Years in a slum

Des années dans un logement insalubre

The owner of a substandard housing will have to pay close to $ 23,000 to its tenants who have had to live with rats in their basement and infiltration of toilet water just above their bed for months.

“[The owner] failed to comply in any manner with its legal obligation to provide and maintain a dwelling in good state of habitability. Rather, it has had a behavior completely dismissive and disrespectful of the tenants, ” said housing authority in a decision made public this week in Montreal.

There was nothing yet to predict these problems when Adil Saksak and his family immigrated to Quebec in 2010.

Originally from Morocco, the man had found shelter in the neighbourhood of Villeray for 1090 $ per month.

Except that all changed in the summer of 2017, when issues of mould and infestation of rodents have emerged in the housing, one can read in the decision of the Régie.

Subsequently, they were three infiltrations of water caused by a breakage of sanitary sewer to the floor.

“[This] has caused an important water damage and filth, in the bedroom of the tenants that receive the waste water of the toilet directly in their face while they sleep, ” says the stage manager Jean Gauthier.

Housing evacuated

By adding electrical problems, problems with heating and a humidity of 80 %, it was enough for the City ordered the evacuation of the housing of the time that fixes are made.

The family Saksak has had to live in a hotel for six weeks except that on their return, the situation had barely improved, because the insulation of the basement had been removed because of the presence of rats.

“They were literally frozen during a winter complete […] “

The family then realized that the water heater had expired in the last 10 years. The owner has replaced him, but he tried to charge the tenants, while requiring them to pay the rent during the period when they were at the hotel.

During the hearing at the Régie du logement, the representative of the owner, Nadir Berkane, has tried to put the blame on the family Saksak, who had attempted to prevent the masonry work on the building. And from that moment on, all the problems started.

Except that the commissioner was not convinced by this version that he found ” little credible “.

Instead, he sentenced the owner to pay a rent reduction of 9588 $ and 13 000 $ in material damages, moral and exemplary damages.

Satisfied with the decision, Mr Saksak has especially regretted never having managed to reach an amicable agreement with the owner. It has not been possible to speak to the latter, who resides abroad. His lawyer has not recalled The Newspaper.

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