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New bylaw passed in Kitchener looks to provide protection for renters

A 'For Rent' sign displays outside apartment building. AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh

Kitchener council approved a new bylaw on Monday that is intended to provide increased protections for renters.

The bylaw will see landlords required to provide compensation options to renters when they look to demolish or convert properties with six or more rental units.

The landlords will be forced to offer their tenants a choice of alternative housing or compensation if they will be displaced by demolition or conversion.

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Aside from an alternative rental option, the compensation could also be a year’s free rent or paying tenants the value of 10 months’ worth of rent.

During a committee meeting last week, city planner Lucas Van Meer-Mass told council that while staff had been asked to look for additional renter protections, their hands were tied by provincial legislation about renovictions.

“Staff explored every opportunity to apply this bylaw to as many circumstances as possible,” van Meer-Mass said. “It will not protect renters who are displaced by renovations. This is simply a power the city doesn’t have.”

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