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$250 parking spot? Kitchener tenants battle landlord over parking price pressure


An ongoing battle between a landlord and tenants in Kitchener has sunk to a new low – a price hike for underground parking.

Months after several residents at 250 Frederick Street received an eviction notice, property management distributed letters to most tenants saying the new cost for using the building’s underground parking garage would be $250 per month.

The letter said: “Upon completion of our parking lot audit, it has come to our attention that you have a vehicle occupying a parking spot.” It continued: “Your vehicle is not registered with the office, nor are you permitted a spot according to our lease agreement.”

The letter also said that registering a parking spot will come at a cost of $250 per month or the owner risks getting their vehicle tagged and towed.

Residents who live in the building said they’re not falling for management’s latest ploy.

“They are just trying to scare us,” explained Tessa D’Achille, a tenant at 250 Frederick Street who received an eviction notice earlier this year. “It just seems like a really heavy-handed tactic to make people as uncomfortable as possible.”

Tenants said before the building was purchased last fall, parking fees were included in their monthly rent and were typically around $50 per month.

The underground parking at 250 Frederick Street in Kitchener. (Jeff Pickel/CTV Kitchener)

D’Achille doesn’t believe this sudden added fee is legal.

“We initially were stressed out, then I just immediately read the RTA (Residential Tenancies Act Ontario) and realized this is illegal,” she said.

According to the Waterloo Region Community Legal Services, anyone who receives a questionable contract from their landlord has the right to bring it to a legal professional.

“That's the first thing we advise. Don't sign it, bring us the information, bring us the documents, let us review them so that we can provide you that advice,” said Pataida Mzitze, a paralegal with WRCLS who is familiar with the situation.

While Mzitze can’t make a general statement on the legality of the notice, she said there are laws that cover these types of situations.

“The legislation is clear on what is deemed an illegal increase, or illegal accommodation, or a legal term in a lease and versus what is not.”

250 Frederick St. in Kitchener, Ont. (Jeff Pickel/CTV Kitchener)

After coming together to fight the evictions, the tenants decided to form a tenants union which they said was helpful in taking on the property owner.

“We've actually been able to band together and say “no” to them as a group, as opposed to individuals,” explained Norm Pettifer, another tenant facing eviction.

CTV News spoke with the property’s superintendent who said he could not comment on the situation.

Contact information for the building owner was not provided and could not be found. Top Stories

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