Landlords lobby for damage deposits

Quebec needs to change a controversial law that prohibits landlords from collecting damage deposits, as well as first and last month’s rent, a spokesperson for Quebec’s landlord group told CREW.

“It’s rubbish,” Kevin Lebeau, a spokesperson with the APQ, a landlord advocacy group in Quebec, said. “Quebec is the only province that has no recourse to collect damage deposits when tenants destroy a rental property and it leaves them with no security. The law needs to change because the process to get any kind of compensation with the Quebec Rental Board can take up to 18 or 24 months as it stands.”

The association has been lobbying to reverse what it calls an outdated law has hit landlords where it hurts – their pocketbooks. One of the APQ’s recent efforts saw the group launch a contest to highlight the filthy, rundown apartments they’re left with when tenants move out.

The contest encouraged landlords to send photos of these dirty and ruined apartments, which received strong support and response from landlords. The group collected dozens of photos of damaged property from landlords in an effort to raise awareness.

Lebeau said that the contest, Histoires d'horreur du 1er juillet, displayed properties with floor and wall damage, pet feces, and clutter. While it garnered some attention, opponents in Quebec feel that damage deposits could be a problem because it could put tenants on the hook for renovations.

Others in Quebec say that landlords need to do a better job of managing their properties, but Lebeau pointed out that the occurrences often happen when the tenants move out, leaving landlords to go on a goose chase looking for the tenant. 

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