A 90-Unit Plateau Building Is Being Evacuated & Residents Worry It's A Huge 'Renoviction'

The building's owners have been in the news for rent hikes.
Associate Editor
A 90-Unit Plateau Building Is Being Evacuated & Residents Worry It's A Huge 'Renoviction'

Residents of a 90-unit Plateau apartment building received notices stating they must move out for at least seven months due to major repairs and renovations, sounding 'renoviction' alarm bells among tenants and tenants' rights groups.

The building, located at 3485 Avenue Papineau, is owned by Jeremy Kornbluth and Brandon Shiller, who were responsible for the rent hike that forced Le Cagibi out of the Mile End. Shiller's father's real-estate firm — Shiller Lavy Realties — was also recently in the news for hiking up the rent at the Mile End's S.W. Welch bookstore.  

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What happened?

Tenants received "Avis de réparation ou d’amélioration majeure" letters signed by Kornbluth on March 30 and are being given until June 30 — exactly three months, which is the legal minimum requirement — to completely vacate their apartments.

Who's impacted?

In an April 1 Facebook post, a tenant named Jean Bellefeuille noted that residents include elderly people, families and a pregnant woman.

According to the letters, tenants will receive the equivalent of three months' rent in compensation.

However, Daniel Garcia, who has lived in the building for eight years, told MTL Blog the offer did not take his indoor parking spot into account, nor the fact that rent has increased in the area in recent years.

"I pay $975 per month plus $90 indoor parking [...]. We are a family that works and studies in the neighbourhood and to relocate to a four-and-a-half would cost us $1,500 minimum without parking," he said.

Another tenant, Gregory Krief, said, "it will be very complicated to find an apartment [...] especially in this period of a pandemic and housing shortage."

Is it a renoviction?

"It is important to note that there is no eviction and that this is a temporary situation. Tenants will be able to return to their homes as soon as the emergency repairs are completed and the building is in safe condition," said Shiller in a statement provided to MTL Blog.

However, the Comité Logement Plateau Mont-Royal is calling the situation an "attempted renoviction [and] probably one of the biggest attempts in recent history in Montreal." 

"We suspect the eviction of the 90 homes is a devious way to get rid of modest tenants who don't pay enough rent," a Facebook post by the committee reads. 

According to the Tribunal administratif du logement, landlords cannot raise rent during a lease term because of major work they have done. 

As always, landlords can raise the rent when leases are up.

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