As 'personal use' evictions appear to spike in Toronto, tenants suspicious of landlord cash grabs

Posted
February 12, 2018

Marc-André Giasson is joining a growing number of Toronto tenants who say they've been burned by a landlord claiming to need their apartment for personal use, then putting it back on the market.

Giasson's apartment was sold to new owners several months ago, and his former landlord told him that they needed it for their own use.

So he signed a document agreeing to move out at the end of his one-year lease and began the onerous process of looking for a new place in a city where rental housing availability is at a 16-year low

But last week, with his stuff sitting packed in boxes as he prepared to move, Giasson got an email from the realtor working with the new owners telling him they had "decided to put the unit back on the rental market" and that visits from potential new tenants could be coming, he told Radio-Canada.

Giasson, whose new apartment costs $200 more than the one he agreed to leave, was outraged.

"Bottom line is, these people have, in my opinion, been dishonest and lied to get more money," he said.

Rising number of 'personal use' evictions

Giasson's story is similar to others reported by CBC Toronto in recent months — like one west end landlord who said they wanted to move in and then posted the apartment, with the rent jacked up by $700, on Kijiji.

The trend has been tracked by Geordie Dent, executive director of the Federation of Metro Tenants Associations.

"The No. 1 eviction call we used to get was people not paying their rent. Over the last year that's changed for the first time. It's now people getting evicted because the landlord's moving in," said Dent.  

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