Montreal landlord defends 75% rent increase on Mile End bookstore owner

Click to play video: 'Montreal real estate broker says he has no choice but to raise rents on properties due to skyrocketing taxes' Montreal real estate broker says he has no choice but to raise rents on properties due to skyrocketing taxes
WATCH: As a result, a popular used bookstore in the Mile End may soon be out of business. Tim Sargeant reports – Mar 1, 2021

The independent bookstore, S.W. Welch, in the Mile End district has been in business for 37 years.

But the final chapter may soon be written on the storied shop.

The landlord is imposing a 75-per cent rent increase on the bookstore’s lease.

Danny Lavy, of Shiller Lavy Realties, told Global News the increase is long overdue as the bookstore has been locked into a long term lease with minimal increases.

“I only wish him the best and I want him to do well and I’m even willing to help him” Lavy told Global News.

Read more: Long-running Mile End bookstore says it will be forced to close after landlord demands rent hike

The owner of multiple commercial buildings in Montreal argues that even with the increase, the bookstore owner’s lease will still be less than the market value for the area.

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“I’m giving him to pay 60 per cent of the going rent on the street and he’s not happy,” he said.

Lavy insists high property taxes in recent years is forcing him to increase the rent, but the taxes he owes on the building this years are 9.4 per cent lower that in 2020.

“You’re talking about one particular example,” he said.

Read more: Montreal tenants, advocates demonstrate against city’s lack of affordable housing

Last Friday, bookstore owner Stephen Welch told Global News the increase will force him to close his doors.

“It’s going to put me out of business, you know,” he said.

Welch has re-located four times and doesn’t intend to move a fifth time.

His current lease expires July 31st.


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