Laura Mae Lindo MPP, Kitchener Centre

Government of Ontario

Lindo: Tenants need protection from landlords hiking rents during the COVID-19 pandemic

Published on June 18, 2020

KITCHENER – NDP MPP Laura Mae Lindo is urging the Ford government to take urgent action to stop residential landlords hiking rent during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Many families in Kitchener are struggling to stay afloat at the moment with bills piling up at the end of the month. Renters are vulnerable to landlords who are taking advantage of them during the pandemic to impose steep rent hikes,” said Lindo.

“This is totally unacceptable. The Ford government has failed to provide the rent support they need to get through this economic crisis, or take steps to prevent landlords jacking up rents at a time when tenants can least afford it.”

Lindo recently heard from a Kitchener resident, Kathy Young, who has been told by her landlord that despite the pandemic her rent is still being increased. The building where she lives has closed down all the amenities to tenants, but instead of giving tenants a break they are being forced to pay even more for less.

Back in March, the Official Opposition NDP laid out a plan for a six-month rent freeze for all tenants and to offer 80 percent rent support for households experiencing unemployment or lost income as a result of COVID-19, so families can get through the COVID-19 pandemic, and make it to the other side of the crisis without the crushing debt of months of unpaid rent behind them.

“Doug Ford had the chance to help renters months ago. He’s still refusing to take action. Now we are seeing more and more families suffer as debts mount up and landlords keep jacking up rents. The Ford government needs to finally step up to protect tenants by freezing rents so they can get back on their feet without the added burden of paying even higher rents at the end of each month,” said Lindo.

Kathy Young, Kitchener resident

“Increasing rents during the pandemic is unfair on tenants. Rent is already a big slice of the household budget, and to be told it’s going up even higher was a shock that we didn’t expect. Everyone is facing a lot of uncertainty and anxiety right now about their jobs and paying bills, and this only adds to the financial stress.”