#Housing #ygk #Kingston #TentCity #Poverty #CityCouncil #HousingRights #TenantRights #LTB #Landlords #Evictions #Renovictions
Another wave of life-changing housing issues is being manufactured right now. It should begin in a few months as wealthy rental property buyers convince existing tenants that they must vacate premises. In Ontario we have housing rules that favor the tenant; you just wouldn’t know it to look at the province. We like to keep these things secret. And that is no doubt for the benefit of the rental property owner.
The word “Landlord” is polarizing now, meaning emotion is attached to it. For me, the word drips with disparity. It’s about time we revised the term isn’t it? I have several friends who are Landlords and they don’t fit into the negative image. In fact, I know five LL’s and they’re all just basically washing money each month. They rent out their homes--many cut up into several units--for just enough to cover the mortgage payments each month. While in my building owned by one of Ontario’s largest rental companies, the twin unit at the end of the hall now rents for $375 more per month than mine PLUS hydro.
We live in a province of opportunistic capitalism and because that unit had short term tenants, the rent is that much higher. Transiency should not affect or decide housing rates!
I’ve been pretty vocal lately--at times at the risk of putting a target on my back but this engineering of willful ignorance infuriates me. During last year’s eviction freeze and subsequent rent increase freeze, I put signage up in the laundry room. It was taken down four times until I spoke to the head superintendent who was personally unaware of both the eviction freeze AND the rent rate freeze as well. That’s like having bus drivers driving buses who don’t know the rules of the road. I learned how to cut hair 27 years ago but hold no license so I can’t work in that field. I used to cook and had my “safe food handler” certificate but that has expired keeping me from working in that field as well. But I could become a Landlord tomorrow. In 2013 our Prime Minister confirmed that a home is a human right so that means that those providing human rights in Ontario don’t require training to do so ethically and fairly. Gotta get me a rental property!
Is housing SO unimportant that we’ll let absolutely anyone do it? Feels like Wim Hof just wooed you into the ice water. This is a shocking fact. We have to become aware that the actions of uninformed Landlords who are ignorant to housing rules, affect us. Their actions affect every single one of us because financial disparity has side effects for the community it is in.
For instance, some people have argued with me that as the property owner, a Landlord can do whatever they want with that property. This could not be further from the truth. To elaborate, this list is just a few of the things some local landlords need to be educated on:
-they cannot raise the rent as per Ontario legislation, freezing all rent at 2020 rates.
-they cannot evict you mid-lease in order to raise the rent.
-they cannot evict you without LTB approval.
-the only way a Landlord can evict you 'without cause' mid-lease is with a N12 meaning they or a family member will move in.
Every single day Kingstonians are having these very issues with their current Landlords. And that brings me back to education and the bus driver who knows none of the rules of the road. There is a case for Kingston to be labeled Canada’s Musical Capital. Typing that made me feel pride in this incredible city. But watching this new housing problem as it is being created, I predict she’ll soon look more like a tent city than a musical city. And the renters currently having issues with their Landlords are the ones who will fill those tents! It was easy for some to visually profile and judge the tenants of last summer’s Belle Park Community. But it will not be so easy this summer. How many healthcare workers will be sleeping in tents this summer in Kingston?
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure and a home is a human right. You just wouldn’t know it to look at Kingston.