Ahead of Moving Day, city unveils new strategy in dealing with slumlords
Published Thursday, June 28, 2018 7:38PM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, June 28, 2018 10:41PM EDT
As moving day comes closer, the city of Montreal is changing its approach to dealing with slumlords.
A major part of the new strategy is the creation of a public database, dubbed the Risk Indicators List by Mayor Valerie Plante.
It will include information on cleanliness and hygiene that prospective tenants can’t always access.
“All the bedbug inspection done by companies will be available so people can consult that,” Plante said.
As part of the project, the city has hired 13 new inspectors, doubling the size of its team from last year.
These inspectors are expected to make over 30,000 visits to buildings around the city over the next four years.
If landlords refuse to improve their units, the city will step in.
“We have a fund to do repairs ourselves and then we send the landlord or the owner the bill for these repairs,” said Cote-des-Neiges mayor Sue Montgomery. “They have to pay us back, and when they sell the building we can take the money out of that sale.”
Cote-des-Neiges and Saint-Laurent have the most buildings that violate the rules.
According to Montreal's public health department, in Cote-des-Neiges, 38 per cent of rentals with children under the age of 12 have dangerous levels of humidity or mold.
“Getting asthma because of the condition of the apartment. It's really sad It's mostly migrants and poor people in those kinds of conditions,” said Maxime Roy-Allard of the Regroupement des comités logement et associations de locataires du Quebec (RCLALQ).
Fines have also been increased as well.
Landlords caught breaking the rules could be penalized up to $20,000.
While the new measures are a relief for tenants, Allard still feels more could be done.
“Thousands of people move out every year because of the condition of the apartment and then new people move in and they will live in those same conditions,” he said.
Unfortunately for this year’s movers, the complete risk list won’t be online until after July 1.