The battle between landlords and tenants has raged on more than ever with in the past few decades. The rent keeps going up, but the minimum wage and average income has stayed the same. Meanwhile, giant corporations are purchasing up all the land in order to regurgitate a cheaply made home that will be over priced to renters. And then there are independent landlords who see that and want to do the same, so they finagle sneaky tactics to get around tenant laws and jack up their own rent prices. It’s a mess.
A woman in Ontario, Canada recently experienced this chaos first hand and decided to take her frustration to TikTok with the intention of preventing any other innocent renter from experiencing what she had to go through.
“He gave me verbal notice on April 4th that I had to be out by the summer… He told me I was leaving because he had gotten engaged and wanted his fiancé to move in with him—whatever I didn’t ask questions. We had had a pretty good relationship up to this point.”
“And then I get on Facebook Marketplace and I see this today. This is my unit. This was my apartment a week ago. A $300 rent increase…”
The eviction notice was only ever given verbally and never served on paper, so that’s already a glaring issue. But the main reason she is trying to fight back, is because it is illegal to evict a tenant solely because the landlord wants to increase the rent. He lied to her saying he wanted to live there himself, when really, he wanted to up the rent way over the legal amount of increase if a tenant were living there already.
The landlord eventually saw her video pointing out the injustices being served to her as a tenant and asking TikTokers for legal help. He asked her to take it down and she rightfully refused, saying she wants to help other renters looking for apartments avoid this type of landlord abuse. He then goes on to blame her for the reason he is having trouble renting out the place. (Thus immediately admitting that he did lie to her, and is in fact renting it out for a higher price.) She scoffed at that accusation and simply said the place isn’t getting rented out because he is requesting an absurdly overpriced rent for it.
She eventually got asked to speak on a local news station about her situation. She was excited to discuss the housing crisis and unfair rent increases happening all over Ontario and was extremely happy with the interview she had. Unfortunately, after reading what was published about her situation, she felt used. The station had twisted her words to make it more like a Judge Judy drama. So she went back to TikTok to address the real issues at hand and encourages everyone to share their landlord horror story and start fighting for more tenant rights.
“I’m having a really hard time empathizing with the landlord sympathizers… People are having to pick up multiple jobs just to afford to live. Do people not understand how backwards that is? And the fact that somebody up here has just decided to profit off of that…??”
“And you’re going to argue that housing is not a basic right? Like, shelter, protection, just safety and security—I don’t understand the logic there.”
“It’s a basic right, we don’t have to prove that we’re worthy of housing. That’s why I don’t understand this whole interview process, cover letters, references for housing.”
“I’m just so exhausted of trying to jump through all these landlords’ hoops just to prove that I’m worthy of a basic human right. And I’m not even facing some of the barriers that a lot of other people are.”
The woman had to move into her step-mother’s basement with her dog until she could find a new apartment to move into. She is also currently working on taking legal action on the abuse she’s faced due to this landlord. Fortunately, she recently was able to finally find and get approved for a new apartment, but she promises she is still going to fight for the rights of people’s rights to housing.