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Two northwest Toronto buildings join York South-Weston Rent Strike

Over a hundred tenants from two northwest Toronto apartments buildings began a rent strike on Sunday, becoming the third and fourth buildings in York South-Weston currently withholding rent.

The tenants of 1440 and 1442 Lawrence Avenue West allege their landlord, Barney River Investments, refuses to provide basic maintenance in the building while seeking multiple above-guideline rent increases (AGIs).

Protesting tenant and organizer Rashid Limbada says the building has been in disrepair since Barney River purchased it. He thinks residents should not be asked to pay more rent while their living conditions worsen.

“Canada Post refuses to deliver mail because of an infestation in the building, and we can’t even reach our building manager to request basic maintenance,” he says.

The tenants of 1440 and 1442 join the residents of 33 King and 22 John Street who have been withholding rent since June.

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“We’ve had enough. Far too many corporate landlords are getting away with ignoring rent control while forcing us to live in unbearable conditions we can’t even afford,” says Sharlene Henry, Co-Chair of the York South-Weston.

The tenants of the two Lawrence West buildings have demanded that Barney River Investments drop all previous AGI applications and commit to applying for no more. Additionally, they are asking that the building is brought to a good state of repair, citing bed bugs and cockroach infestations, mold, leaks and other maintenance issue.

Global News has reached out to Barney River Investments for a response but did not hear back by publication.

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