Waterloo Region expected to see uptick in “renovictions”

By Brad Kraemer

In a rental market where average monthly rent is increasing and landlords are seeing their expenses dramatically rise, “renovictions” are becoming more popular.

An example of a renoviction could be when the place you rent undergoes a necessary renovation, and after you return to your renovated home, the rent is jacked up to the point that it's no longer affordable.

Executive Director of the Social Development Council in Waterloo Region Aleksandra Petrovic-Graonic said the situation is not improving and it's in fact going the opposite way.

“There is a lot of harm. To health, mental health, to families, to communities. Displacement is a horrible, horrible thing.”

The Ontario's Advocacy Centre for Tenants states in a recent study that the province's Landlord and Tenant Board has seen a 294 per cent increase in landlord applications to evict tenants for renovations since 2015-16.

Petrovic-Graonic added that the University of Waterloo had a report back in 2018 saying that the most marginalized groups of people with the least income are disproportionately impacted by renovictions.

Landlords are also evicting tenants for the need of the unit themselves, or in some cases, to house a family member. Petrovic-Graonic wants to remind tenants to educate themselves about the prospect of this happening, and if it does, to know your rights. There are rules for tenant protection.

“We have to be accountable and be true to the letter that we truly believe housing is a human right.”

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