Tenant rent strike threat against MetCap could boomerang

Some tenants of MetCap apartment buildings in Parkdale have hung up signs calling for a rent strike on May 1.  Their public expression of an intention not to pay the rent has led to eviction notices which would permit MetCap to commence eviction proceedings two weeks after the rent is due and remains unpaid. One of the leaders of the strike is tenant Aliza Kassam. She was interviewed by CityNews.  A rent strike was raised at a community meeting held with Thorncliffe Park tenants by Premier Wynne in January. At that time such action was advocated by tenant Pat Moore, a board member of the Thorncliffe Neighborhood Office (TNO).  So far as is known there is no action currently planned by Thorncliffe tenants.


One issue in both neighborhoods is the so-called Above Guideline Increase (AGI). These are rent bumps for authorized improvements which permit a landlord to raise rents above the rent control guidelines in order to cover the cost. Many tenants see AGI applications as a pretext to raise rents. MetCap manages 19 apartment buildings in Parkdale and five are facing rent increases. Tenants are demanding MetCap withdraw all pending AGI applications in Parkdale, stop the practice of applying for AGIs in Parkdale and resolve all outstanding maintenance issues.


MetCap CEO Brent Merril says he is doing everything by the book and he intends to proceed with eviction if tenants do pay the rent. After the strike comes into effect, he will issue an N4 Notice of Termination as of May 2 giving tenants 14 days to pay their rent and if they do not the landlord can choose to take them to the Landlord and Tenant Board for an eviction hearing.