The number of cases of repossession of housing presented to the Administrative Court of Housing (TAL) has doubled in three years. However, this increase is interpreted differently by the associations of owners than those of tenants.
An owner can only reclaim a home for himself, or to accommodate a parent or a child, a former spouse or another member of his family that he supports. He must also notify the tenant within a time limit set according to the duration of the lease. If the tenant refuses this recovery, the owner must then ask the TAL for his authorization.
It is therefore the refused rework that ends up before the Tribunal. They went from 898 in 2017-2018 to 1970 in 2020-2021, according to the annual report of this body filed on Tuesday. Home repossessions have increased by 33% in the past year.
The Grouping of Housing Committees and Tenants Associations of Quebec (RCLALQ) is worried about this leap perceived with mistrust. “Since there is no verification system following the repossession of housing, several tenants find after the fact that they have been evicted fraudulently, not to accommodate the owner or his family, but to increase abusively and illegally. the price of rent ”denounces Marjolaine Deneault, spokesperson for RCLALQ.
According to the TAL, an owner in repossession of housing must prove “that it is not a pretext to achieve other ends”. The person the owner wishes to house must also appear before the Tribunal. The tenants placed before a notice of repossession of housing do not, however, all initiate an appeal.
The RCLALQ calls on the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Andrée Laforest to “strengthen the mechanisms for protecting tenants”.
The general manager of the Corporation of the real estate owners of Quebec (CORPIQ) rather sees in this increase a positive sign that the family has taken more weight in the decisions of the lessors. “Formal takeovers are an almost ‘desirable’ phenomenon in a society where the family unit has torn them off,” says Benoit Ste-Marie.
A social phenomenon which was accentuated with the pandemic according to him: “We have seen people who buy plexes in order to house their families, it becomes a life project.” In contrast, he argues that rental properties are less and less profitable, which would discourage owners, who prefer to house their families.
The duty also reported Tuesday that the delays have lengthened on average this year at the TAL, climbing by 40% all causes combined, in the midst of a shortage of rental space. This increase was particularly expressed in cases for fixing and reviewing rents, for which tenants had to wait on average for more than a year.
The hearings were suspended for nearly three months before this body, which explains the delays in part, notes Mr. Ste-Marie of CORPIQ. He says he is confident that catching up with this delay is possible quickly.
“Despite a marked improvement in recent years, these delays are still too long and discourage tenants who want to obtain justice in court from exercising their rights,” says the RCLALQ for its part.