Eminetra Canada: The relationship between the landlord and the renter reaches the boiling point of the A / C unit

Posted July 22, 2022

Posted July 22, 2022

In most parts of Ontario, humid heat waves hang down strongly into the air, so residents of an apartment in Toronto have to choose between air conditioning and affordability.

Last month, 130 Jameson Avenue. A high-rise condominium apartment building in the Parkdale district of Toronto has been notified of eviction. The reason for these notifications is that these residents had an air conditioner unit at home.

At least 50 residents received such notifications.Resident Sherry Dunfee lived in her lifelong building and said she was actually born there, she said rabble.ca This was the first time the air conditioner unit had caused a problem.

In an email received by Rable from Myriad Property Management, which manages the building, the company states that the operation of air conditioning equipment is not covered by the tenant lease agreement.

“We carry out an annual inspection of all 130 Jameson units, while paying attention to deviations from the tenant’s lease allowance, which is included in the air conditioner and lease agreement. It may contain other additional appliances that are not available, “the email said.

Miriad further states that tenants will be given two weeks to choose between paying for the unit or signing a contract with a power company to pay for the air conditioner. If the tenant does not select any of these options, a move-out notice called N5 will be provided.

“We are not doing anything that is not banned by RTA and not enforced by LTB,” said countless people. Housing Leasing Law This is enforced by the Landlord Tenant Committee. “Keeping someone out without providing the opportunity to improve the situation in a reasonable way and time is not, and will never be.”

Gentrification problem

Dunfee said this is an example of a landlord trying to drive a tenant out to return the property to the rental market at a higher rate.

“Local rents in the neighborhood have doubled in the last decade,” Dunfee said. “If this happens to us, the other buildings in the neighborhood will be next.”

Countless tactics are different flavors of similar strategies that were more often seen in Renovation in different years.

Under RTA, landlords can only raise tenant rents once a year, up to 1.2% year-on-year.

However, the landlord can set the rent for an unoccupied house as high as the market can afford. When the value of real estate rises rapidly and housing is overpriced, malicious landlords have an incentive to expel tenants to get greater economic benefits from rental units. One of the conditions under which a landlord can move a tenant is if the landlord states that the unit needs to be refurbished in order to keep it habitable.

Even if the renter receives a notice of move-out from the landlord for the purpose of renovation, the tenant can return to the property once the renovation is completed at the original rent stated in the RTA. To do this, the tenant must notify the landlord in writing of the intention and also refuse the financial compensation provided by the landlord.

In the meantime, tenants will have to find other accommodation at their own expense until the refurbishment is complete. Tenants can also challenge the need for a complete refurbishment in front of the LTB, but it now takes an average of 131 days for the LTB to fully hear and arbitrate the case.

Toronto’s housing market continues to cool, but Torontorentals.com said in a June report that Toronto’s average rental price in May was 16.5% higher than the previous year.

In May 2019, the average two-bedroom apartment rent was $ 2,204 per month. By May of this year, its price had risen to $ 2,584 per month.

Brake the runaway rental market

Ontario NDP MPP Bhutila Karpoche represents the Parkdale district of the Ontario Parliament. In October 2021, she co-sponsored a bill to stop the state’s rent soaring.

Stabilization of rent Activities The landlord would have limited the amount that the rent of an unoccupied house could be raised to 1.2%.

“Rising rents have forced people out of the neighborhood and away from the support system,” said Toronto NDPMPP Jessica Bell, a fellow of Carpoche who co-sponsored the bill. “They are being renovated by landlords looking for excuses to get rid of them because they are allowed to raise their rent as much as they want among the renters.”

Karpoche told rabble that the tenant who was notified of the eviction of the peasant by having an air conditioning unit was just another form of renovation.

State should protect tenants from heat

“I think the landlord should withdraw these evacuation notices,” Karpoche said. “It’s really important that residents have a way to stay healthy and safe in the heat.”

During the winter, the RTA stipulates that it is the landlord’s responsibility to maintain a minimum temperature of 21 degrees Celsius for rental units. Karpoche is calling on the Ontario government to implement maximum temperature regulations to protect tenants from extreme weather events in both summer and winter.

In July 2021, Kiri Vadivelu of ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) called on Ontario’s progressive conservative Prime Minister Doug Ford to intervene and prevent landlords from installing air conditioning units by tenants. Explained that is not uncommon.

“Fever is a serious health problem and tenants need to be able to stay cool,” said Vadivelu. “But many landlords charge illegal fees and harass tenants who have window air conditioning units, putting people’s health at risk.”

Dunfee said she was organizing with some of her fellow tenants at 130 Jameson to fight notifications from Miriad and they were getting help in doing so from the Parkdale Community Legal Services. .. She advised her fellow residents not to sign a new contract with her landlord.


Article by Walter Pallad for Eminetra Canada


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