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Parc-Extension residents no longer packing bags after fighting eviction notice

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Mekredij Bronsezisn and his wife Rita Bronsezisn have lived in their apartment in Montreal's Parc-Extension neighbourhood for 38 years, and they say they can't picture living anywhere else.

Now, they may not have to.

"I'm very excited because I don't like to move because I'm very sick," said 67-year-old Rita.

The couple was one of eight tenants living in a Parc-Extension apartment building facing eviction; six of them are fighting it.

Their landlord sent the notice in December.

According to residents, he wanted to build an extension. They say this was the second time he sent an eviction notice in 2023.

The first time, he cancelled it. The second time, the tenants went to the rental board to fight it.

"They (the landlord) have to show to the judge, that it is a project that is possible, that is legal, that he has the permit from the borough and he has the money to do it," said Andre Trepanier a tenants' rights advocate who works for the Parc-Extension Action Committee.

Many of the tenants are low-income seniors, over the age of 70, who have lived in the building for more than 10 years.

"We just want to be left alone and let us have our apartments," said 70-year-old tenant Edward Fell.

Others say their landlord told them they could stay if they paid double the rent.

"He said to me, I make you deal with you. With manager and owner. I said, 'How much of a deal?' He said, 'make it double,'" said Mekredij Bronsezisn.

After three months of anxiously awaiting the hearing, it was finally held last Friday.

The landlord, however, didn't show up. Tenants say he spoke to the judge on speakerphone, saying he had to take his children to the dentist.

"The tenant will win because the landlord was not there to argue about this project," said Trepanier.

Tenants are pleased with the decision.

"This decision is very good because it's telling tenants: you have rights, you have you have protection," said Fell.

CTV News called the landlord for an interview but a representative refused comment.

While the final decision has yet to be handed down, tenants are confident they won't have to move anytime soon. 

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