What is the Administrative Housing Tribunal (Tribunal administratif du logement)?
The Tribunal has exclusive jurisdiction over all matters relating to a residential lease, if the value claimed does not exceed $100,000. Until 2020, it was known as the rental board (Régie du logement).
How to open a case at the Administrative Housing Tribunal?
The party wishing to exercise a recourse must first notify the landlord by means of a formal notice denouncing the problem and mentioning the recourses that are envisaged.
Filing a Request
If the landlord fails to act, you can then complete and file an application online or at one of the official sites of the Tribunal.
You must send a copy of the filed application to your landlord and you must bring proof of reception of this document on the day of the hearing. Different options are available to you:
- Delivered by hand with acknowledgment of receipt, dated and signed by the recipient
- By registered mail with proof of receipt
- By bailiff
Depending on the Tribunal's delays for such a request (depending on whether it is an urgent, rapid or ordinary case), each of the parties will receive a notice of hearing which will indicate the date, time and where they should go.
The Day of the Hearing
The Hearing Process
Show up at the time indicated in the notice. At the beginning of the hearing, the parties and witnesses solemnly swear to tell the truth.
During the hearing, you must behave with respect towards the judge and the other parties. You must also be suitably dressed.
Next, the judge will hear the evidence and the arguments of each of the parties and will make an informed judgment on the question in dispute.
Remember that you can argue only on what was written on the original application filed with the Court. The judge will refuse to hear external elements. This is why it is important to amend the application with the Administrative Housing Tribunal if changes have occurred in the meantime, failing which, you will have to start the process from the beginning.
Postponement: it is possible for you or your landlord to request a postponement of the hearing if you are unable to attend, if both parties agree or if one of the parties convinces the judge of the necessity.
Burden of proof: the burden of proof always rests on the shoulders of the plaintiff (the party who opened the case at the Tribunal). As a rule, a fact must be proven on a balance of probabilities, which signifies that it has more likely than not to have occurred. The plaintiff presents its evidence first.
Types of evidence accepted: There is a multitude of evidence that can support your claim that will make all the difference in your case.
- Testimony: anyone who has witnessed facts, gestures or communications that could support your case should come and testify for you during your meeting. Quality is better than quantity.
- Photographs: take photos of all the evidence necessary for your file (major works, infestation, damage, mold, etc.)
- Writings and communications: all written communications between you and your landlord.
- Invoices and proof of payment: if you are requesting payment for damaged, lost or stolen goods, you absolutely must have all the supporting invoices. The same is true for anything related to receipts provided by your landlord following a rent payment.
- Other useful documents: any other real evidence that can help you in court and that could change the outcome of your case. Don’t forget a copy of your lease!
*** Any document presented should be photocopied in three copies (one for each of the parties and another for the commissioner).
Finally, the parties summarize their arguments. What they have to say about their overall situation and the evidence submitted.
It is impossible to know the extent of the decision on the day of the hearing, unless a common agreement is reached between the two parties during negotiations approved by the commissioner.
The decision is mailed within weeks of the hearing. As a rule, the period for execution of a decision is 30 days.
How do I challenge a court decision?
The judge corrects a clerical error entered in his judgment or renders a judgment on a part of the request that he had omitted during the hearing. You must file your application within 30 days of the decision.
A party may also request a complete retraction of the hearing if:
- She could not be at the hearing, in the sense that she was prevented from doing so for a reason which the judge will determine the admissibility of;
- She was prevented by surprise, fraud or another reason deemed sufficient by the Court to present evidence;
- The Court omitted to rule on a part of his request or if he ruled beyond it.
You have 10 days from your knowledge of the decision or the end of your impediment to make your request for retraction.
In cases where an appeal of the decision is possible before the Court of Quebec, the appeal must be authorized. This authorization is given when it is judged that the judge has committed an error of law or if the applicant demonstrates that the questions he or she wishes to submit are of a serious nature and of general interest. You must file your motion within 30 days of becoming aware of the judgment.
For more detailed explanation, please see the following document