One of the many attractive features of living in Montreal is the wealth of quality rental accommodation that is available close to downtown. In fact, Montreal has the highest tenancy rate of any Canadian city. This has lead to the development of a set of strong tenant protection laws. In Quebec, there is a public body, responsible for administering and ajudicating tenant and landlord disputes. It is the Regie du Logement. Their site has lots of information about the rights and obligations of both parties as well as an explanation of the standard lease form.
If you are renting in Montreal, you should know your rights and obligations so that you can negotiate the best deal and not be taken advantage of. This is particularly important to newcomers. For example, did you know it is illegal for a landlord to ask for more than one month's rent in advance? In fact, one month's rent is the only thing a prospective landlord can ask for; no damage deposit, key money etc....
Another feature of renting in Quebec that often surprises newcomers is that there is a legal lease period in Quebec that runs from July 1st until June 30th of the following year. That means that the majority of rentals change hands within a 24 hour period. This frenzy of moving activity can cause a lot of headaches when trying to book an (affordable) mover or sourcing moving supplies.
Most landlords will know if their properties will be available to rent for July 1, around the month of April, or three months before most leases expire, when tenants must usually give notice of non-renewal. In other words, if you have the choice of searching for a home to rent in the spring or fall, spring time will always be the time of year when the most inventory will be on the market for you to choose from.
To learn more about the ins and outs of renting in Quebec click here.