Some tenants of the Société d’habitation et de développement de Montréal (SHDM) were complaining of the way rent increases were calculated. Furthermore, some decisions from the Régie du logement had captured our attention. We intervened, therefore, with the SHDM to understand the rules applied and discuss areas for improvement.


We discovered that there was no official written procedure detailing the methods for calculating rents or rent increases intended for building managers, administrative staff or other SHDM employees. Hence, we suggested to SHDM that it should develop a written procedure so as to make the rules clear and their application consistent.


Our suggestion was welcomed and a new procedure was adopted.


This new procedure confirms the general principle under which SHDM shall rent its dwellings according to the concept of “affordability” as defined by the competent authorities. The procedure then details the rules that must be respected in different situations: rent calculation for a new tenant, rent increase (for renewals), information to be provided in procedures before the Régie du logement.


Amongst others, the following rules were confirmed:


  • Since it is refundable, the GST paid by the SHDM must not be included as an expense;
  • When work is done in a dwelling, the costs associated to this work must be taken into account only with regard to the rent for that dwelling;
  • In case of major work in a building, every portion of the work covered by a grant must be excluded and not considered as an expense;
  • When there are non-residential units in a building, the cost of major improvements and repairs made for the sole benefit of these premises must not be taken into account when calculating rent increases for the residential units.


The adoption of a clear written procedure is a major improvement which should be beneficial in many ways:


  • Clarity of terms;
  • Uniformity of application;
  • Transparency;
  • Better understanding of rules by new employees;
  • Rapid and consistent implementation in case of future modification of rules.

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