Dufferin Tenants Resolve to Fight Rent Increase

Last night our neighbours at 295 Dufferin held a meeting in their building lobby. The meeting was called for tenants to decide on next steps in their struggle against a rent increase above the guideline sought by their landlord, Starlight Investments.

Starlight applied to raise rent at the building by nearly 6% above the guideline in 2019 and 2020. Taken with the regular guideline increases, tenants faced a total rent increase of almost 10% over two years. The increase comes after years of disruptive construction at the building and Starlight’s bid to buy tenants out of their homes.

“Last week we packed the Landlord and Tenant Board and stood firm, together as a building,” said Katrina, an organizer at the building addressing the meeting, “Starlight has already backed down on $1.1 million of what they are claiming in their case. We need to keep pushing.”

Members of Parkdale Organize joined the meeting to speak about their successful struggles against above guideline increases at their buildings. “The same thing happened when we went on rent strike,” explained an organizer from the 1251 King building committee, “Hoping we would end our strike, our landlord lowered the rent increase. But we decided our strike was bigger than one rent increase in one building. We were fighting for all Parkdale tenants. So we kept the strike going until the landlord withdrew the above guideline increase altogether. For us, any rent increases above the guideline was unacceptable.”

The decision taken at last night’s meeting was to continue to press for Starlight to withdraw its application to raise rent above the guideline. A plan of action was approved and tenants immediately set to work. In the coming weeks our neighbours will be calling on Parkdale for support.

“It’s been like living in hell,” said 13-year tenant Pat, “The rent increase adds insult to injury. We can’t afford the increase. We have to draw the line.”

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