03/04/2014 12:27 EST | Updated 05/04/2014 05:59 EDT

Bugs, vermin, mould force Ahuntsic-Cartierville tenants out

Two Ahuntsic-Cartierville apartment buildings with hundreds of violations are in such advanced states of disrepair and uncleanliness that tenants of 12 units had to be removed last month for public safety reasons.

Come March 5, the residents of 12 more apartments will find themselves out on the curb as well.

Bed bugs, cockroaches, vermin, mould, leaking water, lack of heating, holes in ceilings and walls — the tenants of 11750 and 11760 Ranger Street have had a lot to contend with.

Many of them are new immigrants who settled in the area near the intersection of Laurentian and Henri-Bourassa boulevards because of its low rents.

But then they were evacuated from their homes in early February, and it seems the landlord isn’t doing much to remedy the situation.

One long-time tenant told community newspaper Courrier Ahuntsic-Cartierville last month that the condition of the apartments really went downhill when the current owner took possession in 2006.

Since then, the tenant said, the owner has altered the apartments to create more rooms and thus, house more people — making for overcrowding.

Another tenant told CBC News that he fixed a missing pane of glass in one of his apartment's windows with cushions and blankets.

City councillor Harout Chitilian said he’s doing everything he can to improve the conditions at the apartment buildings.

Chitilian said the landlord has hundreds of violations against him and that hopefully not receiving tenants' rent cheques will propel him to make the necessary repairs to the buildings.

He also said the local housing committee is helping those evacuated relocate.