Tenants in a west-end Toronto apartment building said Thursday their landlord has continued to issue eviction notices amid the COVID-19 pandemic, despite government measures meant to help people stay in their homes.
Residents further alleged their landlord, Golden Equity Properties, has shut off their water without warning on multiple occasions and ignored requests for repairs while continuing renovations on vacant units.
They said issues with property management predate the health emergency but have now created unacceptable conditions for those self-isolating or working from home to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Golden Equity Properties could not immediately be reached for comment Thursday.
The Ontario government, meanwhile, said provincial tribunals will not issue eviction orders until further notice in light of COVID-19.
The province has also said it applied for a court order to suspend the enforcement of eviction orders, and that sheriff’s offices have been asked to postpone any enforcement scheduled for this week.
2 units served with eviction notices this week, tenant says
One of the tenants of the Toronto building, Emina Gamulin, said two units were served with eviction notices this week over what she said were false allegations that residents had paid their rent late.
Gamulin, who did not receive a notice, added the building was without water Thursday for the third time since the COVID-19 health emergency began.
“They put up something about how we should practise proper hygiene, but, you know, how are we supposed to do that if we don’t have running water?” she said.
“There’s people who are working from home, they’re doing self-isolation, people who are out of work…. So all of these things are just becoming a situation that’s untenable,” she said.
“I don’t think it’s hyperbole to say this kind of greedy, predatory behaviour from landlords is a threat to public health.”
Bonni Burns has lived in the building for more than 13 years, and while she and her husband have not been threatened with eviction, she felt it was important to speak out in support of those who have.
“It’s just a constant emotional and mental barrage of stress and unnecessary nonsense,” she said.
“We have enough stuff to stress out about and now they’re continuing to pile stuff on to us. It’s, like, unbearable.”
Gamulin and Burns said tenants sent a letter to Golden Equity Properties on Thursday demanding the company drop the evictions and make repairs. The group gave the company until next Wednesday to respond, they said.
They said the company took over the building from the previous landlord last August.