Landlords in Montreal are not pleased with the fact that tenants are revealing to people how much they pay for their apartments.
A new site, known as MyRent.quebec, has been launched by a non-profit organization with the aim of providing a place where users can discuss and compare how much they pay for rents monthly. They can also discuss other specifics about their houses, such as whether or not pets are allowed and utilities available in the apartments.
When you visit the website, an interactive map pops up containing a significant number of blue dots. Clicking any of these blue dots gives you all the information a renter provided about his house. The aim is to make this information readily and easily available, says MyRent.quebec’s founders. With information like this, tenants will be better informed if a landlord’s prices are fair or too ridiculous for the neighborhood, one of the site’s founders, Luis Nobre, told CBC Montreal.
“Any common people like me would like to know what is the price, like when they travel around Montreal would like to know what is the average here for 41/2 or a 51/2?”
Apartments in Quebec are listed as 11/2 21/2 31/2. The ½ represents a bathroom.
MyRent.quebec is illegal, says Landlord association
Speaking to CTV Montreal, Denis Miron of Quebec’s rental board said that a renter can still apply to change the rent, on the occasion where they find out that the rent was too high after signing the lease agreement.
“Even though he already signed his lease, he has 10 days to apply to the Regie (du logement) to fix maybe a new rent,” said Miron.
Although apartments’ rental rates are available to the entire public, Hans Brouillette of the landlords’ association CORPIQ said collecting and sharing that information is illegal. Brouillette told CTV that, “The site provides personal and confidential information about our leases, our rents, our incomes.”
However, MyRent.quebec co-founders have admitted that the site has one major problem.
As of now, users are not being asked for proof of address for verification. They are only required to enter a valid email address before they can add information on the site. Nobre and Fortier are however hopeful that this verification feature will be added in the near future. Nobre told CBC News, “That’s for sure that anybody can write anything on the website, but you have to give people faith and hope that most people are honest and do it for the right reasons.”