Housing at $325 per month: a retiree struggles not to be evicted

Amid the housing crisis, a Quebec man is fighting not to move after being pressured to leave in just 17 days.

Pierre Turbide, 64, is retired from the construction field, but says he now lives on last resort financial assistance.

He has lived in half of the basement of a triplex on Chemin du Foulon, in Quebec, for eight years.

“It’s an old neighborhood. The houses were worth nothing here before, but now, everyone wants to come here,” he says, referring to the revival that the neighborhood has experienced with the development of Promenade Samuel-de-Champlain.


Mr. Turbide pays $325 per month for a bedroom, a small living room and a bathroom. The accommodation has no kitchen and the ceiling is not much higher than six feet. But the resident feels good there.

“It’s not a dump. And with the housing crisis, what will I be able to find? he asks himself. I can’t afford to pay $1000 a month, a fool in my pocket!”

It was the owner of the building – who lives in the accommodation just above Mr. Turbide’s – who rented her accommodation to him. The lady is now 94 years old and her children want to take over her real estate assets.


“We’re not Harold and Maude, but we get along well and she felt safer with me in the house. She signed an agreement with me saying that I could not be ousted,” says Mr. Turbide.

The latter, however, does not have the document in his possession and has no contact with the lady. He maintains that the lady’s children prevent him from seeing her.

“What is complex is that according to them, the owner’s children would have taken over the management of the building thanks to an incapacity mandate. This is how they are trying by different means to make Mr. Turbide leave,” explains François-David Bernier, Mr. Turbide’s lawyer.

The law

On October 14, one of the owner’s children asked Mr. Turbide to leave the accommodation before the 31st of the month, which the occupant refused.

“It is highly abusive and contrary to the law,” insisted Me Bernier.

The triplex in which Pierre Turbide’s accommodation is located.

Photo Martin Lavoie

“There are only two ways to get Mr. Turbide out. It is with a takeover for a person in the family or the sale of the building with takeover from the new owners”, mentions Me Bernier.

He adds that in addition, a period of six months is required, far from the 17 days imposed.

“There’s no such thing as not having a lease. There is always the rule of remaining in the premises which applies,” insists the lawyer.


“Increasingly, the TAL (Administrative Housing Tribunal) sanctions housing offenders. We have seen decisions where amounts of more than $30,000 were allocated to the evicted person.”

And the lawyer also warns those who would like to use the excuse of renting to a family member to evict a tenant.

“The person who is ousted can even check and investigate whether the reason for the takeover is real,” he says. An illegal repossession exposes the owner to damages.”


Due to health problems, Mr. Turbide now has to use a cane to get around.

The situation he is experiencing makes him extremely insecure. “I can’t believe this will happen in Quebec in 2024,” says the man who adds that he cannot get the necessary repairs done to his home.

The family asked Newspaper to contact their lawyer, Me Jocelyn Vallerand. The latter confirmed that the family had obtained a protection mandate allowing them to take care of their mother’s affairs. On the other hand, he was not aware of the elements of the file concerning Mr. Turbide.

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