It is well known that the rent in private seniors’ residences (PSRs) is excessively high. This is why the Réseau FADOQ will closely monitor the Regroupement québécois des résidences pour aînés (RQRA) and Groupe Maurice’s push to adapt the generic rent grid, published by the Régie du logement, with a view to imposing hefty rent increases with little recourse for tenants.
Last week, FADOQ expressed its disagreement with these requests during a meeting with Andrée Laforest, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. The Réseau FADOQ hopes that as soon as the National Assembly resumes, the Minister will indicate that the lobbyists’ requests have been rejected.
The RQRA and Groupe Maurice give two reasons for requesting a specific lease for PSRs: the need to raise orderlies’ wages and the risk of small residence closures. To these arguments, the Réseau responds that government financial assistance for small independent residences in the regions could be appropriate, but that large residential groups will have to prove that they are struggling to make ends meet.
Making it easier to challenge a rent increase
The Réseau FADOQ also raised Bill 49 with Minister Laforest, proposing provisions to facilitate the contestation of lease amendments, such as:
- Allow any legal entity to exercise recourse with the Régie du logement on behalf of SPR tenants, some of whom are dependent on others;
- Prohibit retaliation against a tenant who is challenging the lease;
- Allow all tenants of the same SPR to avail themselves of the effects of a decision rendered by the Régie du logement for the benefit of one of its tenants;
- Enable collective representation before the Régie du logement.
What about services not rendered?
During the meeting with Minister Laforest FADOQ further argued that all services not rendered by SPRs in the context of the pandemic should be reimbursed by SPR managers and that the government should take a position in this regard.
Although SPRs are required by law to reimburse leased services that have not been rendered, the RQRA has indicated that SPRs may attempt to reach an agreement on the form of this reimbursement (exchange for meal coupons, subsequent services, etc.).
With respect to services not rendered that are not charged to the lease, such as access to bowling alleys or the pool, the RQRA has made it clear that “it is difficult to provide a reimbursement for their non-use.