Renovictions rising across Waterloo Region: ACORN Canada

A report from ACORN Canada was shared on Wednesday showing the rising number of renovictions in Ontario and Waterloo Region.

ACORN Waterloo Region held an event at 250 Frederick St. where some tenants have gotten eviction notices to go over the numbers.

The report focuses on two types of evictions. First, an N12 where landlords evict tenants to move themselves or their family into the unit. The other type is a N13 when tenants evict residents for renovations.

“Predatory corporate landlords are exploiting the system to generate profits, by displacing long-term tenants with bad-faith eviction notices, claiming demolitions or major renovations,” said Lynn, a speaker at the event.

According to the report which uses data from the Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB) of Ontario, Kitchener had the eighth most N12s filed in Ontario between 2017 and 2021 with 266, and the sixth most N13s filed with 136.

That represents increases of nearly 130 per cent and 55 per cent respectively. That also doesn’t include tenants who left their units before their landlord officially files to the LTB.

“The problem of renovictions is far greater than what the data shows,” Lynn said. “The data only covers a small subset of N13s and N12s given to tenants and we can imagine how severe the issue actually is.”

Residents at 250 Frederick St. are among those who have been receiving N12s or N13s.

One tenant said he and his wife received a notice in January after living in the building for 12 years.

“That was it, a renovation,” he said. “They wanted us out of here so they do a renovation.”

He added that they were given until the end of May to move out. They were offered a unit in a different building that he said was smaller and hadn’t been used in over a year.

ACORN is demanding that municipalities in the region follow the lead of Hamilton, Ontario which enacted an anti-renoviction bylaw in January 2024.

The bylaw requires landlords to apply for a city renovation licence within seven days of issuing an eviction notice. It also ensures that residents are guaranteed to return to their units once any legal renovation takes place at the same rate as when they left.

While renovations are ongoing, landlords would have to provide tenants with accommodations that are comparable to where they are leaving from.

To read ACORN’s full report, you can click here.

Tenants and supporters gather for an ACORN Waterloo Region event on 250 Frederick Street. Jonathan Strom/CityNews

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