A private seniors’ residence is a rental facility that is occupied or designed to be occupied mainly by people aged 65 or over and where various services are offered, such as:
- nursing care;
- meal services;
- housekeeping services;
- recreational services.
Certification of private seniors’ residences
The designation “private seniors’ residence” is reserved for residences that hold a certificate of compliance issued by the Government of Québec.
When a residence is certified, it means that it complies with rules to ensure the health and safety of its residents. For example, a certified residence will have:
- a call-for-help system;
- a fire safety plan;
- emergency procedures in the event of a death, an unexplained absence or extreme heat, for example, and infection and fall prevention procedures;
- procedures for managing medications that are prescribed, distributed or administered to residents;
- a minimum number of staff in the residence at all times;
- supervision measures for people with behavioural disorders;
- conditions for the admission of people with cognitive disorders;
- a procedure for doing criminal background checks on staff, volunteers and subcontractors;
- areas available at all times for receiving visitors;
- health and social services professionals on site;
- measures for the protection and retention of personal information;
- a standardized complaints procedure;
- recreational activities adapted to seniors’ needs;
- meals that follow the recommendations in Canada’s Food Guide.
All private seniors’ residences that hold a certificate of compliance issued by the government are listed in a register. Go to the Recherche de résidence page [Find a residence; in French only] on the Register of private seniors’ residences website to find out if your residence is listed.
Signing a lease with a private seniors’ residence
Signing a lease with a private seniors’ residence means entering into a contract to live in an apartment and receive services. Like any contract, the lease gives tenants and owners a number of rights and obligations that are provided for by law.
The Information Guide Signing a Lease in a Private Seniors’ Residence provides answers to the most frequently asked questions as well as contact information for resources and services that future tenants may find helpful.
To find out the rules that apply when you lease an apartment, go to the Signing a lease With a Private Seniors’ Residence page on the Tribunal administratif du logement (new designation of the Régie du logement since August 31, 2020) website.
As a tenant, you have rights that must be respected. If you have doubts about any of the clauses in the lease or if you have any problems related to your apartment, you can contact the Tribunal administratif du logement . This administrative tribunal:
- provides effective remedies when a tenant or owner fails to fulfil their obligations;
- offers a conciliation service, an interesting solution for resolving a situation amicably and more quickly.
You can also consult the information guide Being a Lessee in a Private Seniors’ Residence. This guide provides answers about how to act and what actions to take if problems arise. It also tells you what to do when it is time to renew your lease and, if necessary, how to terminate your lease. It also provides a list of services and resources that you might find helpful should the need arise.
When a private seniors’ residence closes
If a private seniors’ residence ceases to operate, tenants must be given six months’ notice. You will then have two options:
- Terminate the lease if you have already found another apartment and leave the residence after giving 15 days’ notice;
- Ask the CISSS or CIUSSS in your area to help you find another residence before the residence you are living in closes.
The CISSS or CIUSSS in your area will give you all the support you need. It will be able to answer any questions you or your loved ones might have.
When a situation represents a danger to tenants’ health and safety
If a situation or any practices observed in a private seniors’ residence represent a danger to health or safety, the CISSS or CIUSSS may evacuate the tenants. They will be housed elsewhere until the residence takes the necessary corrective measures.
If this happens to you, you have rights, including being exempted from paying rent during the evacuation period or refusing to move back into your apartment.
Filing a complaint about the quality of services
Any resident of a private seniors’ residence may file a complaint with the Service Quality and Complaints Commissioner if they feel that their rights have not been respected. Centres d’assistance et d’accompagnement aux plaintes can support tenants in any steps they take to file a complaint.
If you would like to file a complaint, the Complaint Assistance and Support Centre will:
- listen to you in order to understand your situation;
- give you information and help you write a complaint;
- give you information and assist and support you if the complaint is related to your lease;
- support you in preparing your case;
- accompany you to a conciliation meeting with a representative of the residence in order to reach an agreement;
- assist you and accompany you to a hearing with a representative of the Tribunal administratif du logement if the complaint is related to your lease.
These services are free, confidential and are offered throughout Québec.
Last update: November 11, 2020