Régie du logement: The Association of Quebec Landlords (APQ) is not surprised by the report of the Ombudsman
MONTREAL, September 18, 2014 - The Association of Quebec Landlords (APQ) regrets, once again, the findings of the Ombudsman regarding the Régie du logement. The Régie du logement would have received 236 complaints in 2013-2014. In his report, the Ombudsman expresses his dissatisfaction about the time given to his recommendations on the issue of the persisting waiting time before getting a hearing at the Régie du logement.
“Many more improvements should be studied in relation to the rental law and its application by the Régie du logement, the period prior to a hearing and the limited number of resources are part of them!” exclaims Martin Messier, president of the APQ. It has been several years that the APQ recommends the appointment of special clerks and expanding their powers to cases involving non-payment of rent, as is currently the case in cases of setting of the rent and this in order to free up time for the judges so that all cases could be heard within a more reasonable time.
Lack of resources is undeniable, one should proceed with the appointment of new administrative judges and special clerks.
In 2012-2013, the Ombudsman gave notice in his report of his being worried that no draft reform of the Act respecting the Régie du logement had been submitted. “No one seems to hear the claims, even when the complaints are coming from the Ombudsman!” continues Mr. Messier. The APQ believes that a comprehensive reform of the entire 30-year old rental law, its principles of setting the rent as well as the rental jurisdiction is required at this stage.
Currently, having to wait between ten and eighteen months for a case of excessive noise, health hazards or the presence of animals causing serious injury, is part of normality for owners of rental housing. This situation is unacceptable, given the nature of the issues that come before the Régie du logement or cases that relate to the immediate environment of people’s lives. The owners have an obligation to provide the peaceful enjoyment of the premises to their tenants, but these waiting times are such that the tenants and/or the owners suffer more and make the situation unbearable.
“This situation could make many victims among small owners who ultimately would lose, themselves, their property or be discouraged! In most cases, the owner has done nothing wrong in a situation of non-payment of rent. He must bear the disproportionate waste of time and money,” says Mr. Messier.
Founded in 1984, the Association of Quebec Landlords (APQ) is the most important association providing services to owners of rental housing while being present in all regions of Quebec.