M-37 - Act respecting the mode of payment for electric and gas service in certain buildings

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Updated to 10 May 2022
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chapter M-37
Act respecting the mode of payment for electric and gas service in certain buildings
PAYMENT FOR ELECTRIC AND GAS SERVICESDecember 16 1982December 16 1982
The Minister of Energy and Natural Resources is responsible for the application of this Act. Order in Council 1290-2018 dated 18 October 2018, (2018) 150 G.O. 2 (French), 7384.
1982, c. 58, s. 50.
1. This Act applies to electric or gas service supplied in a building or part of a building rented as a dwelling, or which includes at least one unit of occupancy rented as such, where the lease stipulates that the cost of electric or gas service is included in the amount payable to the lessor.
For the purposes of this Act, the owner or the lessor of the building or the successor to either of them is deemed to be the debtor to the electric or gas supplier for the cost of such service, even for a debt contracted with the supplier, respecting such service, by a previous owner or lessor of the building.
In this Act, the word gas means natural gas.
1975, c. 32, s. 1; 1982, c. 58, s. 51, s. 52; 1991, c. 54, s. 1; 1999, c. 40, s. 193.
2. If the debtor for such a service does not pay the cost thereof within forty-five days of receiving the account, the electric or gas supplier may apply to a judge or the clerk of the Superior Court for assignment of part of each rent in the building, on the terms and conditions provided in this Act.
If the account is sent by mail, it is deemed received on being mailed.
1975, c. 32, s. 2; 1982, c. 58, s. 51; I.N. 2016-01-01 (NCCP).
3. The application shall be presented in the office of the court of the district where the building is located.
It shall be served on the owner or the lessor of the building and on the person to whom the account is usually sent, if such person is neither the owner nor the lessor.
Notice of the service shall be given to the hypothecary creditor, if any.
The application shall be heard and decided by preference.
The judgment on the application shall be executory notwithstanding appeal.
1975, c. 32, s. 3; I.N. 2016-01-01 (NCCP).
4. The judge or the clerk shall accede to the application on mere evidence that the account has not been fully discharged.
1975, c. 32, s. 4; I.N. 2016-01-01 (NCCP).
5. At or before the hearing of the application, the debtor shall file an affidavit setting forth, for each lessee:
(a)  his name and address, and the number of the unit, if any;
(b)  the amount of the rent;
(c)  the date on which the rent becomes due; and
(d)  the date on which the lease expires.
The statement must also indicate those units which are vacant.
1975, c. 32, s. 5; I.N. 2016-01-01 (NCCP).
6. The judge or the clerk shall determine the percentage of the rent that is to be assigned.
1975, c. 32, s. 6.
7. The percentage established shall be the same for each rent in the building.
It shall not be less than 15% nor more than 25%.
However, where one or more assignments envisage the payment of both the electric service and the gas service, that percentage may be from 10 to 20% for each of the debts.
It shall be determined by taking into account the amount of the debt, electrical or gas consumption in the building and the costs contemplated in section 19.
If circumstances warrant, the judgment may provide a series of varying percentages and the dates on which they respectively become effective.
1975, c. 32, s. 7; 1982, c. 58, s. 51, s. 53.
8. The assignment shall terminate
(a)  upon payment of the whole amount due to the supplier for the service supplied before and after the assignment, including the amount showing on the last account and the costs under section 19; and
(b)  upon the giving of a deposit or any other security to the supplier to guarantee four months of electrical consumption in advance, as estimated by the supplier.
1975, c. 32, s. 8.
9. If the debtor complies with section 8, the supplier shall give him a quittance, a copy of which shall be filed in the court record.
1975, c. 32, s. 9.
10. The judge or the clerk shall determine the most suitable means of notifying the lessees in the building of the existence of the assignment and, if the debtor complies with section 8, of the termination of the assignment.
Where an assignment is ordered, the notice must in particular indicate the manner in which the lessees are to pay the lessor and the electric or gas supplier, pursuant to section 13.
1975, c. 32, s. 10; 1982, c. 58, s. 51.
11. Upon the rendering of the judgment, even if the case has been appealed, the amount of each rent which constitutes the established percentage is deemed to be no longer part of the rent, notwithstanding any agreement to the contrary.
