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The lessor is bound to make all necessary repairs to the leased property other than minor maintenance repairs, which are assumed by the lessee unless they result from the age of the property or superior force.

If urgent repairs are needed to ensure the preservation or enjoyment of the leased property, the lessee must allow them to be made.

The lessor may require the lessee to vacate or be dispossessed of the property temporarily but, if the repairs are not urgent, he must first obtain the authorization of the court, which also fixes the conditions required to protect the rights of the lessee.

The lessee nevertheless retains, depending on circumstances, the right to obtain a reduction in rent, to apply for termination of the lease or, if he vacates or is dispossessed of the property temporarily, to require an indemnity.1

It goes without saying that the lessee must inform the lessor, within a reasonable time or as soon as he becomes aware of it, of any serious defect or deterioration of the leased property.2

The lessor must make the repairs or improvements. If he fails to do so, the lessee may apply to the court for authorization to carry them out himself. In such a case, the court will determine the work to be done and the amount, and will set the conditions under which it will be carried out. The lessee may then withhold from his rent the expenses incurred to carry out the authorized work, up to the amount fixed by the court.3

In case of emergency, if the lessor cannot be reached, the lessee may undertake repairs even without a court authorization. The lessee will be entitled to reimbursement of the reasonable expenses he incurred for that purpose and may withhold this amount from his rent.4

Example: A pipe breaks and water is flowing into the unit. The lessee can call the building manager or, in his absence, call a plumber to minimize the damage.


1 Art. 1865 C.C.Q.
2 Art. 1866 C.C.Q.
3 Art. 1867 C.C.Q.
4 Art. 1868 C.C.Q.


SUMMARY – Lessee's obligations

1. Pay the agreed upon rent.5
2. Use the property with prudence and diligence.6
3. Not disturb the enjoyment of the other lessees.7
4. Maintain the form and destination of the immovable.8
5. At the end of the lease, hand over the property in the condition in which it was received except for normal wear and tear or superior force.9
6. Provide access for the lessor to ascertain the condition of, carry out work in, or show the property.10
7. Make minor maintenance repairs.11


5 Art. 1855 C.C.Q.
6 Ibid.
7 Art. 1860 (1) C.C.Q.
8 Art. 1856 C.C.Q.
9 Art. 1890 (1) C.C.Q.
10 Art. 1857 C.C.Q.
11 Art. 1864 C.C.Q.

Last updated on: December 16, 2022
Reference number: 264736