ontario rent

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. 

"@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. 

And others are acting as if not raising rents during a global pandemic is a generous gift that renters should be grateful for. 

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. 

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?

Lead photo by

VV Nincic

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