CTV News: 'We have bats in the wall': ACORN London members speak out demanding better living conditions

Posted August 18, 2021

LONDON, ONT. - A group of Londoners held a ‘tenant speak out’ demanding urgent action for what they say are unacceptable living conditions.
About a dozen tenants of Kipps Lane townhomes say they are fed up with living in substandard conditions.

“Bugs, bats, which I caught two of them – and that was hell,” says Corey Paquette, who has been living in one of the townhomes for the last six years.

Members from ACORN London – an independent membership-based organization that aims to hold landlords accountable - organized Wednesday’s event in the city’s northeast end.

Tenants say the agency responsible for the 206 townhomes at this location, Kipps Lane Property Management - Macdane Group of Companies, has been extremely negligent and disrespectful.

“Accumulative stress, of having to constantly push to get the slightest thing done, and then on top of it the constant eviction notices that they know aren’t justified,” said tenant Jordan Smith.

ACORN is demanding that the property management company is held accountable as per the City of London property standards.

“Many of these tenants live with things like cockroaches, and bed bugs, and rodents, Sometimes all three all together. Unrepaired units that requests that have been in for years,” said ACORN London member Diane Devine.

In a statement, a spokesperson for Macdane Group of Companies says, “We have no outstanding complaints regarding property standards or the Landlord Tenant Board. We also actively promote Tenants to advise us of any issues so we can address them properly and in a timely fashion.”

But tenants say that’s not the case.

“Nothing is ever addressed, we’ve been asking for new windows since we moved in. We were actually told we were going to have new windows before we moved in, we can’t open any of them they are all busted,” said Shadow Reeves, who has lived in one of the townhomes for the past two years.

Among the complaints, lack of respect for tenants when they do put forth a complain.

“It’s like rolling of the eyes, they just laugh it off, sometimes they laugh at your face at the situation trying to make it lighter than it actually is – it’s appalling really,” said Paquette.

Many of the tenants say they suffer from health issues and moving is simply not an option.

“Can’t afford it, we looked at the rents of the places we used to live, and they’re about three times as much,” said Reeves.

Paquette says she has bats, and odours coming into her unit because the adjacent townhome went up in flames back in March.

***

Article by Reta Ismail for CTV News

 

Sign up for ACORN's newsletter