Quebec rents set to increase by at least 2.3 per cent in 2023

“Many people are worried,” said community organizer with Park-Extension housing committee Amy Darwish about the rent increase recommended by Quebec’s housing tribunal on Wednesday. Brittany Henriques reports.

“Many people are worried this is going to mean choosing between food medication and rent,” said Amy Darwish, community organizer with the Park-Extension housing committee.

Quebec’s housing tribunal released its rent increase recommendations for 2023 – with an increase of 2.3 per cent for leases that don’t include heating. 2.8 per cent for electric heating, 4.5 for gas heating and 7.3 for systems that use heating oil.

Housing committees and tenants worried – demanding action from the government to freeze rents and rent control.

“I’m speechless because I have already been spending a lot of money on rent I mean, I’m a single parent, so I have two kids. So it’s already hard on me,” said Sabah Naorin, a tenant in Montreal’s NDG neighbourhood.

“Problematic because it’s already a problem and it’s just going on and on. And for us, the idea is that housing is a basic need,” said Philippe Desmarais, community organizer with POPIR housing committee.

The recommendations are based on landlords’ expenses for a particular dwelling.

Quebec landlord’s association arguing the tribunal’s recommendation isn’t high enough.

“The big thing we’re worried about is that landlords very, very rarely respect the criteria that are put forward by the tal and are likely to use this as a pretext to ask for even more,” said Darwish.

“We’re going to be overloaded with calls of tenants who are freaking out because the receive really big increases of rent. And the problem is, even if the housing unit is in bad condition, the landlord can actually send you an increase,” said Desmarais.

“I am worried because, of course, if they if the if my landlord increases the rent, I want like I cannot argue,” said Naorin.

“Tenants often hesitate to refuse rent increases, especially in a context where we’re in a housing crisis. Where rent is expensive across the board, we’re affordable, housing is scarce. Many are afraid that this will trigger conflict with the landlord that the landlord will try to evict them. This is partly why we demand universal rent control,” said Darwish.

“As a person who had to look for an apartment for over two years. I know how bad impact like this will impact for the people who are searching for apartment right now,” said Naorin.

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