Montreal is a renter's city. Its relatively cheap rents might explain why over half of residents don't own their own homes. But despite the availability of rental units, the rental market is also extremely competitive.
With such high resident turnover and often fierce competition for apartment space, landlords can have little incentive to make improvements, or even maintain standard amenities or infrastructure.
TL;DR Montreal is beginning to impose fines on landlords who refuse entry to city inspectors.
That's where the Montreal rental market can get a little sketchy. And despite the availability of multiple avenues through which tenants can file complaints, bad landlords often get away with their negligence or misdeeds.
That's why the administration of Montreal mayor Valérie Plante is instituting some harsh new regulations and penalties.
After planning to increase the frequency of building inspections last year, the municipal government in the Plateau Mont-Royal borough is now set to impose steep new fines for landlords or other building staff that impede the work of inspectors, according to La Presse.
The penalty for blocking an inspection will be $1,000, $700 more expensive than the previous fine. Subsequent offenses could incur a fine of as much as $2,000.
Blocking officials from even viewing a property has to be among the most suspicious infractions. These new fines will hopefully allow inspectors to identify issues that landlords or building management would otherwise be hiding.
In the meantime, many Montrealers are already apartment hunting ahead of the chaotic unofficial city moving day, July 1st, when it seems like the entire metro area shuffles its contents.
When touring an apartment, make sure to thoroughly inspect its amenities before committing to a lease.