A citizen who leases a parking space on a lot managed by Stationnement de Montréal, complained to the Ombudsman de Montréal because a new compulsory payment policy adopted by Stationnement de Montréal made it impossible for him to pay his monthly rent in cash. Until then, this citizen had always paid for his parking with cash, at the Stationnement de Montréal’s office service counter.

It is important to note that Stationnement de Montréal falls within the Ombudsman de Montréal’s jurisdiction.

During the initial discussion, Stationnement de Montréal explained that the reasons why they were no longer accepting cash payments were to facilitate the computerized process of payments.

Stationnement de Montréal was not in fact facing any exceptional circumstance that could justify the derogation of the principle generally applied that the debtor can be freed of its obligation by paying in cash.

The Ombudsman de Montréal deemed relevant to verify the legality of this new rule and, following her research, she concluded that this new policy infringed the provisions of the Civil Code of Québec and of the Currency Act.

The Ombudsman de Montréal therefore issued a Recommendation so that Stationnement de Montréal authorizes the lessees of its parking spaces to pay their monthly fees, in cash, at its customer service counter or at any other reasonable place it could determine, the whole, without prejudice to the right of the lessee to use any other method of payment accepted by Stationnement de Montréal.

We have received confirmation from Stationnement de Montréal that our Recommendation was accepted.

Moreover, in 2012, in the context of another file, our office brought to the attention of the new Director of Stationnement de Montréal this previous intervention we had done, in 2005, to inform him that, according to Québec laws, it is not permitted to refuse cash payments. The new Director confirmed his intention to respect this obligation.

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