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Quebec wants to temporarily ban tenant evictions

Photo: Francis Vachon Le Devoir The Quebec Minister responsible for Housing France-Élaine Duranceau.

Isabelle Porter in Quebec

Posted at 10:47 a.m. Updated at 4:05 p.m.

  • Quebec

Bill 65 tabled Wednesday by Quebec Minister responsible for Housing France-Élaine Duranceau prohibits evictions for a period of three years or until the vacancy rate passes the 3% mark.< /p>

Evictions will be prohibited for changes in the use of subdivisions or expansions, but owners retain the right to take back housing for themselves or a member of their family.

As for “renovictions”, they are already illegal. Owners therefore do not have the right to evict a tenant under the pretext of simple renovations.

With this three-year moratorium, the Minister of Housing says she is mainly targeting “speculators”. “Some landlords may be tempted to evict their tenants in order to obtain better financial returns. Unfortunately, in the absence of a sufficient supply of housing, the consequences of eviction are significant and can lead to precarious situations for the targeted citizens. »

The measure will come into force when the bill is assented to, likely by the end of the parliamentary session on June 7.

The minister, who had strongly opposed measures of this kind in the past, said that her “thinking” had “evolved” in recent months and weeks. An “evolution” that she attributes in particular to the massive arrival of foreign workers in Quebec. “It’s really important that we understand the scale of the problem. Over the past two years, Quebec has welcomed 560,000 temporary immigrants, including asylum seekers. “It’s the equivalent of recreating Quebec City, but without housing,” she said.

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Protection for 24,000 additional senior households

The government is also expanding protection for senior tenants, which will reach 24,000 more households in Quebec for a total of 60,000.

It was already prohibited to evict a low-income elderly person aged 70 and over who had rented for ten years. Bill 65 raises the eligibility age to 65 and slightly increases the eligibility income. Protection now concerns people whose income corresponds to up to 125% of the eligible income for low-income housing (HLM). This is the equivalent of $38,000 for a one-bedroom apartment in Montreal or $24,500 in Mauricie.

With these changes, the government is largely resembles the Québec solidaire bill to broaden the scope of the Françoise David law. However, he did not accept his request to reduce the required presence in the apartment to be protected from ten to five years.

No impact on leases this year

However, the bill will have little impact in view of July 1. As Laurier-Dorion MP Andrés Fontecilla (Québec solidaire) noted Wednesday morning, “the eviction season is over.” Indeed, to evict a tenant, the owner must send him a notice of eviction six months before the end of his lease, i.e. December 31, six months before July 1, he recalled.

Her colleague Christine Labrie and Minister Duranceau, however, each emphasized, in their own right, that this would have a more immediate positive impact on the anxiety experienced by certain tenants. “Knowing that we are protected has an impact on people’s mental health,” said Ms. Labrie.

“Eviction or even a threat of eviction causes immense stress and we want to avoid that for as many Quebecers as possible,” declared the minister.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116