Be Best: Montréal Goes Toe To Toe With Housing Speculator Bullies

Rosemont - Sideview photo by Caribb is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Montréal, Québec, city of rental apartments, many featuring exterior second storey stairs.

In an era of declining work security (never mind the pandemic!) it’s not surprising that those worried about their late life income might consider “mom and pop shop” investment in the age-old and reasonably honourable profession of landlording.

That might explain some of the stampede to take advantage of a tax break in the United Kingdom1 and grab less-expensive than usual “buy-to-let”2 properties.

Thanks to the world-wide commodification of housing, however, much of the rush to buy will be down to institutional investment and speculation, not moms and pops trying to earn a enough to escape poverty-stricken old age. In many countries, the predatory rent hikes that seem to inevitably follow institutional and speculator ownership are driving increasing numbers of tenants into poverty, even homelessness.

This produces an absurdity. Governments that condone or encourage commodification of rental housing on one hand can be found wringing their hands helplessly over the mess they have wrought for their citizens on the other. (Anyone should be able to see that this is far too many hands.)

Not so much helpless handwringing in Montréal, Québec, however. That city has decided to take a leaf from the housing speculator handbook by attempting to beat speculators at their own game. Read more at CTV: Montreal’s new strategy to keep rent low: get in the ring with real-estate speculators


  1. Try: Buy-to-let sales boom as landlords rush to benefit from stamp duty holiday
  2. ‘For those, particularly in North America, who are unfamiliar with the term “let,” in Britspeak landlords “let” while tenants “rent.”

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