Quebec Court of Appeal agrees to hear case of Mont-Carmel seniors residence

Résidence Mont-Carmel on René-Lévesque Boulevard in downtown Montreal was one of eight private seniors' residences that were stripped of their status and sold or forced to shutter in the city in 2021, according to a local housing group.    (CBC News - image credit)
Résidence Mont-Carmel on René-Lévesque Boulevard in downtown Montreal was one of eight private seniors' residences that were stripped of their status and sold or forced to shutter in the city in 2021, according to a local housing group. (CBC News - image credit)

The Quebec Court of Appeal agreed to hear the case of the owner of a private Montreal seniors residence (RPA) who wants to turn it into a residential building Wednesday.

Residents at Mont-Carmel, a 16-storey housing complex with 216 apartments on René-Lévesque Boulevard, took the building's owner, Henry Zavriyev, to court after they were told to move out or pay more for less services.

The building was sold for $40 million in December 2021 to Zavriyev's company and stripped of its RPA status. Seniors previously had low-income adjusted rents, on-site nursing services and common areas where activities were held.

The Superior Court of Quebec indicated on Oct. 30, 2022 that it had the legal leeway necessary to determine whether Zavriyev can evict his tenants and go ahead with the conversion of the building.

But, Zavriyev believes the tenants' lawsuit, who contest their eviction, should be heard by the Administrative Housing Tribunal (TAL) rather than by the Superior Court.

The Court of Appeal will pass judgment on whether the TAL should take over the file, and not on the case itself.

The Court of Appeal hearing, which will take place on May 12, will lead to additional delays for seniors who live in Mont-Carmel and are waiting for answers on their possible eviction.

Last July, the Superior Court issued a safeguard order to prevent Zavriyev and developers from changing the RPA status of this building during the legal proceedings.

The transformation of the senior's home into a residential building would come with a rent increase for the current tenants and the end of various services like the presence of a nurse in the residence and the use of alert buttons in case of emergency.