Action plan to combat unsanitary housing 2014-2017 - More sustained inspections and higher fines for delinquent landlords

MONTREAL, June 9, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ - The Mayor of Montréal, Denis Coderre, and the member of the Montréal Executive Committee, Russell Copeman, as well as Karine Boivin-Roy, associate councillor responsible for housing, presented the first-year results of the Action plan to combat unsanitary housing 2014-2017. The measures that were implemented by the city administration over the past year have produced significant results. They helped to correct non-compliances and encouraged home improvement, while using more coercive action against delinquent landlords. In this respect, the city council will be called upon to rule on fine increases based on the type of offence, effective August 2015.

"Launched in May 2014, the Action plan to combat unsanitary housing 2014-2017 aims to improve living conditions for tenants and housing quality by increasing landlord responsibility for sanitation problems. The plan involves an overall, strict and concerted approach to help guide all city actions," said the Mayor of Montréal.

The city has four coercive tools to enforce the By-law concerning the sanitation and maintenance of dwelling units.

  • Issue statements of offence.
  • Issue evacuation notices for dwellings that are unfit for habitation, resulting in immediate rental income losses for landlords.
  • Carry out work in lieu of the landlord, to correct urgent non-compliances that pose a threat to public safety.
  • Issue notices of deterioration registered against the property and which burden ownership titles.

Fine increases
"Increases of minimum and maximum fines were necessary to strengthen our incentives to correct non-compliances and cause corrective repairs to be carried out.  Modulating these increases according to the severity of the violations was also was relevant," said Russell Copeman.

The fine increases are expected to become effective in August 2015, following adoption by the city council. The fines will increase by 25% in the case of minor violations of the By-law concerning the sanitation and maintenance of dwelling units and by 35% in the case of violations involving cleanliness, vermin, bedbugs as well as the proper functioning of basic dwelling unit equipment. Fines for violations involving the health and safety of tenants will increase by 50%.

Results of the first year of the action plan
The first year of implementation of the action plan enabled more efficient, systematic and better structured inspections. For the period including 2014 and the first quarter of 2015, 98 buildings and 1,746 dwelling units were inspected by the central city. During this same period, the number of non-compliances per unit doubled compared to the previous year average.

While the number violations have increased, the corrective measures required on the part of the landlords are more stringent. For example, a new procedure makes it possible to characterize the degree of mould contamination in dwellings. Beyond a given contamination level, a landlord must provide an analysis report in addition to carrying out the decontamination work.

Since the action plan came into force, all the new files and repeat inspections are the object of qualification and a specific action plan from the early stages of intervention. For information purposes, of the 22 files that were targeted by an action plan, 7 can be qualified as very problematic and involved massive evacuations or the landlords were prohibited from renting the vacant dwellings. Notices of deterioration are also examined for these violators.

The city resumed systematic inspection in 29 buildings (files opened before 2011), due to a possible degradation of dwelling habitability conditions. Included in these files are the 21 buildings (333 housing units) of the Domaine Renaissance, in the Saint-Léonard borough.

Information on the bedbug problem
From July 1, 2011, to May 22, 2015, 17,109 declarations involving bedbug infestation in dwelling units were opened by pest managers on the website that was created for this purpose. Some 69,088 dwelling units were visited by pest managers and 38,153 were treated.

Between 2011 and 2014, 34% of declarations were processed for exterminations carried out in buildings with 12 dwellings or more and 26% in buildings with 4 to 11 units.

For more information regarding the Action plan to combat unsanitary housing 2014-2017, please visit ville.montreal.qc.ca/habitation or call 514 872-4630.

 

SOURCE Ville de Montréal - Cabinet du maire et du comité exécutif

For further information: Source: Catherine Maurice, Press Attaché, Office of the Mayor and Executive Committee, 514 346-7598; Information: François Goneau, Public Relations Officer, Service des communications, 514 868-5859


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