Tenant cries fowl
By Lawrence Belanger
Local Journalism Initiative
Residents of the apartment building at 610 Jacques-Cartier in Sherbrooke are facing a rent increase as their building, which recently changed ownership, undergoes basement renovations and soil decontamination. François Paré, a tenant for the last five years, is contesting the increase, as he feels it is being done in bad faith by the new owners.
According to Ken Beauchene, co-proprietor of Beauchêne Gestion, the company which bought the building, they’re not doing these renovations just “because they want to,” but rather because they’re legally mandated. During an interview at Beauchene’s office, he said the building, which was built in 1968, had a “huge gap” of deferred maintenance to improve the building’s conditions. He says that an environmental firm detected the presence of oil in the soil beneath the building and that Quebec law mandates its decontamination. Referring to the building’s current tenants, Beauchene said “If they want to stay, they can 100 per cent stay,” but due to costs like inflation, materials, and contractor fees that are out of his personal control, “the price won’t be the same”.