Such amount is deemed allocated to payment for the electrical or gas service and the lessee personally becomes debtor to the supplier for payment of the sum corresponding to the established percentage.
1975, c. 32, s. 11; 1982, c. 58, s. 51.
12. Upon the rendering of the judgment, the amount contemplated in section 11 belongs lawfully to the supplier; it cannot be seized by third parties and cannot be affected by any right of a third party under a prior claim, hypothec or agreement, even if the right of the third party was created before the assignment.
1975, c. 32, s. 12; 1992, c. 57, s. 623.
13. The lessee who has been notified of the assignment under section 10 shall, thereafter and till the termination of the assignment, deduct from his regular payments of rent the amount which constitutes the percentage subject to assignment.
The lessee shall then pay the electric or gas supplier the amount so deducted.
He shall pay the lessor the amount of the balance, which is deemed to be the amount of the rent.
1975, c. 32, s. 13; 1982, c. 58, s. 51.
14. On the termination of the assignment, the lessee shall resume payment to the lessor of the full amount of the rent as provided in the lease.
1975, c. 32, s. 14.
15. If a lessee withholds part of his rent in conformity with article 1867 of the Civil Code, the amount allocated to payment for the service shall not be included in the amount withheld.
1975, c. 32, s. 15; 1999, c. 40, s. 193.
16. If the lessee has given the lessor postdated cheques for a period of more than one month, the debtor shall, upon the rendering of the judgment ordering the assignment, return such cheques to the lessee within fifteen days of the judgment.
1975, c. 32, s. 16.
17. If the post-dated cheques are not returned in compliance with section 16, the lessee shall order the stopping of such cheques for the duration of the assignment and thereafter pay his rent and the cost of electric or gas service in conformity with section 13.
No lessee shall be prosecuted for having complied with this section.
1975, c. 32, s. 17; 1982, c. 58, s. 51.
18. The debtor shall notify the supplier of every change of lessee occurring during the assignment, by supplying the information provided for in section 5.
1975, c. 32, s. 18.
19. Any reasonable additional costs incurred for the administration and collection of accounts pursuant to this Act shall be added to the debt.
1975, c. 32, s. 19.
20. No electrical or gas supplier, may interrupt any service contemplated in section 1 because the debtor fails to discharge his debt or to give a deposit or other guarantee to the supplier.
1975, c. 32, s. 20; 1982, c. 58, s. 51, s. 54.
21. Every person who contravenes section 20 is guilty of an offence and liable to a fine of not less than $1,000 nor more than $3,000 for each day or part of a day during which the offence continues, except if the contravener shows that it was not apparent that more than one dwelling unit was connected to the same electric or gas meter.
1975, c. 32, s. 21; 1982, c. 58, s. 51.
22. (1)  Every person
(a)  who threatens or intimidates a lessee, retaliates against him, hampers his enjoyment of the rented premises or discontinues or reduces services included in the lease because the lessee has complied with this Act; or
(b)  who contravenes section 16, is guilty of an offence.
(2)  Every person who is convicted of the offence contemplated in subsection 1 is liable
(a)  in the case of a legal person, to a fine of not less than $1,000 nor more than $3,000 and
(b)  in any other case, to a fine of not less than $500 nor more than $1,500.
1975, c. 32, s. 22; 1990, c. 4, s. 604; 1999, c. 40, s. 193.
23. (Repealed).
1975, c. 32, s. 23; 1990, c. 4, s. 605; 1992, c. 61, s. 415.
24. This Act has effect notwithstanding any general law or special Act inconsistent therewith.
1975, c. 32, s. 24.
24.1. This Act applies to the Government and to its departments and agencies.
1982, c. 58, s. 55.
25. This Act applies even in regard to the cost for electric or gas service not paid for prior to 16 December 1982.
1975, c. 32, s. 25; 1982, c. 58, s. 56.
26. (This section ceased to have effect on 17 April 1987).
1982, c. 21, s. 1; U. K., 1982, c. 11, Sch. B, Part I, s. 33.

In accordance with section 17 of the Act respecting the consolidation of the statutes (chapter R-3), chapter 32 of the statutes of 1975, in force on 31 December 1977, is repealed, except section 26, effective from the coming into force of chapter M-37 of the Revised Statutes.