Renovictions occur when landlords evict tenants, renovate the vacated units, then lease the units at much higher rents. The lack of rent control on vacant units creates a financial incentive for landlords to evict long-term tenants, many of whom pay below market rates.
To be clear, when we speak about landlords in this context, we are primarily referring to large financialized landlords that own hundreds of buildings and thousands of units and whose business model is based on profit by dispossession — not just “mom and pop” landlords.
In Ontario, provincial rules around renovictions are weak. Doug Ford’s government recently introduced Bill 97, the Helping Homeowners, Protecting Tenants Act. Despite its name, the bill does not constitute a significant improvement for renters. The onus still falls on tenants to exercise their legal right to return to the residence and find temporary accommodation in the meantime.