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Quebec adopts controversial housing bill restricting lease transfers

Quebec’s legislature adopted a housing bill Wednesday that restricts a popular tool tenants have used for years to limit rent increases.

The new law allows landlords to reject lease transfers for any reason, whereas previously they had to show they had serious concerns about the new tenant.

The transfer of leases allows new tenants to benefit from the existing rent and prevents landlords from jacking up the price.

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Housing Minister France-Élaine Duranceau has said lease transfers aren’t the right tool to control rents in the province.

She has argued that her bill includes several provisions to protect renters, including placing the burden of proof for evictions on landlords instead of requiring tenants to prove they did nothing wrong.

The law also requires landlords to pay evicted tenants the equivalent of one month’s rent for every year they have lived in the dwelling.

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