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Nearly 50% increase in eviction notices sent to tenants in 2021

As many as 874 Quebec households requested the help of a housing committee after receiving an eviction notice in 2021, an increase of 46% compared to the previous year, according to a compilation of the Regroupement des Committees of the associations. of Renters and Housing of Quebec (RCLALQ).

“It’s the tip of the iceberg,” says RCLALQ spokesperson Maxime Roy-Allard. There must be thousands of [ménages dans cette situation] in Québec. “However, not all of them convene a housing committee.

The organization analyzed the eviction notices for housing recovery or major modification of rental spaces that were presented to housing committees in 2021.

What emerges is that half of the tenants who received an eviction notice in the last year had been living in their apartment for at least 10 years and a third for more than 15 years. Their rent averaged $ 767 per month, which is below the $ 844 average monthly price set by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) in October 2020.

Almost 80% of the eviction notices were also delivered to households living in the Montreal region.

Boiling real estate market

In 2020, Quebec’s housing committees intervened in 597 eviction cases, while in 2019 they had handled more than 305. Why such an increase over two years? The RCLALQ notes that half of the owners (53%) who presented this notice to their tenant in the last year have acquired their rental property for less than a year.

«[Ces acheteurs] they want to raise rents, explains Maxime Roy-Allard. They want to get a return on their investment quickly. The magic solution is to empty the houses ”.

>> Read also: The “renovations” in 5 questions

Remedies for tenants

What can a tenant do in such a situation? Above all, you should not sign anything, even if the landlord exerts pressure. “We have one month to respond to the eviction notice,” insists the RCLALQ spokesperson. He recommends consulting a housing committee or an attorney to assess whether an appeal is possible.

The Quebec Civil Code indicates that the owner of a rental property can take back a dwelling to occupy it or house their child or parents. You can also ask the tenant to leave the premises if you want to subdivide the apartment, expand it or change your vocation.

If the landlord wants to make renovations to increase the rent, the eviction notice is not legal. The same applies if you own an undivided part of a building or have vacant accommodation of the same size and in the same neighborhood. Home repossession is also prohibited if the rental property belongs to a business.

The law also imposes restrictions if the occupants of the home are age 70 or older and eligible for low rent.

The landlord must also notify the tenant of his intentions six months before the end of the lease.

>> Also read: Eviction, rent increase or housing repossession … who can help you?

Intervention of the Minister requested

Given that the tenants’ resources are complex, the RCLALQ requests the intervention of the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Andrée Laforest. It proposes, among other things, repealing the provisions of the Quebec Civil Code on evictions carried out by subdivision, expansion and change of vocation.

Home repossessions should also be prohibited in neighborhoods where the vacancy rate is less than 3%, according to the RCLALQ. He also suggests increasing the compensation awarded to evicted tenants and creating a rental registry.

Minister Laforest’s office indicates that the latter is “sensitive” to the fate of tenants evicted from their accommodation. An analysis is also underway “with regard to the issue of evictions and the burden of proof.”

Contrary to the figures compiled by the RCLALQ, the data transmitted by the Administrative Housing Court during the study of budget allocations showed rather a 33% decrease in eviction notifications. The firm was unable to specify what types of foreclosures were included (evictions for default, renewal, or other). The RCLACQ cannot explain the great difference between its compilation and that of the Tribunal.

>> Also read: All our articles on housing rental

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