Residents of five buildings recently purchased by real estate agent David Powell and his associates fear they may have to leave their affordable homes in another episode of owner-investor-tenant tensions.
Posted at 5:00 am
The buildings at 7140 and 7150, avenue Shelley, 7530, rue Garnier, 3655, rue Bélanger and 6620, 28me Avenue in Montreal, all with between six and eight units, have recently changed hands.
Those who live there have also received long building regulations and notices of rent increases or major works that they consider unjustified. Some of these notices and many clauses of the agreements appear invalid, according to a lawyer.
Tenants they spoke with Press they say the new owners or their representatives are talking about doing, or have already started work to increase rents by hundreds of dollars without a permit.
“They gave us a letter with the 1001 rules that made no sense,” says Pascal Chaput, a tenant at 3655 rue Bélanger for 16 years. “They made me offers to move out because they want more than double the rent,” he says.
“I am going to lose quality of life, I am going to lose living space, because these people decide that they are going to make money,” worries Marie-Pierre Simard, who has lived at 7530 rue Garnier for 14 years.
“Notice of Major Repair or Improvement”
Tenants in the buildings on Shelley Avenue received “major repair or improvement notices” in September 2021 advising them of work requiring their evacuation for three months, December through February. Documents signed by Anabelle Didier-Bujold, Mr. Powell’s partner, provide compensation of three months’ rent plus $450.
Some left, but others refused, like Francine Picard, 73, who has lived in 7150 for 25 years. She says that on her first visit, Mme Didier-Bujold told him his rent would increase by $200 to $300 after the renovations, which have yet to take place.
Same scene in 7140, where works began without permission. The city sent a notice to homeowners on May 20 to require work to stop, according to documents obtained from the city. As of June 9, no renovation permit application had been submitted for these two buildings.
until nowme Picard is the only tenant of the five buildings against whom the current owners have initiated actions before the Administrative Court of Housing (TAL) with a view to evict her. However, they withdrew before the hearing.
“I was stressed, really stressed, then not at all”, indignant Mme Picard, adding that he couldn’t sleep for weeks for fear of having to leave.
“She does everything she can to get the world tanned,” he says, referring to M.me Didier-Bujold.
Residents of 7530, 3655 and 6620 have received lease renewal notices containing a $50 rent increase from 1Ahem Julio and two options: accept it or leave the premises.
However, “when the owner decides to put the options, he must write all the options,” says M.me Justine Sara, lawyer for Juripop. These notices could be declared null, according to her, since they do not indicate that tenants have the right to reject these conditions.
Several, like Mr. Chaput and Mr.me Simard, however, rejected these increases, scribbling down the missing option before returning notice. Stephanie St-Pierre, a tenant of 6620, said she would agree on the condition that certain work she considers urgent be done.
All the tenants they spoke with Press — at least one in each of the five addresses — received nearly identical building codes from their new owners.
The 8- to 11-page documents provide numerous prohibitions and obligations for tenants, including paying extermination costs in the event of the presence of vermin.
These regulations also include fees for a number of situations, such as $50 for a building manager visit, $75 for three days of back rent, and $450 for a sublease or lease assignment.
“Any modification to this regulation may be made unilaterally by the lessor,” the documents finally indicate.
“These are regulations that make no sense,” says M.me St-Pierre, mother of two young children. I signed the rules because she was like, “Listen, I have a newborn baby, she’s going to be 2 months old, the little one. So I can’t get up outside. » »
According to M.me Sara, these clauses are invalid.
Vermin extermination, for example, is the responsibility of the owner. In addition, the latter cannot unilaterally modify the regulations -and therefore the lease-, according to the lawyer. “It has to be sent as a renewal notice, then it has to be accepted or rejected by the tenant,” he explains.
A landlord also may not charge a fee for the release of a lease, except for “fees that are reasonable, such as a credit check, but cannot be predicted.” [le montant] beforehand,” says Mr.me Sarah. Many other clauses could also be considered unfair and thus invalidated, such as requiring $50 for a viewing or $75 for back rent, according to her. “It is not a damage that seems realistic to me,” says the lawyer specializing in housing law.
A coach in real estate flips
David Powell is a well-known actor in the industry. He is coach at the Quebec Real Estate Investors Club (CIIQ) since 2018 and in particular he teaches the training “Live quickly from real estate thanks to FLIPS” at a cost of $149.95.
“Dave Powell has built a reputation in the real estate world in Montreal, where he has made more than thirty real estate changes in listed areas,” reads the description of a short interview published on YouTube by the CIIQ three years ago. behind. “I started making changes to building renovations in Montreal, from makeovers to major transformations,” he says in this interview. “That’s where I got my experience […] Now I support investors in their projects to give them the best advice. »
Mr. Powell did business with several partners to purchase the buildings discussed in this article.
7530, 3655 and 6620 were sold on May 17, 2022 to Immobilier LPDP, whose shareholders are Gestion AP-LPD and David Powell Immobilier. Gestion AP-LPD belongs to Louis-Pierre Deslauriers and Andréane Poirier. The tenants of these houses say they have received visits from a representative of the owners who is not registered among the shareholders.
The 7140 and 7150 were sold on August 17, 2021. The 7140 is owned by 9390-0363 Québec inc., whose first three shareholders are David Powell, Anabelle Didier-Bujold and Lucie Desgagné. 7150 belongs to David Powell. The tenants of these two buildings say they have received visits from Mr.me Didier-Bujold.
All of these people were contacted by phone or email. METERme Desgagné is the only one who has responded to requests for Press. She says that she is not very involved in the affairs of 9390-0363 Québec inc. and never having visited 7140.
In addition, Mr. Powell was summoned to a hearing on June 9 by the Organisme d’autoréglementation du courtage immobilier du Québec (OACIQ) to face six charges of affront to the honor and dignity of the profession. The ICAO indicates that the decision on guilt and the sanction must be issued “within approximately 60 days.”
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