June 1, 2023

The Queens County Citizen

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Seniors win in housing court

Seniors win in housing court

The Laval residence will compensate them for “loss of enjoyment” during the pandemic

Arian Kroll

Arian Kroll

The Administrative Housing Tribunal (TAL) has determined that seniors Les Jardins de Renoir in Laval must pay tenants up to $1,105 for private housing, recreation and other services they lost during the pandemic. The decision was issued in early November.

“It is clear that the tenants have lost access to the service provided for in their leases and that they have lost the enjoyment of what can be described as a real, serious, substantial and substantial justification for a reduction in rent,” the administrative judge wrote. Philip Morissette.

A landmark decision?

“This is a really important decision that will set the tone for other requests,” Helen Guay, an attorney who specializes in protecting the rights of seniors, said in a telephone interview.

About thirty similar appeals have been submitted to the TAL, but this is the first matter for decision, M points oute Guay informed the tenants.

In the Laval Private Residence for Seniors (RPA), loss of enjoyment was noted for only a few services, such as the swimming pool, gymnasium, billiard rooms, bowling alleys and cinema, library, gardens and chapel. The closure of other spaces, including the puzzle room, community rooms and atrium, did not result in rent reductions.

Discounts are also limited to certain periods of the pandemic, when places are completely closed. They don’t apply to months when service is provided with “different access terms,” ​​even if access is “less convenient,” Judge Morissette notes in a very detailed decision that spans close to 40 pages.

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$1105 off $220 per unit

Rebates of $220 to $1,105 per unit were granted from April 2020 to February 2022. RPA Les Jardins de Renoir, owned by Cogir Group, has 740 units.

“We are currently learning about the ruling and its potential implications with our teams. We therefore have no comment at this time,” Cogir spokeswoman Brigitte Pouliot said by email Monday.

Applicants have taken advantage of a recent provision allowing tenants of certified RPAs to submit a joint application to the TAL.

“It allows people to assert their rights when they feel embarrassed for all kinds of concerns, like being singled out or being rejected by management,” Ms.e the person

Under no immunity Public Health Act

Me Guay is pleased that TAL rejected the RPA’s main argument that it benefits from “immunity” under it. Public Health Act.

According to Article 123 of this Act, “The Government, Minister or any other person shall not be prosecuted for any act done in good faith in the exercise or exercise of these powers”.

This immunity “cannot extend to any citizen, whether private or corporate, who obeys and executes orders,” Judge Morissette held, however.

Because many tenants are afraid to move forward [les locateurs] Claimed to have immunity. This decision set everything aside.

Me Helen Guay is an attorney specializing in the protection of seniors’ rights

The additional costs incurred by the RPA “have no bearing on the determination of the loss of rental value”, the judge also considered.

“A lot of extra services provided or put in place by the landlord during the pandemic. However, the government paid most of the compensation to the landlord. »

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However, the court found nothing to close the dining room because “the landlord continued to provide dining service to the tenants and it […] Meals were delivered to their dormitories.”

The closure of the hairdressing salon and pharmacy, considered an “amenity” and not a service included in the lease, did not result in a rent reduction.

Learn more

  • $35 to $135 per month
    Tenants of Laval RPA Les Jardins de Renoir were granted rent reductions for the loss of services provided in their lease. The largest reduction is granted for April 2020 and the smallest for February 2021.

    Source: Administrative Housing Tribunal, Legare C. Renoir GardensNovember 2, 2022