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Shortage of space in residences and in CHSLDs (Long term care facilities) causes headaches for landlords

Shortage of space in residences and in CHSLDs (Long term care facilities) causes headaches for landlords

It's a glaring problem in Quebec that is particularly felt by rental property landlords. Indeed, the overcrowding of the CHSLDs and the long waiting lists for spaces in residences for elderly people prevent many seniors from benefiting from the assistance, the support and the care offered by these facilities which they need. For this reason many seniors who currently rent apartments and who are losing the ability to live independently urgently need to be transferred to these facilities are not able to do so.


Thus, due to a shortage of spaces, they continue to remain at home with the awareness that they are unable to remain at home. Without help, some who have no family support are left to themselves, frightened by what is happening to them.


Thereafter, we are witness to nightmarish situations of uncleanliness, fire hazrads or injuries from falls, thus putting the building and the other tenants at risk. This is an unfortunate and unhappy situation for the tenants.


Face with this situation, landlords are most often empathic and try to notify the proper authorities (CLSC, family, city, police) in an effort to help the  tenant find safety and dignity. Unfortunately, resources are limited and very often overstretched. When a resource is available, more often than one thinks, the tenant refuses the assistance. This results from their frustration vis-à-vis his/her situation. At such times, the situation can deteriorate and become unbearable for the landlord.


Having tried everything, the owners concerned have no other choice than to emply a solution of last resort: legal proceedings defore the Rental Board to cancel the lease. This solution can work, as a recent judgement of the Rental Board shows.[1]   Proving that serious harm is being suffered by the landlord and/or the other tenants is amongst other things, a means to obtain the cancellation of the lease. But for the majority of landlords, it's a solution which they would have preferred to avoid.


In situations of excessive noise or improper use of the dwelling affecting the other tenants, you must act to protect yourself and the other tenants, even if it goes against your nature.


If your particular situation isn't as clear cut as the one presented here, please feel free to contact a member of your association's legal team.

[1]              Marie-Claude Nicole vs. I…C…31 100506 069G

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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