One of Montreal's poshest condominiums is wrangling in court over limitations to the rights of condo owners to rent out their units in a battle that reportedly included an attempt to evict Hollywood star Jennifer Lawrence.
Legal counsel for the condominium association (or syndicate of co-owners, as they are known in Quebec) at the luxury Sir George Simpson is waiting for a court date in its appeal of a Quebec Superior Court decision from last year.
The syndicate failed in its attempt, in the summer of 2016, to get a court order to evict a high-profile Hollywood celebrity – reported in the local press to be Jennifer Lawrence – from a condo unit owned by Sherry and Jeffrey Langleben. The syndicate argued that the co-ownership agreement at the 12-storey building on Sherbrooke Street West clearly bans the renting out of units for a period of less than one year. It also contended that the agreement with a production company to provide use of the condo to the star during a film shoot was of a commercial nature, which is also not permitted.
The matter came to light when Ms. Langleben informed the building's head of security that she was lending the unit for three months to a cousin in the film business and that "other celebrities might also visit," according to court documents.
The syndicate managers were told in a June 1, 2016 e-mail from the Langlebens that "She [the visitor] has a personal staff, including a private driver, secretary and body guard who will need access to the building from time to time," according to a court document.
The syndicate challenged the couple's proposal to change the three-month deal to a one-year contract with a three-month termination clause, court records indicate.
Quebec Superior Court Justice Gérard Dugré ruled there was no evidence that, when the lease was signed, the lessee knew of the prohibition on short-term rentals or that it was brought to its attention. Eviction was out of the question. At the same time he acknowledged that the three-month lease contravened the co-ownership bylaws. So, as far as the syndicate is concerned, the matter is not settled.
The Langlebens have since sold their condo.