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Series - Being a Landlord in Montreal - The City of Montreal Regulates the Management of Dwellings --- Ventilation

Series - Being a Landlord in Montreal - The City of Montreal Regulates the Management of Dwellings --- Ventilation

In the context of our series of reports on owners of rentable dwellings we finish our explanations of the regulations of the City of Montreal on the Healthiness of apartments by way of ventilation.

Many constructions on the Island of Montreal date from the 1950s and were built in function of the regulations then applicable. The majority of them are thus not equipped with mechanical ventilation, neither in the bathroom nor in the kitchen. As astonishing as this may seem, it does not automatically make apartments unhealthy or incompatible with the regulations.

Indeed, the majority of them have alternative means to ventilate and to evacuate humidity. Although many have doubts about their efficiency the majority of these apartments are equipped with windows or aeration pits that allow for ventilation, especially in the bathroom.

In this void, the City intervenes to determine minimal ventilation norms an apartment must respect.

Indeed, regulations stipulate in simple terms that the bathroom or the kitchen must be ventilated by means of a sufficiently powerful mechanical installation or an opening measuring 0,09 meter.

Concerning the kitchen, regulations are of the same nature and state that the kitchen may be equipped with a mechanical installation. The formulation of these regulations does not oblige the landlords however to install such a mechanism.

Although your apartments may be compatible with City regulations, it remains certain that the installation of mechanical ventilation in the bathroom and the kitchen is, according to us, the only means truly efficient to prevent the surplus of humidity created by the different uses your tenants make of their apartment. This surplus of humidity is the principal source of the apparition of moulds and thus of recourse to the Rental Board for unhealthiness.

This expense becomes a very profitable investment in the long term, especially as far as the durability of your walls and plaster ceilings are concerned in the rooms that are most exposed to humidity.

We think that, in this regard, one should not always limit oneself to respect the minimal norms because, in this particular case, certain cases before the Rental Board have condemned the landlords for insalubrity irregardless of them respecting the regulations.

We suggest thus that you examine, if, beyond the respect for municipal regulations, the means which your dwelling has at its disposal to ventilate the apartments are in fact truly efficient and make the appropriate modifications if and where necessary.

About the author

Me Jean-Olivier Reed, avocat

Me Jean-Olivier Reed graduated from Collège l'Assomption in legal technology in 1997 and then from the University of Montreal in law in 2001. Member of the bar since 2004, he was a lawyer and building manager from 2004 to 2006.

Lawyer with Messier Soucy lawyers since 2006. He works in real estate law and more particularly in rental law and co-ownership law.

He has written several articles in the newspaper "Le Propriétaire" on various topics dealing with rental law.
He lectures to members of the Quebec Landlords Association on current topics in rental law.

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