2nd round of eviction notices sent out at Webster Street apartments

At least six tenants have received notices informing them of the termination of their lease.
At least six tenants have received notices informing them of the termination of their lease. Webster Apartments Inc.

Months after an initial round of eviction notices, several more Webster Street residents have received letters informing them they’ll need to leave before the end of the year.

The letter, which at least six tenants of the buildings at 1270 and 1280 Webster St. received Aug. 30, is nearly identical to the previous, save some altered dates.

It claims that tenants’ leases will be terminated as of Dec. 31 for “extensive” renovations that would take seven to 10 months. However, tenants who move before the end of September will be offered a lump sum payment of $5,000.

Included with the letter were N9 and N13 forms, which the letter states were issued by the Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB).

In addition, tenants reportedly received cheques for three months’ rent in their mailboxes.

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980 CFPL has reached out to building management, but had received no response at the time of writing.

At least six residents have received notices similar to this one. Supplied by Joyce Ellis

“If they cash these cheques, then they’re basically agreeing to ending their tenancy, but there is no indication of this with the cheques that have been sent out,” Nawton Chiles from London ACORN, a tenants’ advocacy group, explains.

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“So many tenants might just think that they are getting free money and cash these cheques and not realize what that implies.”

N9 forms are for tenants to fill out to notify their landlord that they wish to end their tenancy, while the N13 is for landlords to fill out to provide notice of plans to demolish the unit, renovate it or convert it to a non-residential use.

Joyce Ellis, a tenant at 1280 Webster, says she doubts the idea that the units need to be repaired.

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“There’s nothing wrong with half of these units in these buildings. Nothing at all. But they want us out,” she said.

Ellis says she’s lived in the building for 20 years and plans to fight the eviction at the LTB Tribunal.

“I have nowhere to go. I have no family here. And I’m only on pension, so I can’t afford to go anywhere.”

Julie Gallagher, another tenant who received an eviction notice, is in a similar situation.

“I’m going to fight tooth and nail. This has been my home. I want to die here,” she said.

“I’m 72, I have no plans to go anywhere. I want to stay here. I love it here. We have a lot of community friends here. And it’s just horrible what’s happening.”

Ward 3 Coun. Peter Cuddy said he was surprised to hear that more eviction notices had been sent out.

“Deputy Mayor (Shawn) Lewis and I had a very constructive conversation with the vice-president of operations about two months ago and he didn’t mention any of this,” Cuddy said.

When notices were sent to Webster residents in May, Cuddy and Lewis asked for a moratorium on “renovictions” until long-term measures aimed at protecting tenants were put in place.

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“They’re draconian. They take advantage of some run-down apartment buildings with the expectation that they can evict tenants who are on the margins.”

Tenants do have the right of first refusal, which would allow a tenant to move back into their unit once renovations are done at the same rent, as long as a written request is submitted. The landlord is not responsible for the tenant’s housing while renovations are being done.

The LTB is also still backed up, with potential wait times of up to eight months from when the matter was received. However, there is a silver lining: tenants are also allowed to stay in their until the time of the hearing.

“There’s so many homeless people out here on the streets. Where are all the seniors going to go? There’s no place for us,” Gallagher said.

“It’s a scary, scary problem to think about. But I’m going to hold tight.”

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