Housing Administrative Court: difficult to challenge your eviction

Housing Administrative Court: difficult to challenge your eviction

The lack of services of the Administrative Housing Court (TAL) could leave hundreds of tenants on the street who will not be able to challenge their eviction orders in time, which are increasing even in the regions.

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“It is as if we are in the middle of a pandemic, TAL services have not returned to their pre-pandemic service. Many more tenants will be evicted,” worries Martin Blanchard, co-spokesperson for the Regroupement des Comités Logements et des Associations de Tenants du Québec (RCLALQ).

Having great difficulty contacting government agency officials by phone or even in person, many tenants fear that they will not be able to refuse their landlord’s eviction.

“It is almost impossible to get an appointment at the TAL within the established deadlines. On the site, they told me that I had to make an appointment, except that the only one available before January 30 was in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, the last day I could make a dispute ”, says Florian Mevel, a 42 year old Montreal tenant.

“I could have lost my house if I hadn’t managed to open a file,” he adds. (look down).

Because in Quebec, tenants have 30 days to open a dispute file in court from the day they receive the landlord’s notice, which they had until December 31.

After this period, the TAL considers that the tenant has accepted the eviction. Therefore, January is a busy month for eviction challenges.


According to RCLALQ, this type of situation could worsen since TAL services are not working as before the pandemic, but above all because evictions increased by almost 150% in Quebec and by almost 508% only in the regions between 2021 and 2022. A record, according to the advocacy organization.

“Before we didn’t see any evictions in the region, but it is becoming a growing reality. And the problem is that in some areas there is also almost no service. A lot of people give up,” laments Mr. Blanchard.

Once a month

Of 30 offices, almost a third are not open every day of the week.

In Matane, for example, the office is only open for four hours on the last Friday of each month. In January, there were no more appointments available for the only opening date on Friday, January 27.

The same in Saint-Joseph-de-Beauce where the office is only open on the last Tuesday of the month.

In Montreal, none of the three TAL offices had spaces available before February 8.

“Over the years, we see that there is less and less service. In the case of evictions, it benefits the owners because if the tenant does not challenge in time, it is as if he accepted the eviction ”, laments Mr. Blanchard.

The TAL spokesman, Denis Miron, indicates that “these are offices and service points with the lowest volume of visits.”

“These opening hours have been established based on traffic and available resources and are reviewed periodically,” he adds.

Worthy of the twelve labors of Asterix

Tenants threatened with eviction lament having to go through a veritable obstacle course in order to assert their rights to the TAL.

“I tried for over a week to contact someone at the Court to help me challenge my eviction, but couldn’t,” says Marcel Arbor, a 76-year-old resident of Montreal’s Plateau-Mont-Royal.

Knowing his right to stay in his house, where he has lived for almost 30 years, he immediately knew that he was going to defend himself in TAL.

“But it’s almost impossible to find information on your own,” adds the man who managed to challenge his eviction two days before the deadline.

Without the help of the housing committee, it would have been impossible for him to carry out the operation using the online service.

“It is very difficult to apply [en ligne]You have to know the law very well. All it takes is one error for the request to be denied. The TAL hides behind this solution, but it is impossible to challenge with this service without the help of a lawyer”, argues Martin Blanchard, from RCLALQ.

Tricky on the spot too

And even going to one of the TAL offices, it is difficult to get help.

Florian Mevel, a resident of the Rosemont district, had to go twice to the office in downtown Montreal to open his protest file. The first time was on January 23.

“When I arrived, a security guard immediately told me that I couldn’t access the service, even though I said it was because of an eviction challenge,” he says. .

Sitting together the next day in the same office with a representative of the RCLALQ and the Registryan employee agreed to open a file.

“Throughout he made me feel like a black sheep and repeatedly told me that I was ‘an exception’ and that I should have made an appointment online,” he adds. .

For its part, the TAL confirms that tenants do not need to make an appointment to open a file and that all employees and guards have received instructions.

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