Tenants in Toronto are still getting threats of rent increases and evictions amid the COVID-19 pandemic
At a time when a significant chunk of Toronto's population has lost some or all of their income due to the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, it seems some landlords are still not willing to cut their tenants any slack.
Renters have been begging for some kind of financial leeway since businesses in the city began to shut down, and many have pledged not to pay their rent come April 1.
But despite the outspoken cries for a rent freeze in Toronto, some landlords are still threatening their tenants with price increases and evictions.
I have a friend whose landlord who lives just outside of #Toronto came into town yesterday 2 physically place a rent increase notice in her mail slot. What a slimeball @TorontoStar @nowtoronto @CTVToronto @CityNews @cityoftoronto @JohnTory #RENTSTRIKE #COVID19 #rentfreezecanada— ✍️Mary Pocrnic 💻 (@MaryPocrnic) March 25, 2020
"@JohnTory @fordnation what a great day for a $31 rent increase," one Toronto resident wrote on Twitter just a few days ago.
"People’s jobs are on the line, mortgages are on hold, yet rent is STILL going up. Please stop ALL rent increases in Toronto. What standard of living is this? #RENTSTRIKE #rentfreeze my tiny studio is now $1450/m."
"Now was not the time for the landlord to increase my rent but I guess this is Toronto and that is the landlord," another wrote earlier this week.
Although a rent freeze has yet to be introduced in Ontario, Premier Doug Ford did announce he'd be halting all evictions in the province until further notice.
Still, some landlords are nevertheless taking the opportunity to remind tenants that they will still be issuing Non-Payment of Rent notices if they fail to pay.
Our landlord just wanted to let us know they will absolutely still evict poor people just as soon as it is socially acceptable to resume doing so (@JohnTory @fordnation @JustinTrudeau @beynate @CP24 @blogTO @CityNews @TorontoStar @CBCToronto @CBCTheNational) pic.twitter.com/319d5k39rX— LB (@Sloganear) March 25, 2020
And others are acting as if not raising rents during a global pandemic is a generous gift that renters should be grateful for.
Toronto must really have landlords trembling.— Stephen Punwasi (@StephenPunwasi) March 24, 2020
This one is trying to change the meaning of “rent freeze” from “no rent paid” to “we will not increase your rent.”
Yay, they got a “rent freeze.” 🙄#ToRe #Toronto pic.twitter.com/v59lK1RYCD
It's no secret that tens of thousands of tenants are deeply concerned about how they'll pay their exorbitant Toronto rents without regular income come April 1, but Ford reassured residents yesterday that anyone who has to choose between putting food on the table or paying rent should choose food.
🚨 Tenant's Rights Alert 🚨— Suze Morrison (@SuzeMorrison) March 26, 2020
➡️ Your landlord cannot charge you late fees on your rent
➡️ There is a moratorium on evictions during the COVID19 pandemic
Please get in touch with my office if you live in Toronto Centre & your landlord tries to evict you during this emergency
And though he cautioned against taking advantage if you're still employed and can afford to pay rent, he said anyone who really can't shouldn't pay.
"If you can’t pay rent, and you’re just in absolutely crisis, then you don’t have to pay rent," the premier said.
But the question remains: Will Toronto landlords ever get with the program?
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