The tenants of the Montreal residence have obtained a safeguard order which allows, for the moment, to maintain the vocation of their residence.
The residence private residence for seniors (RPA) Mont-Carmel in Montreal, on René-Lévesque Boulevard
The tenants of Résidence Mont-Carmel, a private residence for seniors (RPA) that the new owner wanted to transform into a “multigenerational rental complex” by increasing rents while reducing the services offered, can breathe. Six months after receiving an eviction notice, they temporarily won their case before the Superior Court.
In a judgment released on Tuesday, the court grants the safeguard application, which involves maintaining the building's certification and operation as an RPA – and the healthcare associated with it – until the 19th September, the time for the Court to consider the merits of the case.
The building was to change vocation on August 1 and become a residential building, a change which was accompanied a 3% rent increase for tenants and the end of various services such as the presence of a nurse in residence and alert buttons in case of need.
The lawsuit filed in Superior Court involves 57 tenants who received an eviction notice for change of assignment on January 31, 2022, with a letter telling them that Résidence Mont-Carmel would become a multigenerational rental complex and would therefore no longer be a private residence for seniors.
According to public information collected by Radio-Canada, the building was sold for $40 million in December 2021 by the Longpré family to a company owned and managed by Henry Zavriyev, a young real estate investor whose real estate practices have already is the subject of reports in the English-language media, notably on CBC.
A clause in the deed of sale stipulated that the buyer had to respect the operation of the building as an RPA. The Court concludes, at this stage of the proceedings, that at first glance, clause 7.1 is clear and does not require interpretation, especially not that of the co-contractor who does not want to respect it, indicates the judgment.< /p>
However, under the Regulation respecting the certification of private seniors' residences, a category 1 RPA must offer various services included in at least two of the following service categories: meal services, security services , leisure services or domestic help services with the exception, in the latter case, of the distribution of medication.
Two-thirds of the tenants are over 75 years old, according to the residence's data sheet at the MSSS, but 95 of them have already left the premises, the court documents also mention.
Some residents require the presence of a nurse 24 hours a day, as defended by Ms. Jetté, a 79-year-old tenant cited in the judgment and recent victim of a stroke.
“It is important in this case, in the context of caring for vulnerable persons, to maintain the status quo. »
— Excerpt from the judgment rendered in the Résidence Mont-Carmel case
The Superior Court order remains in effect until September 19, the date on which a another hearing is scheduled, this time on the merits.
Quebec solidaire spokesperson Manon Massé again commented on this file on Twitter, she who had challenged the government, in February, so that no more RPA suffer the fate of the Résidence Mont-Carmel.
It does not make sense that in Quebec, in 2022, seniors must fight in court to stay at home, Ms. Massé was indignant on the social network, assuring that a possible united government will legislate once and for all to ban changes in the vocation of RPAs and abusive evictions of seniors.
Manon Massé also underlined the courage and tenacity of the tenants of Mont-Carmel in their legal battle.