75 Cosburn AGI Tenant Speak Out in Toronto
Posted July 15, 2022
Posted on July 15, 2022
On July 6 2022, tenants at 75 Cosburn held a tenant speak out at their building and demanded an end to the AGI. Last month, tenants at the building were blindsided with a major, retroactive rent increase. This meant that tenants were expected to pay a lump sum of thousands of dollars for a rent increase that happened last year – that they didn’t even know about. The action was led by 75 Cosburn tenant and new ACORN member, Fabricio, as well as East York ACORN member, Ryan Murdock. Tenants came together to speak about how difficult paying this large sum was going to be. One woman shared that she has lived in the building for 40 years and is on a fixed income and has no idea how she is going to pay this off. Fabricio also spoke about how the management has been harassing him, and even gave him an eviction notice just for speaking up about the unfair treatment. Councillor Paula Fletcher was there to show her support. Tenants also held a phone action and all called the management to let them know their behaviour was unacceptable.
In 2021, the Ford government put in place a rent freeze to help tenants across the city. However, this rent freeze was completely insufficient as it did not include AGIs. This allowed landlords to increase the rent during the rent freeze by saying that they have put a modest amount of cosmetic work into the building. The landlord at 75 Cosburn applied for an AGI last year but the increase was just approved this month, so tenants are expected to immediately pay a year’s worth of rent increases.
Instances like this are why ACORN is calling for a real rent freeze that includes AGIs. Landlords shouldn’t be allowed to pass the costs of necessary maintenance on to tenants – when tenants are already paying exorbitant rent regular maintenance should be the bare minimum. Additionally, tenants should not have to endure harassment for speaking up.
Following the action the Landlord Tenant Board granted a temporary stay on the AGI. 75 Cosburn tenants are going to have another meeting coming up next week with a lawyer from Don Valley Legal Clinic and Paula Fletcher to answer tenants questions and assess the legality of the AGI.