The number of applications from owners who wish to repossess housing has jumped by 40% in one year, according to figures from the Administrative Court of Housing (TAL), a situation that worries the community.
This is the case in particular with the Regroupement des committees logement et associations de tenantes du Québec (RCLALQ), which recalls that the province is already experiencing a housing shortage and that affordable apartments are becoming increasingly rare, especially in large centers. .
Thus, in one year, the number of requests for repossession of housing increased from 1,061 to 1,484 across Quebec, while requests to carry out major work have exploded, from 33 to 165, according to the 2019-2020 annual report. of the Régie du logement.
“While the deadlines for obtaining a hearing are improving, there is a 40% increase in requests to repossess housing,” said Maxime Roy-Allard, spokesperson for RCLALQ, in a press release.
“Requests to carry out major work, which too often result in the departure of tenants, have increased by 400%,” he continued. This is a very worrying trend which is directly linked to the severe housing shortage: landlords are taking advantage of the scarcity of housing to evict tenants and increase the price of rents. ”
The Administrative Court of Housing (TAL), until recently known as the Régie du logement, indicated that the increase in requests to repossess housing “does not systematically mean more authorizations to repossess housing.” We do not keep statistics on the outcome of litigation, ”said Denis Miron, a spokesperson for TAL, by email.
“The variation in the number of applications for home repossessions can be linked to the performance of the economy,” added Mr. Miron. Moreover, it is likely to see more housing repossessions during a pandemic. The repossession aims in particular to allow the lessor to house a relative. ”
With regard to the increase in requests from owners to carry out major work, the TAL explains the situation by “the aging of the housing stock. The older the park, the more this kind of case will be brought before the Tribunal, ”said Mr. Miron.
“The tenant has a right of return to the accommodation once the work is completed,” added the spokesperson for TAL. The rent increase can only be made upon renewal of the lease and, if the Tribunal receives an application for the fixing of the rent, the rent will be fixed according to the criteria prescribed by regulation. ”
The RCLALQ also pointed out the significant increase in the number of pending civil cases, which rose from 26 last year to 441 according to the Régie's most recent report.
“The Régie can boast of improving its deadlines in several categories, but it is unacceptable to make the parties wait for more than two years”, indicated Mr. Roy-Allard, speaking of a 1600% increase in delays. related to civil causes.
The TAL states that “a single file in which several hundred requests were gathered probably explains the increase from 26 files in 2019 to 441 files in 2020,” said Mr. Miron.
“This is the Rockhill affair we already told you about,” he continued. In addition to the fact that several hundred requests had to be gathered in this case, several lawyers were involved on both sides and multiple notices of non-availability and postponement were sent by the parties. Attempts at negotiation also slow down the process. ”