A citizen submitted a complaint to the Ombudsman de Montréal so that Arrondissement de LaSalle gives him back the keys to his house, of which he had been evicted, due to a major insanitary situation. He submitted he wanted to go to his house to assess the situation, but was refusing to commit himself to not settle there again, before the sanitation and safety problems had been corrected to the satisfaction of the borough.

A visit to the location allowed us to ascertain the state of major insanitation and the advanced decay of the house, which could jeopardize the health and safety of any person living there.

We made various suggestions to the citizen to help him resolve the problematic situation. We offered supervised access to his house to recuperate his goods or evaluate the situation. We offered controlled access for any contractor charged to repair the house, or for any real estate agent charged with evaluating or selling the property. We even offered to help the citizen find such contractors or real estate agents. But the citizen categorically declined all of our suggestions.

Considering the major health risks for the citizen if he returned to live in his house without first rendering it sanitary, the Ombudsman de Montréal has, in his interest, refused to issue the Recommendation he was seeking.

She concluded that, in the circumstances, the decision of the borough not to grant this citizen unlimited access to his house was justified and reasonable. She ensured, however, that, if the citizen later accepts to collaborate to resolve the sanitation problems of his property, the borough will ensure adequate access to the location. The Ombudsman then met with the citizen to explain in details the reasons for her conclusions and to reiterate that all the support options that had been offered to him remain available.

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