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Tenants Leave Cockroaches On Doorstep Of Wealthy Toronto Landlord As A ‘Valentine’s Gift’

by : Julia Banim on :
Tenants Leave Cockroaches On Doorstep Of Wealthy Toronto Landlord As A 'Valentine's Gift'LaalMaryam/Twitter

A group of tenants from Toronto’s Crescent Town neighbourhood have left cockroaches on the doorstep of their wealthy landlord, in protest against both a wave of evictions and an ongoing unaddressed cockroach infestation.

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to take its toll, 17 families are reportedly facing evictions from their homes at Crescent Place, three residential buildings owned by real estate development and property management company Pinedale Properties.

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Many of those living at Crescent Place have been hit hard by the pandemic and its effects on the economy, and were left unable to pay their rent. Once the eviction notices began to roll in, the residents decided to form a tenants’ union to fight their corner.

As reported by blogTO, residents of Crescent Place – as well as those living at other properties – have been requesting rent relief since April, all while fighting eviction applications filed at the onset of the pandemic.

In September, protestors even formed a human blockade to stop 14 police officers from evicting a resident from their home.

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As per the Crescent Town Tenants Union, a lawyer for Pinedale Properties admitted during a hearing held on February 16 that the company had not experienced financial difficulties during the pandemic.

It would cost a reported $56,000 to grant the rent relief required by tenants, with the property company having allegedly already spent far more on their ‘$1,000/hr lawyers’.

Furthermore, tenants have claimed that property owners have ignored their requests for proper building maintenance – for example help with pest infestations – and that their messages to Robin Bookbinder, VP of Finance of the property group, have been blocked.

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With their requests apparently falling on deaf ears, the residents decided to take things a step further, turning up to Bookbinder’s home on Valentine’s Day with an extremely unappealing gift.

Alongside balloons and pink heart-shaped messages, the irate tenants left a ‘present’ of cockroaches they had captured at their infested homes, confronting him with the ongoing issue head on.

Dil Begum of the Crescent Town Tenant Union told blogTO:

For years we have been asking Pinedale Properties to clean up our building and remove the pests.

We left these cockroaches as a present for Mr. Bookbinder along with our letter of demands. Pinedale Properties needs to know the conditions they make us, our families, and our neighbours, live with every day.

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The demonstration outside of Bookbinder’s home was part of a two-day-long public event that saw 70 free bags of groceries being distributed to tenants of the property.

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Julia Banim

Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.

Topics: News, Coronavirus, landlord, Now, Pandemic, Toronto

Credits

Maryam Laal/Twitter and 1 other
  1. Maryam Laal/Twitter

    @LaalMaryam

  2. blogTO

    Toronto Residents Deliver Cockroaches To Landlords Tryng To Evict Them