Brampton Guardian Op-ed: Brampton needs an anti-renoviction bylaw, Peel ACORN believes
Posted July 5, 2023
‘Many tenants feel intimidated, harassed and or are unaware of their rights’: Aiden Janey, Peel ACORN
The numbers speak for themselves. Among 25 Canadian cities included in a recent report published by Rentals.ca, Brampton saw a 23.4 per cent year-over-year increase in average rent, the highest increase in the report.
The lack of comprehensive rent control and vacancy control offers a massive financial incentive to landlords to evict long-term tenants and raise the rent to increase profits.
A common tactic many big corporate landlords have resorted to is “renoviction” — when a landlord uses the excuse of massive renovations to push long-term tenants, who are paying comparatively lower rent, out. While the tenant has the legal right to return once these renovations are complete, the provincial housing legislation is rarely enforced.
Instead, landlords offer tenants a buyout offer to coax them to leave. Many tenants feel intimidated, harassed and or are unaware of their rights.
The province needs to immediately enact comprehensive rent control by one: reinstating rent control in all units, including those first occupied after November 2018, and two: ensuring that rents are not raised substantially between tenancies.
The City of Brampton should enact an anti-renoviction bylaw, following the successes of New Westminster, Hamilton and Toronto in drafting their bylaws.
The New Westminster bylaw provides clear requirements for the landlord to follow before any evictions commence, such as obtaining all permits from the city to do the renovation and either entering a new tenancy agreement to transfer the tenant permanently to another comparable rental unit in the same building, or entitle the tenant to occupy the other rental unit temporarily until the renovation is complete and return them to their original rental unit following the renovation.
Since the passage of this bylaw, there have been zero renovictions.
Eviction means homelessness for hundreds of thousands of low- and moderate-income tenants. Brampton needs to act fast.
Aiden Janey is a member of Peel ACORN, a chapter of ACORN Canada, a community and tenant union with chapters in 10 cities across the country.
Article by Aiden Janey for Brampton Guardian