or the owner's non-liability for repairs related to his obligation, for example, you have recourse.


Deadlines for lease modifications

If the landlord makes any changes during your lease renewal, he must notify you in writing of the change, according to the following deadlines:

Modification of the lease in retirement home deadlines of written notice

From the reception of the notice, the tenant has one month to make a choice among the 3 following options and to inform the owner:


  1. He accepts the modifications requested and wishes to renew his lease;
  2. He refuses in writing the modifications requested and wishes to renew his lease;
  3. He plans to leave the dwelling and does not wish to renew the lease. He must then notify the owner in writing.


If the tenant does not respond to the notice within one month, the lease will be automatically renewed with the modifications requested by the owner.


4. I want to end my lease in a residence

Know that like any contract, you can not end a lease for any reason. Only a few situations are allowed , in the case of a lease with a private residence, such as:

  • Obtaining housing in a low-rent building (LLM) or equivalent housing

  • The security of the person is threatened

  • The person's disability no longer allows him/her to stay at the same place

  • The person must leave his/ her home due to his/her state of health.


To move because of the state of health

As indicated, in some cases, a senior may have to move to another private residence because of his/her state of health, which requires greater care. A person may at any time end the current lease if he/she moves to a private seniors' residence where he/she is offered the nursing care or personal assistance services required by his/her state of health.

If this is the case, the person must send the landlord a written notice to inform him of his/her departure / end of the lease, a certificate from the authority proving the admission to the residence, as well as a certificate to confirm that it meets the admission requirements (by a health and social services professional from a CLSC, a CHSLD, a hospital center, or a private practice). In addition, certain deadlines must be respected:

Documents to be sent when senior wants to end a lease in retirement home


5. Questions and Answers

1- My neighbor has a dog. Does this mean that I have the right to keep my cat?

Not necessarily, if nothing is mentioned in the lease or in the rules of the building, the owner can not refuse the presence of animals, unless it proves that the animal disturbs the neighbors or breaks something in the dwelling or the building. If a clause prohibiting animals exists, you must respect it. The owner has the right to ban animals or certain types of animals.


2- What are the main criteria that can be used to calculate a rent increase?

The increase in municipal taxes, the increase in school taxes, the costs related to energy (electricity, natural gas, fuel oil), the major works carried out during the previous year and benefiting all the housing units of the building, increased insurance costs, increased maintenance costs, increased services, management fees, and operating expenses.


3- How to file a complaint concerning the respect of our rights or the quality of services in the residence?

You must contact Services Québec, which will provide the contact information for the Regional Service Quality and Complaints Commissioner for your region: 1-877-644-4545.


For help finding a seniors' home, fill out an accommodation request or call us at 1-844-918-1020.



Source: Régie du logement