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Parkdale rent strikers secure significant concessions from landlord

Last Updated Aug 12, 2017 at 7:21 pm EDT

MetCap tenants stage a rent strike in Parkdale on May 1, 2017. CITYNEWS

Parkdale residents withholding rent at several buildings say they have secured significant concessions from their landlord.

Tenants at 12 Parkdale buildings went on a rent strike on May 1 to demand their landlords withdraw the rent increases and do necessary repairs to their units.

MetCap, which manages the properties, claimed the above-guideline rent increases were legal and justified because of money spent on improvements to the properties.

The rent strike reached a crisis point when MetCap president Brent Merrill almost ran over a tenant with his truck during one of the organized demonstrations.

The issue escalated all the way to the Landlord and Tenant Board in June, which began a hearing on the rent increase for the property at 87 Jameson Avenue.

A group representing the rent strikers issued a statement Friday night, saying they had secured substantial reductions in the above guideline rent increases at each building, additional rent relief for tenants in financial hardship and a program of maintenance and repair work in each building.

“For the past six months we have organized our neighbourhood to take on our landlord directly,” read the statement. “We know that the laws, courts, and bureaucracies of this system do not serve our interests and throughout this fight we would not be trapped in their dead ends. We refused to play by the rules.”

“Our rent strike won because it expressed the collective strength of working class people in Parkdale.”