Dozens of Plateau Mont-Royal tenants face eviction over mould, bug infestation
Close to 30 tenants living in a dilapidated apartment building in the Plateau-Mont-Royal borough are facing eviction.
The city wants them to vacate the premises by Oct.17 due to dangerous and unsanitary conditions. Meanwhile, Montreal’s mayor is studying legal options to try to force the landlord to complete the necessary repairs in order to allow tenants to stay.
“Evicting people is never the solution we put forward first, never,” said Montreal mayor Valérie Plante.
“We want people to stay in their home.”
Many tenants started packing their belongings as soon as they were hit with an eviction notice late last week. And most of them have yet to find a new home.
“It’s very discouraging, it changes all my life, it’s very hard to find another apartment on the Plateau,” said tenant Louise Bergeron.
WATCH: Montreal family homeless after ant, fungus infestations
The 64-unit building has been deemed dangerous and unsanitary. According to tenants, it’s infested with bedbugs cockroaches and mould.
What’s more, the building’s heating unit broke down last week. Many argue conditions went from bad to worse when the building was sold last year.
“The new landlord that took it, it was one year and he did absolutely nothing except collect the rent,” tenant Sylvie Labonté said.
“They make us feel like garbage, the way they treat us is exactly like garbage.”
Plante claims the city has done everything in its power to help, including spending $100,000 on exterminators — a bill that’s now being forwarded to the landlord.
“We did what we could but at one point the landlord needs to do his work as well and that’s the message we’re sending to him,” Plante said.
The Office Municipal D’Habitation de Montréal will help relocate the tenants, but many worry they’ll have to move far away from the neighbourhood they call home.