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Housing ransacked: nothing will ever change without the will and actions of change on the part of the Government!

Housing ransacked: nothing will ever change without the will and actions of change on the part of the Government!
In two days’ time, the media recently reported two cases of ransacked rental housing(1).

But these cases are just the tip of the iceberg. These two cases are among the hundreds of ransacked dwellings or even thousands left in an advanced state of uncleanliness every year.

For a ransacked housing, we are talking about thousands of dollars, in the vast majority of cases, lost by the owner of the dwelling.

In the judgement(2) rendered on June 2, 2022, the tenant, Oumou Kalsoum Sall, was ordered to pay the owner “$45,347.95, plus interest at the legal rate and the additional indemnity provided for in section 1619 of the Civil Code of Québec, as of April 12, 2021, plus the costs of $102.”

When we talk about ransacked housing, we are not just talking about some waste on the floor, but days of cleaning, repairs, spending at hardware stores and on professionals to restore the housing.

Returning to the judgement rendered, much damage was deliberately caused:
17 It appears that it is the way the shower is used that causes all this damage. Indeed, the tenant does not close the door of the shower when he helps his autistic son to wash. Water flowing outside is not wiped up. Water therefore damages the wall covering and seeps under the floor.
22 However, he notes that the tenant now uses the bathroom on the ground floor in the same way as the basement bathroom and that the problem is recurring on that floor too.
24 In May 2020, it turns out that the house is infested with cockroaches. There will be four treatments of extermination needed.
25 This will not be enough however. Because, when in November 2020, the landlord wants to return to his building, he is forced to rent a unit temporarily, because he must carry out other treatments to exterminate the cockroaches first.
27 The photos speak for themselves.5 The furniture is full of cockroaches. It is broken and scratched. Some of it is missing. Everything is dirty. To take just one other example, the tenant uses charcoal in the gas BBQ.
28 As a result, the landlord must dispose of almost all of his furniture.

The Tribunal awards the owner the following justified sums:
31 For all the work on the structure totalling $50,460.65 from which the amount of insurance is deducted ($46,585.22 + $3,875.43 – $35,496.56),7, the Tribunal retains the figure of $14,964.09. Of this amount, the Tribunal removes a 10% depreciation for a total of $13,467.69.
32 For the cleaning of the house8, the Tribunal awards the amount claimed in the amount of $2,069.55.
33 For the extermination costs, of the amount claimed ($2,000.56),9 the Tribunal removes the management costs that are indirect damages and awards a total of $1,310.71.
34 The landlord is seeking moral damages for disturbances and inconveniences. The landlord convinced the Tribunal that all the hazards experienced with the tenant exceed the foreseeable and normal hazards of owning a building for rental purposes.
35 The Tribunal therefore awards him $3,000.
36 Finally, the landlord is entitled to a notification fee of $23.10 in addition to the other expenses.

But will the owner be able to get his money back?

Among the most common modes of recuperation are the:
- Seizure of wages, salaries or other payments;
- Seizure of bank, savings and/or credit accounts;
- Seizure of movable property.

It is still necessary that the owner can find any seizable assets. Very often, landlords following the procedures before the Administrative Housing Tribunal (TAL) face difficulties in enforcing the decision rendered.


(2) Lemay c. Kalsoum Sall 567531 22 20210412 G

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Québec Landlords Association

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