Montreal has got a pretty good reputation of having some of the cheapest rents in Canada, but they apparently come with a cost.
Journal de Montreal probed 21 landlords in the Montreal area to find out exactly what they are demanding of their new tenants in terms of money up-front. That includes post-dated cheques, security deposits, first and last-month rent, reservation deposits, etc. All of which is illegal by the way.
Loaded with a hidden camera in some cases, JdM dispatched two separate reporters, one from France under the guise of a new immigrant, and one from Quebec, and discovered that while both were being solicited for illegal costs, the French reporter was being extorted for much more than her Quebecer counterpart in many instances.
Out of the 21 surveyed:
- 7 completely respected the law.
- 14 requested illegal costs from the French reporter,
- 6 of those asked for less, but nonetheless illegal, of the Quebecer.
- 3 did not ask for anything extra of the Quebecer
- 4 asked for exactly the same of both
- 1 could not be reached
Types of costs being requested:
- $200-$700 up-front security deposit
- $50-$120 fee for apartment cleaning
- First and last month rent payed up-front in cash
- In one case, 6 months of rent payed up-front
Many landlords felt that that these "deposits" were necessary in order to protect themselves from any loses, especially when it came to immigrants. The fact of the matter is, this practice is completely illegal.
Whether you're a local professional, a foreign student, a new immigrant, or anything in-between, here's what you need to know about what landlords are in their right to ask of you:
- perform a credit check
- require a endorser
- ask for any payment that exceeds 1 month of rent
- ask for any extra deposits other than a maximum of the first month's rent
- ask for post-dated cheques
You can see the in-depth Journal de Montreal investigation here.