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  #1  
Old 12-15-2003, 04:11 PM
Hari Seldon Hari Seldon is offline
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Moving day--does it exist anywhere else?

In Quebec, all residential leases expire the same day of the year, July 1, unless the landlord and tenant agree otherwise (but given the universality of the date, it is generally hard to get that agreement). As one might imagine, one result is absolute chaos for movers. I recall when good friends moved (out of the province) and the new owners who were moving from a rented apartment and therefore wanted to move on July 1, had to return the truck they had rented from 7 AM to 1 PM or pay an enormous penalty.

My question is does any other jurisdiction have such an insane arrangement? Certainly, no other place I have ever lived has such a law and I was telling an incredulous visitor about it a while ago and began to wonder if Quebec was unique in this.

Incidentally, there used to be two such dates, May 1 and Oct. 1 (historically a result of a law making eviction impossible between those dates presumably because of the harsh winter). These dates were maximally disruptive of schools and it would have been quite reasonable to abolish them, but it seemingly never occurred to anyone to just abolish the concept. And of course, the chosen date, aside from not interfering with school, was also chosen to interfere with the Canada Day holiday.
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  #2  
Old 12-15-2003, 05:01 PM
friedo friedo is offline
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That sounds like a horrendous pain in the ass.

Certainly not done here in New York City.
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  #3  
Old 12-15-2003, 05:11 PM
LSLGuy LSLGuy is offline
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I've lived in 8 states scattered across the USA and 1 non-US country and I've never heard of such a crazy thing in my life.
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  #4  
Old 12-15-2003, 05:16 PM
adirondack_mike adirondack_mike is offline
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In some neighborhoods around here moving day seems to be the tenth of the month - every month.
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  #5  
Old 12-15-2003, 05:19 PM
whiterabbit whiterabbit is offline
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I've never heard of such a thing. You mean you can't move anytime you want/need to? At all??? Weird.
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  #6  
Old 12-15-2003, 05:35 PM
Hari Seldon Hari Seldon is offline
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Well, as I said, if the tenant and landlord agree, they can do what they like. My son lived here for a year and rented a place on Sept. 1 with the understand he would leave the following Aug 31 and that was written into the lease. But without specific agreement, all leases expire July 1.

I know this is not true anywhere in the US; I was wondering about the rest of the world. What does France do, for example? The thing is that the operating principle of the Quebec government is that everything must be regulated. Just to give one example, when we moved here, my wife would have been forbidden to use her maiden name legally. Now only her maiden name is legal. Since the French generally use the word Madam for any woman past a certain age and Madam is usually translated as Mrs., when she goes to say an X-ray clinic, they invariably call her Mrs Maidenname, a name she finds oddly embarrasing, since it was her mother's of course.
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  #7  
Old 12-15-2003, 05:56 PM
clairobscur clairobscur is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Hari Seldon

I know this is not true anywhere in the US; I was wondering about the rest of the world. What does France do, for example?

There's no such thing in France. Leases usualy expire three years after the day you rent the place, whatever date this could be, or else two or three months (can't remember) after you warned your landlord you're going to leave. I just can't imagine a situation where a majority of peole willing to move do so on the same day and the resulting chaos.


On the other hand, you don't have to bother about your new place being available exactly when you intend to move....
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Old 12-15-2003, 06:08 PM
clairobscur clairobscur is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Hari Seldon

I know this is not true anywhere in the US; I was wondering about the rest of the world. What does France do, for example?

There's no such thing in France. Leases usualy expire three years after the day you rent the place, whatever date this could be, or else two or three months (can't remember) after you warned your landlord you're going to leave. I just can't imagine a situation where a majority of peole willing to move do so on the same day and the resulting chaos.


On the other hand, you don't have to bother about your new place being available exactly when you intend to move....
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  #9  
Old 12-15-2003, 06:58 PM
Jervoise Jervoise is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Hari Seldon
I know this is not true anywhere in the US; I was wondering about the rest of the world.
This is also unheard of in Australia. Leases persist for as long as the tenant and landlord agree: three months, six months, a year, etc.

