Tenants' rights group claims lies behind many evictions, but landlords call study faulty
MONTREAL -- Tenants' rights advocates in Rosemont-La Petite-Patrie say they've uncovered a disturbing trend of landlords forcing tenants out of their homes under false pretenses.
A study by a non-profit housing committee found most landlords who rent out apartments are not truthful in their claims about why they need to evict tenants.
“Eighty-five per cent of all projects of repossession and evictions were never realized,” said Martin Blanchard of the Comite Logement de La Petite-Patrie.
Under Quebec law, landlords are allowed to repossess an apartment if a family member is going to move in but the study found landlords often lied in order to find a new tenant and raise the rent.
The study also found that in the case of so-called renovictions, where the landlord claims the tenant must lease so renovations can be performed, the work was rarely done.
“We got way more cases this year than last year,” said Maxime Roy-Allard of tenants' rights group Regroupement des comités logement et associations de locataires du Quebec. “We have 600 cases this year, mostly from repossession of dwelling but more and more about renoviction.”
CORPIQ, the Quebec landlords' association, questioned the study's methods, saying the only cases analyzed were ones where renters sought help from a tenants' rights group.
“It would be the same as if CORPIQ would say we receive 1,000 calls in one month and 80 per cent of those calls were landlords who have at least one tenant who didn't pay the rent,” said spokesperson Hans Brouillette.
In some cases, tenants who push back do win the right to stay. Suzie McLellan sought out a lawyer and was able to keep the right to stay in her apartment after doubting her landlord's daughter was really going to move in.
“I really like my apartment. It's more than an apartment for me, it's my place, it's me,” she said.