Landlord Retaliation at 12 Lansdowne
After issuing N13 eviction notices for extensive renovations to an entire building in Parkdale, landlords Evan Johnsen and Neil Spiegel have now sent new eviction notices to 2 tenants who hung banners from their balconies in protest.
The landlords claim that by hanging banners the tenants have committed an “illegal act” and they have threatened to file applications with the Landlord and Tenant Board to evict the tenants if the banners do not come down. Belying their previous statements in which they claimed to want to “build trust” with tenants and allow them to return to their homes after renovations have been completed, the new eviction notices are an attempt by the landlord to silence and punish tenants who have been organizing to stop the evictions at 12 Lansdowne.
This is not the first time that landlords have threatened to evict Parkdale organizers and it won’t be the last time that tenants defy such threats. In 2017, in the lead up to the Parkdale rent strike, tenants hung banners which read “May 1 Rent Strike”. The landlord responded by sending lawyers’ letters wrongly accusing tenants of breaking the law. Next, the landlord sent employees to enter a tenant’s apartment to remove the banner from her balcony but when dozens of the tenant’s neighbours stood in the building lobby and blocked their entry the landlord backed off. Last year, Parkdale tenants who took part in a collective demand delivery at their building office received illegal act eviction notices which falsely accused them of forcibly confining employees of the landlord. When more than 200 Parkdale tenants and supporters rallied outside the building and marched through the streets of the neighbourhood to oppose the attack on tenant organizing, the landlord dropped the evictions.
The experience of working-class people in Parkdale is that landlords’ legal threats are best responded to by organizing. We cannot rely on politicians or legal strategies to protect us, but when we involve more and more of our neighbours in direct actions against those who exploit and harm us we build our power and defend our homes and neighbourhood. In the coming weeks, tenants at 12 Lansdowne will be calling on the support of neighbours in Parkdale and it is in all our interest to be there for them.
Use the link to contact Evan & Neil and demand they drop the evictions: www.linktr.ee/12Lansdowne