Deadlines for a hearing at the Régie du logement have not improved, despite a decrease of the volume of applications over the past 10 years.
This is what the administrative tribunal points out in its 2017-2020 Strategic Plan, thus recognizing it did not achieve the set objective of its two previous strategic plans (2009-2013 and 2014-2017).
According to the most recent data, it took an average of 1.4 months before a hearing for non-payment of rent to be held in 2015-2016, exactly the same delay as in 2006-2007. For urgent civil cases, the delay was 1.8 months in 2015-2016, compared to 1.6 months in 2006-2007.
Still, the total number of hearing requests decreased in 10 years, from 78,232 in 2006-2007 to 67,196 in 2015-2016.
In its report, the Régie du logement states its awareness that the average delay to obtain a first hearing has not seen any "significant improvement".
A "worrisome" situation
The new Régie du logement president, Patrick Simard, admits that the issue of delays in processing an application remains "worrisome". "Commissioners and staff who support the processing of an application in court remain at the heart of the solution. That's why the efforts over the next three years will be mainly focused on improving ways of doing things before, during, and after the hearings", he writes in the 2017-2020 Strategic Plan.
The Régie du logement also mentions that it wants to focus more on the conciliation service, which is currently little used, to improve the processing of hearing requests. Under some circumstances, videoconferencing could also speed up processes by preventing the need for commissioners and parties to travel.
Since 2001, the Auditor General of Québec has twice reported unreasonable delays at the Régie du logement. For its part, the Ombudsman has been reporting it every year for the past 10 years.