For a second year in a row, the RCLALQ has compiled tens of thousands of rental listings from the site Kijiji. Last year we were talking about skyrocketing rents due to a sharp increase in house prices. Since then, the situation has far from improved in Quebec. On the contrary, skyrocketing rents are now a widespread phenomenon across the entire province.
How Did it Come to This?
Because it is tenants who bear the burden of evaluating whether the rent increase requested by the landlord is reasonable They must make this judgment without having access to the invoices that support the expenses incurred during the year.
Because even if the increase is excessive, if tenants do not refuse a rent increase, it is legal. Many tenants do not refuse abusive hikes for fear of retaliation, or in order to stay on good terms with their landlord. Thus, very few rent increases are set by the Tribunal.
Because when they send their notice of rent increase, many owners do not use the official notice of the TAL, failing to provide the option: “I refuse the increase and wish to stay in my apartment” . Consequently, tenants who are unfamiliar with their rights are under the false impression that they must accept the rent increase or leave their home.
Because too many landlords use fraudulent tactics (repossession and eviction in bad faith, major non-essential work, termination of lease under pressure, etc.) to evict tenants and excessively increase the price of rents. Even if landlords are obligated to enter the lowest rent paid in the previous year when signing a new lease (section G of the lease), many still lie. Since no registry exists to identify rents, it is extremely difficult for tenants to confirm the information provided by the landlord in section G of the lease and therefore, to initiate an appeal in the event of an abusive increase.
Because housing has for too long been considered a simple commodity, subject to the vagaries of supply and demand, rather than a fundamental right. For these reasons and more, the RCLALQ is launching the campaign “Skyrocketing Rents are on a Roll, We Need More Rent Control!”. We ask the Minister of Housing, Andrée Laforest, to put in place mandatory and universal rent control in Quebec. It is urgent to introduce measures to give tenant households some relief, so that they may not be forced to forgo essential needs in order to pay their rent. Mandatory rent control, supported by a rent registry, would address the abuse from corporate landlords who intent on the pursuit of maximum profit.
Support our Campaign!
We invite organizations (community groups, unions, students, etc.) to support our campaign. Just fill out this form.
You can consult the list of signatory groups here.
– Email template to sent to the minister
More to come soon