Brief by the Québec Ombudsman to the Committee on Planning and the Public Domain concerning Bill 16
Within the context of the consultations on Bill 16 – Act mainly to regulate building inspections and divided co-ownership, to replace the name and improve the rules of operation of the Régie du logement and to amend the Act respecting the Société d’habitation du Québec and various legislative provisions concerning municipal affairs, the Québec Ombudsman submitted a brief to the Committee on Planning and the Public Domain. It deals solely with the amendments regarding the Régie du logement.
For several years, the Québec Ombudsman has spoken out against the unreasonable wait times at the Régie du logement. Overall, it therefore subscribes to the amendments that would be made under Bill 16. They have the potential to modernize the tribunal and, ultimately, speed up application processing.
With this same objective in mind, the Québec Ombudsman recommended extending the jurisdiction of special clerks. Furthermore, it recommended that the Régie du logement be empowered to rule on requests for postponement any time before a hearing. It also made a recommendation aimed at eliminating a problem area related to requests for correction. Lastly, it cites its special report entitled Private seniors’ residences: more than just rental businesses and reiterates one of its recommendations —amend the Act respecting the Régie du logement so that, in certain situations, tribunal decisions about the clauses of a lease also apply to tenants whose leases contain identical clauses.