CORNWALL, Ontario – Council passed a motion a their meeting on Monday, March 28 to ask City Administration to form a report on the legalities of restricting so-called renovictions.
Renovictions are a term for when a landlord issues eviction notices to tenants under the pretext that renovations need to be done to their unit.
In late February, Bedford Properties & Estates Ltd. issued eviction notices to tenants in the nearly 100 units at Cumberland Gardens. Landlords who employ this tactic, like Bedford, typically do not inform the tenants that they are trying to evict that they have a right to first refusal. If a tenant provides the landlord with a written letter informing them of their intention to return to the unit after renovations are completed, the landlord then must offer them the unit first before it goes back on the rental market at their original rental price.
The motion, which was put forward by Councillor Todd Bennett asks Administration to look into the feasibility of a by-law that would limit landlords who own multiple units from evicting more than a percentage of them at a time to do renovations.
“There are 92 families that need to find affordable housing in a city that is in a housing crunch,” said Bennett. “It is unacceptable that a company can move into a community and kick families out of their homes to make a profit.”
Members around the Council table including councillors Carilyne Hébert, Maurice Dupelle, and Claude McIntosh spoke in support of doing something about the renoviction issue.
Chief Administration Officer (CAO) Maureen Adams said that Administration would return to Council with a report on feasibility for such a by-law in one month.