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Form and content of the lease


The standard lease form issued by the Tribunal administratif du logement is mandatory since September 1, 1996. It must be used for any written residential lease. The content of this mandatory form is based on the provisions of the Civil Code of Québec, which are rules of public order.

However, even if the parties are not bound by this standard lease, it does not mean that there is no lease between them. This is a very common misconception on the part of real estate brokers and the general public. In fact, the law recognizes that if a person, with the owner’s permission, occupies a dwelling in exchange for payment, this constitutes a lease (even a verbal one) and the rules set out below apply. It will only be more difficult to prove the substance of the agreement. It is important for you to know that the lease is still valid between the parties and that the lessor who has not used the mandatory form or who has modified it is in violation of certain provisions of the law.

The lease form must also be used for any new lease of a dwelling, including:1

  • A room;
  • An apartment;
  • An apartment held in divided co-ownership (commonly called a condo);
  • A house.


Unlike commercial leases, the provisions of the Civil Code of Québec relating to residential leases are of public order, with some exceptions. The notion of public order means that the parties cannot contravene a provision of the Civil Code by the use of a clause in the lease. Any agreement to the contrary between the lessor and the lessee would have no legal value.

Consequently, in accordance with the Regulation respecting mandatory lease forms and the particulars of a notice to a new lessee2, different mandatory lease forms emanating from a regulation exist:

  • Lease between the lessee and the owner (excluding all situations mentioned hereafter);
  • Lease of land for a mobile home;
  • Lease of a unit for rent in a co-operative;
  • Lease of a low-cost housing unit;
  • Lease of a dwelling in an educational institution.

The mandatory lease of a dwelling form ensures consistency in the terms of the agreement between the parties:

  • Description of the dwelling;
  • Destination allowed;
  • Accessories and dependencies;
  • Movable property included;
  • Term of the lease, which can be fixed or indeterminate according to article 1851 of the C.C.Q.;
  • Rent (articles 1855, 1903 and 1904 C.C.Q.);
  • Services and conditions, including by-laws of the immovable, taxes and operating costs;
  • Restrictions to the right to fix the rent and modify the lease;
  • Notice to the new lessee or sublessee to find out the rent paid by the previous lessee.

For the purchase or sale of an income property, the broker can use the form Premises and leases – Detailed listing (PDF) to provide or consult the information regarding the leases of dwellings in effect and their features.


1 Art. 1892 C.C.Q.
2 R.S.Q., c. R -8.1, r.3.

Last updated on: December 16, 2022
Reference number: 264748