Renoviction — it’s something housing advocates say is becoming more and more common.
Eleven tenants at three apartment buildings in Verdun and Côte-des-Neiges think that’s what’s happening where they live. They say they started getting harassed by their new landlord after they got a notice to leave the building for 12 months.
“They asked us to leave for major works,” said Maude Poirier-Caron, one of the tenants at a building on Decarie Boulevard.
“In all the dwellings, they want to re-do the floors, bathrooms, kitchens. They want to add balconies and re-do all the windows.”
But according to Poirier-Caron, in most cases renovations aren’t needed because some units were recently refurbished.
“I mean, it’s clear that it was re-done recently,” she said. “There’s no plumbing problems, no problems with the ceiling.”
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The buildings are on Decarie Boulevard in Côte-des-Neiges and 2nd Avenue in Verdun. Tenants have already left most of the 33 units, but those remaining say they have been facing undue pressure by the landlord to leave.
“We noticed a significant decrease in how much they were taking care of the building,” Poirier-Caron claimed.
Other tenants say they’ve received repeated visits from bailiffs trying to encourage them to move out. Baird said this strategy is happening more and more because of real estate speculation.
“We’ve seen how real estate speculation can have disastrous consequences in a number of neighbourhoods and cities,” he stressed.
He wants more in law to protect tenants but until that happens, he said tenants should learn about their rights before signing anything, and if they are in doubt, get help from community organizations or legal aid clinics.