More than 100 tenants at 1440 and 1442 Lawrence Avenue West will go on Rent Strike as of October 1st, joining what is shaping up to be the largest rent strike in Toronto's history. Their landlord, Barney River Investments, has refused to address serious repairs in the building while consistently increasing rents above rent control.
Over a hundred tenants of 1440 and 1442 Lawrence Ave W have called a rent strike, withholding rent from their Landlord, Barney River Investments. There are now four buildings in York South-Weston on rent strike, making it the largest rent strike in Toronto’s history.
“This building has been in disrepair since Barney River bought it,” says protesting tenant and organizer Rashid Limbada. “Canada Post refuses to deliver mail because of an infestation in the building, and we can’t even reach our building manager to request basic maintenance. But they’re always around to tell us they’re jacking up our rents. We deserve better, and should not be asked to pay more rent while living in these conditions.”
Tenants in these buildings have organized to say enough is enough. Barney River Investments has refused to provide basic maintenance and meet their obligations to their tenants, while seeking multiple above guideline rent increases (AGIs) to extract more and more profit from their tenants.
Following the example of their neighbours and fellow York South-Weston Tenant Union members, 33 King and 22 John St tenants, tenants of 1440 and 1442 Lawrence Ave W are going on rent strike to bring their landlord to the table to meet their demands.
The collective strike demands are the following:
(1) Drop all previous AGI applications;
(2) Commit to applying for no more AGIs; and
(3) Immediately bring our building to a state of good repair, including but not limited to: eliminating the bed bug and cockroach infestations, maintaining the garbage chute and addressing repairs inside our units including mold, leaks, broken cupboards and floorboards etc.
“We've had enough. Far too many corporate landlords are getting away with ignoring rent control while forcing us to live in unbearable conditions we can’t even afford,” says Sharlene Henry, Co-Chair of the York South-Weston Tenant Union who is also on rent strike in her building at 33 King St. “They’re squeezing us out of our homes despite record profits, and Doug Ford is making it easy for them, but we won’t. This movement will continue to grow until we win.”