Quebec Imposes Additional Regulations For Landlords, To Protect Condo Tenants
On Wednesday, the provincial government added further legislation to Bill 16, with the aim of protecting vulnerable tenants.
TL;DR: Additions to the bill include shorter waiting times for rental disputes, renovation funds, and mandatory, standardized inspection training.
The aim is to reduce the average delay for a rental dispute hearing from 16 months to 2 months.
The bill provides for the addition of 30 new information officers, as well as more support staff. It also gives clerks more power, so that they will be able to judge reasons for non-payment of rent.
Tenant rights activists say that the current housing bill does not do enough to protect tenants, as it is too technical for the average tenant to understand without hiring a lawyer.
According to Roy-Allard, who was interviewed by CBC radio, high rental prices and low vacancy rates make it easy for landlords to kick out tenants, or discriminate against them. “When there’s a lack of housing, there is more discrimination, and tenants suffer from greater injustice,” Roy-Allard told Radio-Canada. “We need a functioning tribunal — one that tenants can make use of.”
Mandatory training for building inspectors
The housing bill also requires that all building inspectors undergo mandatory and standardized training. Building inspectors do not currently require any permit or training to operate.
Municipality given more power
Bill 16 also gives the municipality more powers when it comes to rental disputes. For example, in the case where a private seniors residence is threatened with closure, the municipality could have the authority to seize the building and keep it operating.
Co-op maintanance funds
Many older undivided condominium buildings in Quebec are in need of extensive renovation, but there is no current obligation for co-op landlords to maintain their properties at a status quo level. The new bill would oblige owners of undivided condominiums to contribute to a renovation fund, to pay for major repairs and damages.
It would also force co-owners to document all building maintenance and set aside funds monthly for future repairs.
The estimated cost to each co-owner per month would be $5.50, according to Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Andrée Laforesté