In the absence of an agreement to the contrary, a mixture of the common law and (in my state at least) statute kicks in. For example, it may be that after expiry of a lease term, in the absence of express termination the lease is presumed to continue for periods as long your lease payments. E.g. if you pay rent monthly, then the lease is presumed to continue on a month-by-month basis until either party calls an end to it.
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  #10  
Old 12-15-2003, 07:14 PM
FilmGeek FilmGeek is offline
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Try living in a college town. Most leases, not to mention dorms begin and end August 1st.

Makes renting a truck a bitch.
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  #11  
Old 12-15-2003, 07:25 PM
panamajack panamajack is offline
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I've seen something only slightly similar, but not due to law - in some college towns, there are a lot of leases that begin around the time school starts. So, where I went to school for example, a lot of people would be moving on Aug 31. There was always an impressive exchange of furniture - one week abandoned couches, chairs and desks would litter the streets and the next week they'd all be gone. I imagine a similar scene must occur throughout Quebec every year.
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  #12  
Old 12-15-2003, 08:49 PM
Askance Askance is offline
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I have heard second-hand that it happens in Switzerland, and knowing several Swiss I can believe it.

I have this vision of moving trucks from all over Europe descending on Switzerland once a year then fleeing.
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  #13  
Old 12-15-2003, 09:01 PM
Hari Seldon Hari Seldon is offline
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Well, I have lived in Switzerland--in Zurich and in Fribourg--and I heard nothing about it there. Anyway, Swiss move much less frequently than we do.
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  #14  
Old 12-15-2003, 10:24 PM
Amberlei Amberlei is offline
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In Massachusetts, particularly Boston, though there isn't a specified moving day, it's very common for leases to expire 8/31 and new ones start 9/1. In Worcester, there seem to be two major moving days. June 1 and Sept. 1. I'm sure it's because there are so very many universities in the area.
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  #15  
Old 12-15-2003, 11:05 PM
Lucretia Lucretia is offline
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I've heard that this exact situation existed in New York in the 1800's (possibly into the 1900's?). It not only resulted in not beingn able to hire a cart of any sort for anything less than usurious rates, but apparently hundreds of homless families on the streets with their worldly possessions when their landlords booted them out.
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  #16  
Old 12-17-2003, 11:52 AM
Colibri Colibri is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Lucretia
I've heard that this exact situation existed in New York in the 1800's (possibly into the 1900's?). It not only resulted in not beingn able to hire a cart of any sort for anything less than usurious rates, but apparently hundreds of homless families on the streets with their worldly possessions when their landlords booted them out.
You are quite correct. From here

Quote:
[In the mid 1800s] May 1 was moving day in New York, because most leases expired then. By city law, all renters had to be out of their old house by 9 AM and into the new one by noon. Streets were crammed with carts on the busiest day of the year. People were leaving Manhattan for places like “Brooklyn, Williamsburg, Jersey City, and Hoboken … owing to the enormous increase of rent and the taxation, that is heavy, like a millstone around the necks of New Yorkers.” Founded in 1848, the Tenant League agitated for more flexible leases because the universal May 1 expiration served as an excuse for landlords to raise rents annually. The League’s crusade for a city housing code failed, but resurfaced decades later in the fight for rent control.
I've looked up the addresses of my ancestors in the New York City Directories during the last half of the 1800s. Some of them seemed to move nearly every year, especially the Irish.

I'm not sure exactly when the practice ended.
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  #17  
Old 12-17-2003, 01:08 PM
pipper pipper is offline
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In Chicago, I would estimate that nearly 50% of all leases start on either May 1 or October 1. Trying to get around Lakeview or Lincoln Park on the weekend closest to those dates is a nightmare, as there are at least one or two moving trucks double parked on each block.

Not certain why it developed this way, but it will probably continue as it is in the landlord's best interest to make the apartment available when the largest number of people will be looking to move. .... Although on second thought, this will also lead to a greater amount of competition from other vacated apartments.

So I wonder if it's better to be 'on-cycle' (greater supply but also greater demand) of 'off-cycle' (lesser supply but lower demand)??
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