How Toronto Landlords Use "Renovictions" to Force out Tenants

Renoviction refers to a situation where a landlord evicts a tenant under the guise of needing to complete major renovations requiring the tenants to move out, and then re-lists the apartment for more than the original rent. Technically, the evicted tenant has the right of first refusal to move back in after the renovations are complete without a substantial increase in rent, but there is no law in place to force landlords to contact the former tenant. Sometimes, the former tenant sees the listing again and realizes they were duped, but often they never find out. 

 

“There is a massive incentive for landlords to break the law, throw people out and jack up the rent,” Geordie is quoted in the article. “It’s brazenly illegal but there is a lot of money to be made,” he adds.

 

After a case of renoviction made headlines last spring, the Ministry of Housing said it would look into the issue, though there are as yet no changes. The limited protections that tenants do have are challenging to enforce. The precarious situation for tenants is heightened by the state of the rental market in Toronto.

 

Rental Housing by the Numbers:

  • Less than 1%: the current vacancy rate. A healthy rental market requires a vacancy rate of between 3-5%.

  • 1.8%: provincial rent increase guideline for 2019.

  • $1803: the average rent for a 1-bedroom condo in 2017.

  • 120 days: the advance notice landlords are required to give tenants for renovations.

  • 47%: Toronto households that are renters.

  • 47%: Toronto renters spend more than 30% of their income on housing.

  • 40 thousand: the number of affordable units John Tory promises to build in 12 years.

 

To read the full article, which appeared in Now Magazine, visit:

https://nowtoronto.com/news/renovicted-toronto-rental-housing/