Chris is a worker in Parkdale who reached out to us after receiving an N13 eviction notice for extensive renovations from his landlord. In the notice the landlord claimed that some minor disrepair issues in the washroom required the whole room be demolished and that Chris and his daughter would have to move out for the work to be completed.
Chris was devastated when he learned his landlord intended to renovict him and his daughter. Having lived in the apartment for seven years and not being able to afford to move, Chris decided to fight the eviction.
Last weekend, Chris delivered a letter to his landlord at their home with a group of supporters including members of Parkdale Organize. We made it clear to the landlord that we were prepared to make Chris’ situation a more public issue if the eviction notice was not withdrawn within a week. Within 48 hours of the letter delivery Chris received confirmation in writing from the landlord that his eviction would no longer be pursued. Well done, Chris!
Here we think it is worth pointing out that all manner of experts and authorities on the subject would have tenants believe that eviction in a situation like this is more or less inevitable. The law in Ontario says that landlords can evict a tenant for extensive renovations and we know there is practically no recourse available to tenants who want to return to their home after renovations are completed but who are prevented from returning because the landlord installs a new tenant in the unit at a higher rent. Tenants are often told to expect nothing more than the three months’ rent landlords are required to pay them by law and that they should accept being pushed out of their home and move on.
The reality is that the simple act of reaching out to organized working-class people for support and taking collective action against landlords is powerful and gets results.