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Kitchener couple claims landlord is targeting them for organizing tenants union

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2024 is off to a rocky start for Tessa D’Achille and Matt Lavrissa.

The Kitchener couple received their second eviction notice earlier this week from their landlord at 250 Frederick Street.

“It's been stressful, we really didn't expect it,” D’Achille said about the ongoing issues with the building’s management.

On Jan. 31, the couple, along with several other residents of the multi-story tower, received N13 eviction notices saying they have to be out by May 31.

“The notice says they want to do renovations to our unit and they need us out as it’s going to be unsafe,” D’Achille explained.

The couple, along with other tenants and the Acorn advocacy group believe these are renovictions, where a landlord uses a renovation as a reason to remove tenants.

Then, in late March, tenants of 250 Frederick Street received another notice that use of the building’s underground parking lot will cost $250 a month, or their vehicle risks being towed.

Matt Lavrissa and Tessa D’Achille on April 12, 2024. (Jeff Pickel/CTV Kitchener)

This week the couple received their second eviction notice, this one a N5.

“N5’s are traditionally used for tenants who are disruptive, or their apartment is in a state that is making it unsafe for other people,” explained D’Achille.

According to the notice the couple received, a few common household appliances have caused a serious problem in the building.

“On his N5 [the superintendent] described the reasoning as our mini-fridge, our freezer and our air conditioning were interfering with his rightful enjoyment of the residential space,” said D’Achille.

The eviction notice, from the landlord of 250 Frederick Street in Kitchener, for Matt Lavrissa and Tessa D’Achille. (Submitted)

The couple believes management may have an ulterior motive behind the most recent eviction notice.

“This strongly, strongly implies retaliation due to us being the organizers of our tenant union,” said D’Achille who, along with Lavrissa, have been vocal opponents of the building’s owner.

“We're helping to empower our neighbors, we're keeping them from being easy targets and we think the landlords don't like this,” she said.

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

The N5 notice said the pair need to either remove the appliances or agree to leave the apartment.

D’Achille and Lavrissa say they have no plans to do either.

“If they thought this would scare us that just shows their incompetence,” Lavrissa said.

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