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Tenants say Montreal landlord is trying to give them the boot

Tenants of an apartment complex on Grand Boulevard in NDG say they're being pushed out.
Tenants of an apartment complex on Grand Boulevard in NDG say they're being pushed out.

Tenants of an apartment building in Montreal's Notre-Dame-de-Grace fear they're slowly being kicked out of their home by the building's new owner.

After living in an apartment complex on Grand Boulevard for 13 years, Josh Kimmel said less than a month ago that the building's new manager told him he would have to move out in the coming months since the owner plans to renovate the basement.

Kimmel captured the conversation on video, where the manager told him the landlord would be willing to offer moving fees and three months' rent "to make everyone as happy as possible."

Kimmel wasn't the only one who was asked to leave before the end of the summer – all six of the building's tenants were given different reasons and offered different compensation.

"(I was told) you guys have to leave because the owner needs it for his daughter," said Dr. Myrna Lashley, who has been a tenant there for the past five years.

Tenant Rafael Benitez said he was told "major work has to be done."

"We are kindly offering you 5000$ to cover the expenses of the move," he said he was told.

Following the building manager's visits, Lashley said the tenants all compared notes.

"What he doesn't realize is that we're really close," she said. "We're only six people in this building."

Tenants said they wouldn't make any decisions before receiving a formal written notice of eviction.

Now they're unable to reach the manager, and they're noticing issues in and around their building.

"(They) stopped cutting the grass, stopped putting out the garbage, left it there. He cut the access to the garage by remote," said Lashley.

Last week, access to the intercom and lights in the garage was disconnected.

"I have a talent agency, and I have clients that are buzzing the door here two or three times a day," said Kimmel. "I shoot self-tape auditions in the apartment upstairs."

The tenants believe it's being done deliberately to force them out faster.

"We are law-abiding citizens, and we expect the people who own our building to do the same thing -- to be law-abiding citizens," said tenant Renate Betts, a tenant for five years.

Tenant rights activist Arnold Bennett said the new building owner isn't respecting the rules.

 "He's trying to get people to sign off with who knows how much money so that he doesn't have to go through the tribunal rules," said tenant rights activist Arnold Bennett.

The tenants have now contacted a lawyer to address their concerns.

CTV News has not been able to reach the building manager despite repeated attempts. Top Stories

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