A citizen receiving a Rent Supplement Allowance must leave the country for a couple of weeks. She sells all of her furniture in order to pay for the trip and pays one month of rent to her landlord, before leaving. Upon her return, she finds out that her lease has been resiliated and that the Office municipal d’habitation de Montréal (“OMHM”) has withdrawn her right to the rent supplement.

According to the OMHM rules, when a tenant leaves his dwelling without furniture, he is deemed to have abandoned it and his lease is resiliated of right. Moreover, a delay penalty is imposed to the tenant before he can apply for low-rent housing (HLM) or a rent supplement, again.

After investigating this specific case, the Ombudsman de Montréal concluded that the tenant had no intention of abandoning her dwelling. She thus intervened on her behalf, with the OMHM.

Following her intervention, the OMHM accepted that, in this specific instance, the tenant’s departure did not constitute an abandonment of her dwelling. This decision was based, mainly, on the fact that the citizen was gone for a very short time and that she had paid her rent in advance, before leaving the country. As a result, the OMHM restored her rent supplement allowance and relocated the citizen.

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