Francis Vachon Le Devoir In an interview with Le Devoir, France-Élaine Duranceau said she was of the opinion that there would be no abusive rent increases if clause G was respected, but However, she mentions that she has not yet found a way to ensure that owners comply.
The Minister responsible for Housing, France-Élaine Duranceau, maintains her position on the reform of lease transfers. Instead, she recommends another way to prevent landlords from unduly raising rents: compliance with clause G.
Clause G is the section of the lease in which landlords are required to indicate the amount of rent paid over the last 12 months for a given accommodation. If this section is not completed – or if the owner asks for more than what is listed -, the tenant can bring an action to fix the rent at the Administrative Housing Tribunal (TAL).
However, a recent Léger survey conducted among tenants shows that at least 35% of landlords do not provide the information requested in clause G. The survey commissioned by Vivre en ville and carried out among 5,550 people also reveals that many tenants are unaware of its existence, since 45% of respondents were unable to answer the question.
“That’s the real problem,” says Ms. Duranceau. The tenants have a “fixation” on the assignment of lease, but “it is not the right remedy for the sore, which is clause G.”
Bill 31, which it filed last June, does not address Clause G directly, but it would prevent tenants from assigning their lease during the year without their landlord's consent. A measure which caused an outcry because the transfer of lease is one of the few tools available to tenants to curb rent increases.
Distrust of clause G
The Minister responsible for Housing believes that there would be no abusive rent increases – and that tenants would not need to resort to the assignment of lease — if clause G was respected. However, it has not yet found a way to ensure that owners comply.
The advisory portion of the study of the bill ended on September 20. The tenants' associations which participated showed little interest in strengthening clause G: they were more keen to preserve the transfer of lease as it is and asked the government to create a rent register.< /p>
Owners' associations, for their part, welcome the reform of lease assignments, but they are opposed to the strengthening of clause G. The Corporation of Real Estate Owners of Quebec, CORPIQ, claims that the measure would have an equivalent effect the creation of a rent register; she was open to requiring owners to complete this section, but on condition that tenants no longer have the right to contest the increases before the TAL.
Quebec elected officials will have to will soon begin a detailed study of the bill. It is at this moment that we will know if the minister intends to make changes.
On mission in France
France-Élaine Duranceau also flew to France on Friday for a mission of a few days, where she was invited to participate in a conference on housing in Nantes. Even if this mission occurs in the eye of the parliamentary storm over her bill, the minister assures that it is justified. “It could have been at another time too, but it’s good timing. »
The Nantes event to which she was invited is organized by a French HLM group, the Social Union for Habitat (USH). On this occasion, the Quebec Minister responsible for Housing must take part in a panel on housing needs in France. What does she intend to tell them? “I’m going to tell them what we’re going through here, how I see the solutions,” she says.
However, she thinks she “has more to learn from them than the other way around”. In particular from the president of the USH, Emmanuelle Cosse, French Minister of Housing in 2016-2017 under the presidency of François Hollande. “She had to operate with all the reception capacity in France, which had significant waves of migration,” mentions Ms. Duranceau.
At the helm of the file?
The action plan she is preparing on the housing crisis “is in development” and will continue to be refined in her absence, she maintains. And this, even if his right-hand man at the Société d’habitation du Québec, the CEO. Claude Foster is also on the trip. “We are very focused on what is happening here […], but I think it can also be good to hear what is happening elsewhere,” she says. The document must be made public in early December.
Until then, measures to stimulate housing construction are expected in the economic update that Quebec Finance Minister Eric Girard is to present in November.
Does this mean that it is his colleague from Finance who is now leading the strategic housing file within the Legault government? Ms. Duranceau denies this. “Eric, I’ve known him for a long time. We served together on the board of the Sainte-Justine hospital foundation. He’s a finance guy; I am an accounting and tax girl. We both come from the same background, we are able to talk to each other. So, I totally listen to him. »
Moreover, on Thursday, at the National Assembly, the minister had to recognize that the Richelieu valley did not currently have the capacity to house the thousands of workers who will have need the future Northvolt mega-factory announced the same day.