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CBC Toronto: ‘We are tired’ of garbage and rodents, Mississauga tenants say. Now management’s raising rents - ACORN Canada

CBC Toronto: ‘We are tired’ of garbage and rodents, Mississauga tenants say. Now management’s raising rents

Posted October 21, 2022

Posted October 21, 2022

Tenants in a Mississauga apartment complex say new management is neglecting routine repairs and, adding insult to injury, jacking up their rents to boot.

The residents at 425 Rathburn Rd. E. say since the beginning of 2020 when a new property manager and superintendent took over, routine repairs have been left undone for weeks or months at a time, piles of garbage have built up, and pests also seem to be gaining a foothold.

“There’s mice in a lot of units. there’s roaches in some units, there’s plumbing leaks that go on for months, weeks at a time,” said April Johnston, who’s been living in the building for four years.

“People are missing drywall in their apartments. It’s beyond frustrating.”

According to records provided by the City of Mississauga, the complex was the subject of only two property standards complaints between 2017 and 2019. However, from the beginning in 2020 until now, there have been an additional 24.

CBC Toronto has tried to contact the property management company without success. The superintendent preferred not to comment on the accusations. Calls to a paralegal who apparently represents the owner have not yet been returned.

The low-rise complex, located near Central Parkway East and Highway 403, contains 197 units and tenants say rents range from about $1,450 to $1,900.

Now, they’ve turned to ACORN, a national organization that advocates for low- and moderate-income tenants, for help. A meeting between the residents on Rathburn and ACORN organizers is set for next week, according to Sherry Woods, an ACORN member who lives in the building.

Woods said she’s particularly worried about immigrant and senior tenants.

“We are tired,” Woods said.

“We have a lot of newcomers in this complex. We have a lot of elderly in this complex that don’t know their rights,” she added.

“They are afraid.”

Woods and Johnston say some people are moving because of the maintenance issues, but they also say many others don’t have that luxury.

“I can’t afford to go anywhere else,” Johnston said. “Rent nowadays is ridiculous, [even if you can] find a place. So for families to have to leave and pay $1,000 more a month for what we’re getting here, people can’t afford to leave.”

Long-time tenant Katie Lochan says she’s worried about being forced out by unaddressed maintenance issues, coupled with a rent increase she can’t afford.

She says she’s been without heat since last month, and — despite her pleas to have the problem fixed — she was recently warned by management that a 3.2-per cent rent increase, which exceeds the province’s guidelines, is coming:

She lives in the complex with her husband and their two small children.

“We don’t know if they’re going to kick us out,” she said. “And the thing is, they’re not doing what they’re supposed to do.”

Woods says she and several other tenants will be meet with ACORN organizers next week. They say they’re planning “action” but there’s no word on what form that action will take.

“You find you have to fight constantly,” Johnston said.

“We pay our rent, we’re good tenants, we are a great community of people and to have to fight and fight and fight and fight just to get maintenance done, it’s not right,” she added.

“The turnover in the past two years? I’m going to say we’ve lost at least 50 good, really, really good tenants.”

Article by Michael Smee for CBC Toronto News