Tenants Go Fish at the Rental Board

Rights Group Demands Shorter Wait Time for Hearings

Angry tenants went fishing today at the Régie de logement office in Montreal in hopes of catching a break from the province.

Approximately 30 tenants and community organizers from Project Genesis, a tenants and social advocacy group, set up their fishing gear outside of the Régie’s office on René-Lévesque Blvd. in an effort to raise awareness of what they see as a systemic injustice.

“Tenants wait an average of 15 months before they get a hearing at the rental board,” said Project Genesis community organizer Nathalie Rech. “In the mean time, of course, they have to continue living in that apartment.”

According to Rech, landlords who go to the rental board with an eviction case against a non-paying tenant will have their case heard in an average of six weeks.

Phyllis Hoekman, a tenant in Montreal, said a case against her landlord took over 25 months to be heard. She’s spent over $150 on registered mail in communication with the Régie during the two-year debacle.

“I have no faith in—and nothing nice to say about—the rental board,” said Hoekman.

Project Genesis is demanding the Régie de logement hire more judges to hear cases until all tenants cases can be dealt with within three months and that all urgent cases be heard within 72 hours.

The Régie de logement did not return The Link’s request for comment by the time of publication.