January 2016
PFD | Litigation

Disputes between tenants: When should a landlord intervene?

By Pascal Comeau Lawyer

In residential and commercial leases, a tenant's behaviour may become a source of frustration for others and lead to complaints pertaining to excess noise, parking rights, cleanliness, signage and a myriad of other reasons. When faced with the grievances of unhappy tenants, a building owner must quickly take action to stop the unruly tenant's behaviour. In fact, under the Civil Code of Québec, a landlord has an obligation to provide lessees with peaceable enjoyment of the property. In other words, the landlord must ensure that none of the tenants become a nuisance to the others.

When a dispute arises, it is important to notify the tenant that his or her behaviour is bothersome and clearly set out the penalty that will be applied should the tenant refuse to fulfill his or her obligations. In this situation, a landlord may terminate the lease and evict a recalcitrant tenant.

A properly drafted lease agreement facilitates the courses of action available to the landlord in such cases. Carefully check your leasing contracts to ensure that the default clauses are unambiguous and provide for solutions should a problematic situation occur.