The recent influx of asylum-seekers coming into Montreal, many of whom may not understand proper apartment-renting procedure, has some landlords taking advantage.
The Organization d’education et d’information logement de Côte-des-Neiges (OEIL) says there have been multiple instances of landlords essentially stealing money from asylum-seekers in need of a permanent place to live.
A representative from OEIL said to CBC Montreal that landlords in the CDN borough (and possibly beyond) are taking money from asylum-seekers, promising them a place to live.
But once landlords receive the cheques, they're not providing a lease or any other form of guarantee in return.
Without a copy of a lease, any asylum-seeker will be unable to receive social welfare, which is arguably essential for the survival of these individuals who have literally just arrived into a new country.
Some real estate companies are also promising private residences to asylum-seekers. But once they arrive, the apartment is actually a shared living space.
In one instance, according to an asylum-seeker speaking to CBC, a Montreal landlord wouldn't pay for repairs when the bathroom ceiling collapsed. Not only that, the landlord-in-question didn't provide a lease to the new renter, or even a mailbox key.
Temporary housing for asylum-seekers has been set up all throughout Montreal. But these individuals need to find their own residence, prompting hasty decisions.
Greed is definitely a major factor in this ongoing issue, as Montreal landlords feel they can rip off individuals new to the country.
Asylum-seekers general lack of knowledge about Quebec's renting regulations makes it easy to pull off such scams, too.
But stereotypical "Canadian niceness" is also to blame.
Kimmyanne Brown, who works for OEIL, said to the CBC that asylum-seekers believe Canadians to be inherently trustworthy.
They've just been welcomed into Canada and feel that everyone is looking out for their best interests.
Obviously, that's not the case.