The City takes charge, for a short period of time, of the furniture and personal belongings of Montréal citizens who are evicted from their dwelling and whose property is “put out on the street”. In many instances, fees will be charged to the citizens to retrieve their belongings: these fees can be substantial.

Since the creation of our office, we have sometimes recommended the reduction of the fees normally claimed, in order for the citizens to be able to retrieve their belongings. Such recommendations are only issued if, after a thorough investigation of the specific circumstances of a case, we believe that the personal situation of the citizen justifies a reduction of these fees, on an exceptional and humanitarian basis.

Until December 2008, most of these cases were managed by a Central Department which always accepted our recommendations.

Since January 2009, however, this Central Department no longer exists and boroughs took over this responsibility. Some of them have adopted a By-Law in which they defined the rates that will apply.

In 2010, 3 of the 19 boroughs i.e.: Arrondissement de Rivière-des-Prairies–Pointe-aux-Trembles, Arrondissement de Ville-Marie and Arrondissement de Verdun have denied our recommendations to reduce the fees charged to a citizen, because of their By-Law. This situation is of concern to us.

It is, indeed, regrettable that, within the same City, citizens of 3 boroughs only no longer have the opportunity to obtain a fee reduction, even when their personal situation would justify it, on humanitarian grounds.

We have discussed the issue with the Direction générale of Ville de Montréal and have solicited a better collaboration of the concerned boroughs.

Arrondissement de Ville-Marie and Arrondissement de Rivière-des-Prairies–Pointe-aux-Trembles have since modified their regulation.

As for Arrondissement de Verdun, it maintains its position to deny any fee reduction request.

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