In Quebec, the Régie du logement protects the rights of tenants and landlords alike. There are strict rules in place about how landlords and tenants should act and what each of their respective responsibilities are.
One rule enforced in Montreal is that landlords cannot ask for a security deposit when renting an apartment out to tenants. Of course, this rule is not always respected, but it does exist.
The new CAQ government wants to change that. Andrée Laforest, minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, has said that he is currently looking into the feasability of having landlords ask for a security deposit.
This announcement comes after a petition created by the CORPIQ (corporation des propriétaires immobiliers du Québec) which is advocating for the right of landlords to ask for a security deposit.
The petition claims that every year landlords spend over $150 million to restore rental units into proper rental condition.
This means that landlords have less money to reinvest in the unit, making it harder to improve the quality of the apartments.
Security deposits are permitted almost every where else in Canada.
The petition also claims that the security deposit would provide insurance against tenants that do not pay their rent, as "each year, more than $250 million is lost by landlords in unpaid rents." The petition has almost 5,000 signatures.
However, as the city of Montreal faces what many are calling a housing crisis, the CBC reported that housing advocates decry the move, which could discriminate against tenants with low incomes.
Affordable apartments are already hard to find, say housing advocates, and requiring a deposit would only complicate that process.
According to CBC, CORPIQ maintains that security deposits would have the opposite effect, as a security deposit may convince landlords to rent to lower-income tenants despite weaker finances.
Read the CBC article here.
You can find the CORPIQ petition here.