About 40 tenants at a Parkdale apartment complex say they are being evicted for using their window air conditioners during a heat wave earlier this month.
Cindy Therrien, who lives on Jameson Avenue High Street, has been suffering from chronic inflammatory bowel disease for more than 30 years and says her A/C unit helps her breathe.
“They don’t want their ventilators to go but I’m sorry that my health is more important than them trying to make my health issues worse,” said Therrien.
Without air conditioning, he said, “I might have been found dead.”
Online evictions cause stir in Ontario
‘No mercy’: Online evictions stir up trouble in Ontario
The tenants of the building, The Imperial, revealed to Global News that an “early lease cancellation” letter arrived in their mailbox on June 20.
“You must move out of the rental unit specified above on or before July 9, 2022,” the letter states.
“Where am I moving?” asked Helen Gerardi, a tenant of the building for 43 years. “You know who’s going to move me out? The parking lot. I’m not moving anywhere.”
“Anyone who’s lived here before Parkdale was gentrified doesn’t pay for water. It’s not part of our lease,” explained longtime resident Shelly Dunphy.
“Now that the rents have gone up, the rents have tripled, the tenants who don’t pay the water, they’re still trying to pay the water and install the meter,” he added.
Evictions are on the rise in Montreal’s Cote-des-Neiges-NDG neighborhood
Bhutila Karpoche, NDP MPP for Parkdale-High Park, said the issue at 130 Jameson Ave. that’s especially troubling because Toronto has been hit with hot weather, and more is expected this summer.
“It’s going to cost more or burn out. That’s not an option,” he said.
It’s Trending Now
Happy watching: Netflix, among others, is bringing back ads in the coming weeks
Why Bill C-22 could be a ‘lifesaver’ for many Canadians in recession
“We’ve heard from a lot of tenants who really harass landlords about using their A/C. Some have had their A/C removed,” said Karopoche. “We need to ensure that the health and safety of the tenants is not at risk.”
He said that the provincial government should have a policy so that the heat wave does not affect the life of the citizens. He said that currently there is a standard for minimum temperature but no policy for maximum temperature.
“We know it can get very hot in these buildings and we also want to ensure that tenants are not evicted for trying to stay cool,” he said.
Legal clinic asks top Toronto doctor to stop evictions during COVID-19 pandemic
The landlord, Myriad Property Management, said in an email that it conducts annual inspections of all units, at which time they find “any deviations from what is allowed under our lease.” lessee.This may include air conditioning equipment and other equipment not included in the lease agreement.
“Tenants are then given a warning letter and given a week to two weeks to remedy the situation including options to pay for water directly by survey (with a required rent reduction) or pay us a monthly fee,” the email said. add it.
Then, the email continues, units are re-inspected, and if tenants continue to use unauthorized equipment, tenants are sent a notice to terminate their tenancy.
“We will not do anything unless prohibited by the (Residential Rent Act) and approved by the (Land and Tenant Board),” Myriad said.
“No, we haven’t, and we don’t want to fire anyone without giving them a chance to fix the situation.”
However, the higher cost of living in an apartment is not a good idea for Gerardi, who said she is a senior on fixed incomes and has had her air conditioner in her home for years. windows.
Dunphy called Myriad’s letter “scary.”
On Sunday evening, he helped organize a meeting outside the building with representatives of the advocacy group Parkdale Organize.
“What we recommend is what they do: … talk to your neighbors, think about your priorities and then make sure those requests reach your landlord,” said Emina Gamulin of Parkdale Organize.
The group is filing a petition, which will be sent to Myriad Property Management, saying the eviction threat is “unacceptable.”
“What we find when tenants try to fight these things through legal means sometimes the protections aren’t there,” Gamulin said. “The quickest and most effective thing for tenants to do is to let their landlords know.”
“You have to deal with the bully by standing up and working together,” he said. “This will ensure that tenants stay safe, empowered, and comfortable this summer in their homes.”
© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.