Posted by: Mr Bed Bug in Toronto Bed Bugs on February 6th, 2017

A rent strike has begun at 87 Jameson Ave. in Parkdale as residents grow increasingly dissatisfied with the building's condition and a significant rent increase.

As of Feb. 1, the tenants refused to pay rent to the landlord after the management company, MetCap Living, notified residents it would be increasing the rent by three per centover the provincial guideline.

The 2016 provincial guideline allows landlords a two per cent rent increase. This would bring the total increase to five per cent for its tenants.

President and CEO of MetCap Living Brent Merrill told The Villager the building has undergone many renovations costing roughly $1.5 million, including a new roof, new elevators, refurbished corridors, two new boilers and repaired balconies. Merrill believes MetCap Living is within its right to the additional three-per-cent increase.

But the rent hike is something tenants like Aliza Kassam, a four-year resident at 87 Jameson, arent tolerating anymore, especially since the building is in desperate need of repairs.

That just speaks to the disrespect the landlords have toward tenants of this building. Kassam told The Villager, who added tenants have been submitting maintenance requests, but received no response.

There are incidents of tenants not having adequate heat, we have pest issues that include bed bugs, mice and cockroaches and were also experiencing a water shut-off once every two weeks for full to half days with no reasoning as to why ... its a big inconvenience.

The tenant population at 87 Jameson is mostly made up of seniors, children, and people with disabilities, Kassam said. One of the biggest inconveniences is for the tenants with disabilities because there is no ramp for them to access the front door of the building. To gain access to the building, some tenants have to actually use their hands and crouch down and go up the stairs, said Kassam.

Its so sad. Its awful to see that, she added.

Weve made complaints to 311 and to administration in the building and theres been no response. Its a human-rights issue.

Merrill said MetCap Living isnt required to build a ramp and isnt aware of any resident who requires a ramp. He said he would be happy to move them to another building that is handicap accessible, and assist with their moving costs.

Weve never had anyone come to us and tell us this problem, Merrill said.

The tenants have taken their issue to Parkdale Community Legal Services (PCLS) where community legal worker Cole Webber has been working on their case. He said the tenants will be heading to a hearing at the Landlord and Tenant Board on Wednesday, Feb. 8 to dispute the rent increases and ask for rent not to be increased and request that their maintenance issues be resolved immediately.

They need to fight back against this landlord and they have. The tenants have formed a committee at the building to fight the rent increase. The tenants feel that they pay their rent and have paid for the balconies in that sense. MetCap continually fails to do regular maintenance in the building and they dont feel a big rent increase is justified, said Webber.

Merill said he will be sending out flyers with the appropriate contact information of the building manager and resident helpline to every tenant in the building with an attached work order form to get their unit issues resolved.

Were willing to do any repairs they want done to any of the units and to treat their units if they have a pest problem. They have a help line they can call to get a work order done, said Merrill.

Tenants plan to protest outside of the Landlord and Tenant Board before their hearing on Feb 8 in hopes to bring attention to their cause.

Hilary Caton is a staff reporter with InsideToronto.com. She writes for the Parkdale-Liberty Villager. She can be reached at hcaton@insidetoronto.com. Follow the Parkdale Liberty on Twitter and Facebook

See the article here:
Tenants at 87 Jameson Ave in Parkdale go on rent strike - insideTORONTO.com

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