Talbot tenants all ready to leave

Last Talbot tenants
THE LAST BATTLERS: Ann Boyd-Skinner, centre, and Gail Malcolm, right, were the last holdouts for eviction at the Talbot apartments. Jade Jenkins, left, head of the tenant association, helped fight the apartment owners.

It’s over – the last fighting tenants at the Talbot apartments on Bayview are moving out after making confidential agreements with the landlord, even though they complain about harassment.

Gail Malcolm and Ann Boyd-Skinner were the last two tenants of the 97 units to agree to leave after ADMNS Kelvingrove Investment Corp. sent its first eviction notice April 26, saying extensive renovations required everyone to move.

This was followed with seven letters urging tenants to move by August 31 even though evictions were illegal because building permits had not been issued by the city.

Since then Jade Jenkins, head of the Talbot tenants organization, organized resistence. With her help and legal assistance some tenants won confidential special arrangements.

Jenkins, one of the tenants in the 19 coach houses not asked to leave, is fighting for better arrangements, services and safety for herself and the others.

On June 26 tenants who had not signed an agreement to leave were warned by HPI Realty Management, which has been negotiating with them, that the landlord would apply to the Landlord and Tenant Board for a hearing date for an eviction order for August 31 and would ask the tenants to pay filing costs.

On July 24 a board adjudicator adjourned the hearing to give HPI time to get the permits.

Jenkins says HPI Realty Management, which has been dealing with the tenants, has “led such an aggressive campaign against the tenants, many felt they had to go”.

HPI has told tenants, who have first refusal for re-renting, that following renovations the building owners, Manitoba’s Civil Service Superannuation Board, may plan to raise rents “significantly above the provincial guideline”.

Some tenants have complained about being told that the hot water heating and electrical systems are interconnected and cannot be shut down in stages for renovation, which would mean the three buildings involved could not be evacuated piecemeal.

In interviews with Leaside Life on June 10, Luc Cornelli, HPI president, said, “All major stuff centralized.” His partner Greg Fera said, “Coming from one source, central systems that service each building.”

But last February new tenants were told by the building manager, since gone, that tenants would be moved into empty apartments during renovations.

A report presented in 2010 to the Ontario Municipal Board, which rejected a demolition plan because the building exteriors are protected by the Ontario Heritage Act, says the buildings are three separate entities with three separate boilers.