As part of its commitment to clean and sanitary housing, the City of Montreal released data on Montreal's worst buildings, landlords and neighbourhoods who have consistently violated the city's sanitary housing bylaw. Between 2018 and 2019, the Service de l'Habitation de la Ville de Montreal conducted over 15,000 inspections in all 19 boroughs. City officials hope that this data will put even more pressure on violators and deter future violations of Montreal's housing sanitation bylaw. Take a look at the 5 worst violaters below (and consider avoiding any apartments for rent in Montreal that fall on this list).
In a press conference Thursday, executive committee members Robert Beaudry and Craig Sauvé presented the data sets "in the interest of openness and transparency."
"With low vacancy rates, speculations, renovictions, and increasing rents, many tenants are having a hard time finding adequate housing that fits their needs and suits their budget," declared Sauvé.
"We've massively invested in housing sanitation. This data includes the number of health inspection files, the number of units inspected by the city, and the number of non-compliances found."
According to official data, inspectors identified more than 26,000 violations. They went to all 19 boroughs but had focused efforts in Côte-des-Neiges–Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, Ville Saint Laurent, Montreal-Nord, and Ahuntsic-Cartierville.
City inspectors also released the names of the 21 landlords and locations that committed the most violations.
"We hope that publishing this list will have a punitive effect on these owners and will have a deterrent effect on building owners who might violate the bylaw in the future," said Sauvé.
Landlords who violate the bylaw are required to pay a hefty fine and appear in court to answer for their violations. The city hopes that by releasing this data, building owners will be held more accountable for their disregard for sanitation laws.
Craig Sauve & Robert Beaudry release data on the conditions of rental housing in the city, highlighting violations… https://t.co/7D3ig6ithj
Fines might not deter housing sanitation violaters, however, as many landlords own multiple properties and make immense profits. For frequent offenders, the city has other means to put the screws to them.
"Sometimes, owners don't have a good solution or don't know what to do. The city can work with them to help fix the problems. If the city needs to do some emergency work on the building, we can charge owners for it later and fix it right away," assured Sauvé.
"If the problem persists, we can advise their creditors, which is something that sends a bit of fear into building owners. It all depends on the situation. Our objective is to make sure people have a clean and safe place to live."