People are sharing rent info in Montreal -- and landlords aren't happy
Published Saturday, June 17, 2017 3:05PM EDT
Montrealers are sharing information about how much they pay to rent their apartments on a new website -- and some landlords in the city are upset about it.
The website, myrent.quebec, was launched in April with the goal of having tenants share information about the apartments they rent. That information, along with details about the number of bedrooms they have and what’s included in the rental price, is then put on a searchable online map.
"Any common people like me would like to know what is the price, like when they travel around Montreal would like to know what is the average here for a 4 1/2 or a 5 1/2?" Luis Nobre, one of the site's founders, told CTV Montreal.
Having that information, Nobre added, gives prospective renters a better idea of whether or not a landlord’s rates are reasonable for the neighbourhood that an apartment is in. So far, it has received about 1,500 entries.
Landlords in the city, however, maintain that the website is illegal -- and unnecessary.
Rental costs are always included in ads for apartments, Quebec Landlords Corporation spokesperson Hans Brouillette told CTV Montreal. Brouillette also believes that publicly collecting and sharing rental information is against the law.
"It provides personal and confidential information about our leases, our rents, our incomes," Brouillette said. "Nobody wants to have his income being provided on a public website."
Landlords, Brouillette added, are also concerned that there is no way to verify the accuracy of the information on the site. Nobre counters that his team tries to verify as much data as they can.
Brouillette said that landlords have the right to charge whatever the market will bear, and that it’s only natural for rents to increase after renovations.
"In some cases there were renovations, in other cases the rent was much too low compared to the market," Brouillette said of the website.
Quebec’s rental board makes suggestions to landlords about rent increases and tenants can even apply for a decrease if they find out that a rent increase was too high.
"Even though he already signed his lease, he has 10 days to apply to the Regie [du logement] to fix maybe a new rent," the board’s spokesperson, Denis Miron, told CTV Montreal.
Lawyers for the Quebec Landlords Corporation, Brouillette said, are tracking data that’s been posted to the website. They have yet to decide what, if any, action will be taken, Brouillette said.
With files from CTV Montreal