Watch out for fake eviction notices, says Quebec's rental board
Notices use the same font and design as official documents but contain misleading information.
Quebec's rental board, the Régie du logement, is warning tenants about fake eviction notices circulating in the province.
"These notices contain information that is not in compliance with the law and will likely mislead tenants about their rights," said the Régie du logement in a statement on its website.
If in doubt, the rental board says, tenants can ask for a ruling on whether a notice is valid.
The statement comes after CBC News reported last week that a group of tenants in a Saint-Henri rooming house received a counterfeit eviction notice with the same font and design the Régie du logement uses in its official notices.
The notice, handed to tenants of 4003 Notre-Dame Street West on June 1, claimed the owner of the building needed to carry out major work, and tenants had until the end of the month to find somewhere else to live.
"It didn't make sense," Jean Denault, one of the tenants, said last week. "Most of the people here are on welfare."
"They're basically trying to put people out on the street."
In a statement to CBC News, the rental board said Friday it has formally ordered the landlord to cease sending all eviction notices that resemble its official ones.
Montreal is facing its lowest vacancy rate in more than a decade, prompting concern the city is approaching a housing crisis.
What renters need to know
Under the law, a landlord must give six months' notice before the expiry of a lease, or six months before the eviction date if a tenant holds a lease with an indeterminate term.
If a building must be vacated temporarily for major construction work, a landlord must give tenants three months' notice.
To undertake major work, a landlord must offer compensation equal to the expenses the tenant will incur.
The notice must also inform the tenant the nature of the work, the date when the work is set to start, the work's estimated duration and the compensation offered.
The tenant is legally allowed to return to a clean unit once the work is done, and the landlord may not raise the rent.
If a tenant fails to let the landlord know whether they intend to comply with a temporary eviction notice within 10 days, the landlord may ask the rental board to rule on the matter.