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Trosow wants to broaden council colleagues' motion targeting unethical 'renovictions'


Momentum is building behind a motion at city hall to discourage so-called “renovictions” that drive low-income tenants from their homes so that the landlord can hike the rent.

Rachael Jenner told CTV News London that at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, a decade living in Wortley Village ended after she raised concerns about the building.

Her landlord sent an N12 eviction notice which claimed that a relative needed her unit.

“I ended up homeless. I was homeless for a year and eight months!” she explained from inside her new apartment. “I’ve only been in this apartment less than 90 days.”

Jenner applauds recent efforts by municipal politicians to find ways to discourage the abuse of N12 and N13 eviction notices.

“We need help with this, they’re taking advantage of us!” she said.

In a motion co-signed by Deputy Mayor Shawn Lewis, Coun. Peter Cuddy, and Mayor Josh Morgan, Morgan requested a staff report that would provide a spectrum of municipal options to discourage renoviction, including new by-laws, policies and programs.

A renoviction is the unethical use of an N13 eviction notice that permits landlords to remove a tenant from their unit for repairs or renovations.

Similarly, an N12 eviction forces a tenant out of their home if the landlord, a new purchaser, or family member requires the unit.

In some cases, the rent is subsequently hiked to a market rate that low-income Londoners can no longer afford.

Coun. Sam Trosow is now proposing some amendments to the original to strengthen the city’s fight against renovictions:

  • Change date for staff report from Q3 to Q2 of 2024
  • Require landlords to provide copies of N12 and N13 notices to city hall
  • Identify measures to improve compliance with the building standards by-law
  • Raise the threshold for exemptions to apartment building licences (currently up to 4 units)

“I’m elaborating on it,” Trosow said about his council colleagues’ motion.

He believes an initial report from staff could be ready by this spring, rather than wait for a full report in the third quarter of this year.

“Where the staff might need more time, and certainly we’ll give it to them, is if they want to expend more effort looking at what other municipalities are doing. Maybe [they’ll find] some things that aren’t on our list,” he added.

Although many rules around residential rental properties are the responsibility of the province, the municipality has influence over the licensing of rental units in buildings with up to four units and in converted dwellings.

Trosow admits it’s not feasible at this time to require the largest purpose-built apartment building to be licensed, but even a moderate increase could bring many more buildings under municipal oversight.

“We can increase it a bit, for now. That will bring more units into the protections that the tenants get by being under this [licensing] regime,” he explained.

Jenner said receiving the N12 eviction notice in a building that was just big enough to avoid municipal licensing rules made fighting back against her landlord more difficult.

“There’s a large number of us that are homeless, or are going homeless, because of the smaller dwelling landlords. We’re not being heard. I didn’t have lots of neighbours like you would in a [large] apartment building,” she said.

The Community and Protective Services Committee will consider the original motion, as well as Trosow’s proposed amendments, at a meeting on Jan. 8.

Tenants’ advocacy group Acorn London has announced it will hold a rally at city hall prior to the meeting. Top Stories

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