Declaration of family residence

A declaration of family residence provides protection for the home of a couple living together in a marriage or civil union, along with the household furniture.

The declaration consists of a simple entry in a document registered in the Land register of Québec, specifying that the couple's property is used as a family residence. The declaration may also be made:

  • in a lease,
  • or in a notice to the owner of the dwelling occupied by the couple.

The declaration may be made by both spouses or by a single spouse, who is not required to inform the other spouse that the declaration has been made.


Once a declaration of family residence has been registered against a house or apartment, one spouse must obtain the written consent of the other spouse before:

  • selling,
  • donating,
  • leasing,
  • subletting, or
  • hypothecating the house or apartment. 

This rule applies even if:

  • you are the sole owner of the house or apartment;
  • you are the only person who signed the lease.

In addition, you need written consent from your spouse before selling, donating, leasing or hypothecating:

  • the furnishings in the family residence, whether or not they belong to you;
  • any right relating to the use of the family residence.

If consent has not been obtained, your spouse may, depending on the nature of the family residence

  • claim damages;
  • apply for the annulment of the transaction.

Following a legal separation or the dissolution of a civil union, the court may allocate the ownership or use of furnishings, and also the temporary use of the family residence, to one of the spouses if it grants custody of a child at the same time.

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