Ousted tenant fights expulsion from St. Henri apartment
Published Monday, February 27, 2012 8:23PM EST
A tenant who was living in a St. Henri apartment building says he's been unfairly evicted when his landlord ousted him following a nearby fire.
Cartoonist and musician Rick Trembles said he was tossed from his home on Ste. Emilie St. last month after flames broke out in the adjacent building.
Trembles said his landlord told him he was forced to move, and gave him little information and no compensation.
"He said because the demolition of the building next door, where the fire was, would probably destroy our building too; our building wouldn't withstand the impact," said Trembles, adding that he was given six days to move out.
He believes the landlord is talking to a developer with an aim to turn the low-end apartment units into pricier condos.
An engineering report ordered by the City of Montreal confirms what the landlord told Trembles: the building is not safe.
"It's quite dangerous and we don't want any injuries or accidents to happen," said Stephane Bernaquez, the Southwest borough chief of permits and inspections.
Trembles said the landlord offered him $1450 in compensation, but he feels it's insufficient. Regardless, he has not been able to reach the landlord since he made the verbal offer.
The landlord has obligations to fulfill, explained Jean-Pierre Le Blanc of the Quebec rental board.
"In the case of a demolition, the law says that the landlord must pay the evicted tenant an indemnity equal to three months of rent, and his moving expenses," he said.
When CTV attempted to contact Trembles's former landlord, he did not answer, and his voicemail box was full.
Trembles said he's getting nowhere with his complaint.
"I'm completely left in the dark. I don't know what's going on," he said.