Ontario’s housing minister is pledging to examine rental rules that could result in “renovictions.”
The promise follows a Toronto Star story of five tenants from 795 College St., who were forced to move out during renovations, then effectively displaced from their affordable homes because new people were installed in their place — paying three times the rent.
Those new tenants are entitled to protection under the law and cannot be evicted, based on a recent ruling at the Landlord and Tenant Board.
“I am disturbed any time I hear of renovations being used as pretense for removing a tenant,” said Minister Peter Milczyn, who promised to direct staff to examine situations where two tenants have competing claims on the same unit “to see if changes need to be made” to the Residential Tenancies Act.
Milczyn, in the written statement sent to the Star Tuesday, said the law is clear in that tenants are allowed to return when renovations are completed. He said he could not comment on the case involving the College St. building, because the ministry’s Rental Housing Enforcement Unit is investigating and the tenants’ case is still being heard before the board.
The term “renovictions” is used to describe when a landlord uses rental housing law to push people out for renovations and counts on them not coming back so they can rent out the apartments at a much higher price. But tenants have the right to return — without a substantial increase in rent.