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Maintaining and repairing the property


The lessor has the right to ascertain the condition of the leased property, to carry out work thereon and to have it visited by a prospective lessee or buyer. He is, however, bound to exercise this right in a reasonable manner.1

Under article 1864 of the Civil Code of Québec, the lessor is bound to make all necessary repairs to the leased property other than minor maintenance repairs, which are assumed by the lessee.2 However, this is not always the case. Even minor repairs resulting from a construction defect or faulty workmanship (e.g., flooding caused by poor roof maintenance, normal wear and tear or superior force) are the responsibility of the lessor and not the lessee.


A lessor who makes urgent and necessary repairs to ensure the preservation or enjoyment of the leased property may require the lessee to vacate or be temporarily dispossessed of the property but, if the repairs are not urgent, he must first obtain the authorization of the court, which will set the conditions required to protect the rights of the lessee.3

The liability of the lessor may be discharged or reduced if the lessee fails to notify the lessor of a defect or substantial deterioration in the leased property within a reasonable time.

During the term of the lease, the lessor must make the necessary repairs to the immovable, except for minor repairs, which are the responsibility of the lessee. For example, the lessee is responsible for repairs and routine maintenance of electrical, plumbing and heating systems, as well as flooring, walls and ceilings. The cost of the repairs will often help to determine whether they are major or minor.

However, since this obligation is not of public order, the terms of the lease could state otherwise (for example a clause in which the lessor delegates to the lessee the responsibility for repairs that would normally be the lessor’s responsibility, such as display windows).

1 Art. 1857 C.C.Q.
2 Art. 1864 C.C.Q.
3 Art. 1865 (2) C.C.Q.

Last updated on: December 16, 2022
Reference number: 264729