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The building manager who abuses the rules of the game

The building manager who abuses the rules of the game

In 2022, Noemi Bellini and Raoul Davin acquired a quadruple apartment in Shawinigan, an area more affordable than the large centers for young investors.

The couple, who live in Montreal, are looking for a local manager. That's when Marc-Andre Payet, the local businessman who runs Les Habitations Val-Mauricie, entered the scene. The man inspires confidence in them.

Marc-Andre Payet gives us the impression that we are used to working with owners and that we have a number of doors under management.“, explains Raoul Davin. The couple signs a contract that specifically stipulates the maintenance of the building, the collection of rents, the implementation and supervision of the work.

They asked Marc-Andre Payet to check for mold spots in two rooms in the basement apartment. We hired him to remove that mold, remove the plaster, and look inside so there was no more mold.Noémie Blatard reports.

According to Marc-Andre Payet, mold and mildew were everywhere in the residence. There was mold everywhere in there. […] We have picturesThe businessman tells us he met in front of his former offices in Shawinigan in the fall of 2023.

The couple says they have not seen the photos or received a written diagnosis of the situation. Therefore, he relies on the word of the manager, who gives him verbal approval to carry out the dismantling work.

But when Noémie Blatard and Raoul Davin discovered the scope of the business, they realized that everything went much faster than they wanted.

We were in Montreal the whole time. We worked there. When we came back here to see the damage, it was already quite advanced.

Noémie Platard and Raoul Davin in the basement of their destroyed house.

Photo: Radio-Canada/Sébastien Jouvin-Blanchet

The basement apartment no longer looked like a home. Everything has been removed except the frame. The drywall, floor, bathtub, vanity, and doors were gone.

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It is impossible for us to confirm with pictures whether the extent of the mold problem behind the plaster is worthy of such work. Marc-Andre Payet would eventually tell us he didn't keep it.

Excessive work, according to the inspector

The couple is now convinced that Marc-Andre Payet was excessively destructive. That's also the opinion of building inspector Michel Pelletier, who was convinced the mold spots were a problem and required investigation.

The businessman, in my opinion, did not break his head. He stripped everything he could. It's really overratedMaintains inspector.

The couple terminated their contract with Marc-Andre Payet and refused to pay the final bill, which amounted to more than $20,000.

Marc-Andre Payet responded by registering a legal mortgage on his quadrangle.

A statutory construction mortgage is a means provided by law to guarantee payment to people who have been involved in the construction or renovation of a building. It has priority over conventional mortgages.

We have presented the management contract, signed by the couple, to lawyer Antoine Morneau-Sénéchal. In his opinion, the document grants broad powers to Marc-Andre Payet.

“The manager has a lot of freedom. So, there is no real license to ask for work to be done or maintenance to be done. He has the power to do whatever he wants. This is not necessarily bad or illegal. But we have to realize what it means, which is that we are giving up part of the Of the control we will have over our building.”

Collecting rent for your client is an unusual practice

Sebastien Roy is another owner dissatisfied with the services of Marc-Andre Payet, who has entrusted him with the management of his building in Shawinigan.

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Sebastien Roy confirms that two months' rent for all his accommodation was never given to him last year. The two parties disagree on this point. But the fact remains that Marc-Andre Payet, as stipulated in the contract, collected and collected the rents before transferring them to his client.

Benoît Ste-Marie, General Manager of the Société des Propriétés du Québec (CORPIQ)

Benoît Ste-Marie, General Manager of the Société des Propriétés du Québec (CORPIQ)

Photo: Radio-Canada/Jean-Francois Vezina

For Benoit Ste-Marie of Quebec Property Owners, this practice is unusual.

For rental income to be deposited into an account where the manager has full powers, this is not good practice at all and is a red light, a big red light.“, explains the Director General of the organization.

Marc-Andre Payet, bad tenant

As a property manager, Marc-Andre Payet must select good tenants for his clients. But he himself isn't one, according to Alison Molesworth, who regrets renting a commercial building from him. He ran the buildings. We said to ourselves: This is the person who understands us, and lives the same realities as us-Supports the owner.

Marc-Andre Payet, through his company, has signed a three-year lease. But he left after three months. Alison Molesworth then sued him for small claims. In a ruling last year, the court ordered Marc-Andre Payet to compensate him more than $6,000. To this day she says she has never been able to get her money back.

What we want is to help the people of Morrissey, and then we say: Be careful, Marc-Andre Payet, he is not someone you want to deal with.

Alison Molesworth, at home, sits in front of the camera, speaking to a reporter.

Alison Molesworth, at home, sits in front of the camera, speaking to a reporter.

Photo: Radio-Canada/Jean-Francois Vezina

Creditors are on his trail

Marc-Andre Payet has headed no less than eight companies since 2015, almost all of them in property or construction management. Climb Real Estate is one of their newest products.

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On its website, the company falsely claims to be a member of three associations, including CORPIQ. He also raped a journalist's photo Financial Times Who uses him on his site and presents him as one of his managers.

When asked about this misinformation, Marc-Andre Payet explained that this content should not have been published. The Gravir website is currently unavailable.

Marc-Andre Payet and his companies are also being pursued by several creditors, including CNESST, for nearly $60,000, and Revenu Québec, for more than $130,000.

The prosecutor even had a legal mortgage registered on his house for unpaid fines.

Furthermore, in 2018, Marc-Andre Payet declared bankruptcy, as did one of his companies. In 2006, he was sentenced to nine months in prison for fraud.

Director and businessman Marc-Andre Payet.

Director and businessman Marc-Andre Payet.

Photo: Radio-Canada/Sébastien Jouvin-Blanchet

Some practical advice

There is no professional ranking for property managers. So, Anyone can call themselves a property manager“, confirms lawyer Antoine Morneau-Sénéchal. Hence the importance of checking the criminal record of the person to whom we entrust the keys to his building, according to Corbec, who offers another piece of advice.

The bottom line is that if you have a dreadlock, it's best to take care of it yourself. There are thousands of owners running small complexes in Quebec without having a problem“, says Benoit Ste-Marie of CORPIQ.

In such a context, moving away from your building is not a good idea. According to him, any owner should be within an hour's drive of his investment.