TORONTO — MPPs Bhutila Karpoche (Parkdale-High Park), Jessica Bell (University-Rosedale), Joel Harden (Ottawa Centre) and Terence Kernaghan (London North Centre) have introduced a bill to stabilize rents and crack down on renovictions.
The MPPs' co-sponsored Rent Stabilization Act: Pay What the Last Tenant Paid would make it illegal for landlords to raise the rent on new tenants beyond the legal limit. If passed, the legislation would stop rents from skyrocketing and end the current incentive for landlords to evict good tenants just so they can jack up the rent.
The MPPs held press conferences in their respective communities on Tuesday, joined by tenant groups and advocates.
"In cities like Toronto, Ottawa and London, it's getting harder and harder for families and individuals to find an affordable place to rent," Karpoche said. "If they are in an affordable unit, it is getting harder to keep it and not get evicted for bogus reasons."
"People are being forced out of their neighborhoods, away from their support systems, because of rising rents," Bell said. "They're being renovicted by landlords looking for an excuse to get them out because they're allowed to hike rents as much as they like in between tenants."
The provincial government ended rent control on all new units in 2018, leading to huge rent increases. The government chose vacancy decontrol for Ontario – which means when one tenant leaves or is evicted, the landlord can raise the rent as much as they want for the next tenant. This contributes to Ontario’s skyrocketing rents and gives landlords an incentive to evict a tenant if they think they can get a higher rent price on the unit.
"[The previous government] had 15 years to reign in the skyrocketing rental market, but chose not to, abandoning renters when they had the chance," Harden said. "Without rent control in between tenants, [the Premier] is empowering landlords to evict people for little or no reason. He’s choosing a plan that causes the entire market to skyrocket.”
"We wants to close the loopholes government after government have created that allow rents to go on skyrocketing," said Kernaghan. "[The Premier] must pass our bill to stabilize rent, disincentive landlords from evicting or renovicting good tenants, and making it easier for people to find an affordable, decent place to call home."