We handle more and more complaints from citizens facing sanitation problems in a private dwelling or in a HLM (low-rent housing). In some cases, citizens’ health had been affected and the Direction de Santé publique (DSP) had issued recommendations regarding necessary decontamination work and, sometimes, even the evacuation of tenants.

We found that, when the DSP informs a borough of such a situation, the handling of the file and the rigor of the follow-up varies greatly: some boroughs intervene promptly, while others are more reluctant to act.

For example:

  • A citizen called our office asking that Arrondissement de Verdun issues a Notice of eviction regarding his dwelling. The DSP had confirmed a serious sanitation problem and mold contamination and it had also confirmed that the tenant suffered from serious health problems caused by these conditions. The DSP had, therefore, recommended that the tenant be relocated as soon as possible (within approximately one week).
    Following our intervention, a visit of the premises was quickly set up with borough representatives, the Direction de l’habitation and the DSP; the expert of the building owner was also present. A Notice of eviction was issued by the borough and the citizen was relocated. The citizen’s complaint was, therefore, settled to his satisfaction.


  • In another file, tenants of an HLM had been relocated due to sanitation problems: our office remained on file to verify that adequate decontamination and refitting measures were taken, by the Office municipal d’habitation de Montréal (OMHM) before this HLM would be rented again.


  • In two other situations, there was mold contamination and visible fungus in private dwellings, located in Arrondissement d’Ahuntsic-Cartierville and Côte-des-Neiges–Notre-Dame-de-Grâce. One of the dwellings was vacant, the tenant having left due to this contamination. We made sure that, in conformity with the DSP recommendations, this dwelling was not rented again until adequate decontamination work was completed.
    Regarding the other dwelling which was still inhabited, adequate repairs were done to the satisfaction of the stakeholders and of our plaintiff.


  • We are currently handling six (6) cases of mold contamination opened in 2012, in dwellings located in the following boroughs: Rosemont–La Petite-Patrie (2 cases), Le Sud-Ouest, Verdun, Ville-Marie and Villeray–Saint-Michel–Parc-Extension. In each of these files, we do periodic follow-ups with the borough and the DSP and sometimes even with building owners. Our objective is to ensure that everything be put in place to:
    • Protect tenants’ health;
    • Identify what caused the water infiltrations and other problems at the origin of this contamination, in the building;
    • Make sure that adequate decontamination and rehabilitation work is done; and
    • Implement the DSP recommendations, when it is involved in the file.

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