GWL Realty Case Hearing TSL-95773-18 Update (35, 65 & 95 High Park ave and 66 Pacific ave)

GWL AGI Outcome:

The High Park Tenants’ Association (HPTA) was successful in reducing GWL Realty’s above-guideline rent increase (AGI) request from 0.61% to 0.42%, which was considered the best-case scenario for HPTA members. The reduction applies starting August 15, 2018. Based on your move in date, there have been four reductions identified. Pro rata reductions to be applied as follows: 

  • 0.61% reduced to 0.42%
  • 0.52% reduced to 0.29%
  • 0.37% reduced to 0.21%
  • 0.06% no change (too small to be impacted)

Background

On May 29th, 2019 the HPTA represented tenants living at 35, 65 & 95 High Park Avenue and 66 Pacific Avenue to challenge GWL Realty’s (formerly Vertica) AGI for these buildings. AGIs are when Landlords formally request to the Landlord and Tenants Board (LTB) to increase rents above the guideline set by the Provincial Government.

The Ontario Government set the rent increase for 2018 at 1.8%. GWL Realty, however, requested an increase of 0.65% above the 1.8%, which was modified by the LTB to 0.61%. Furthermore, HPTA’s review of GWL’s AGI request identified several invoices that should be excluded, which would result in an AGI decrease from 0.61% to 0.42%. The invoices in question included:

  • Removal of $6,651 for repairs to individual units as part of a building wide plumbing project.
  • Removal of Fitness Centre costs: $181,644 (upgrades), $147,950 (terrace roof replacement) and $700 (lighting).
  • Removal of two invoices for $11,953 and $7,969 for energy conservation due to no description.

Additional Details Pertaining to the Hearing

At the hearing, HPTA members were represented by Kathleen Burke, the HPTA President. In addition, 10 tenants attended in person.

The HPTA moved for immediate adjournment of the settlement proceeding due to outstanding elevator orders. In these circumstances, the LTB would not issue an AGI order until the work order was complete. 

  • The Landlord ensured that they were granted an extension and had fixed the elevator, although no evidence could be provided. They committed to providing proof that: (i) an extension had been granted; and (ii) that the work order had been complied with. 
  • We agreed to proceed with negotiations on the basis that any order arising from settlement would not become effective until the work order was completed, and proof of the extension had been provided, which was accepted by the moderator.

During settlement discussions we requested the removal of the following:

  • Items listed above that were identified by HPTA’s initial analysis.
  • Elevator repair costs due to outstanding elevator orders.
  • The costs of automated doors due to start/finish dates were different than submitted.

Ultimately, the HPTA and GWL Realty agreed to remove all costs identified by HPTA’s initial analysis. We anticipate that the AGI reduction order will not be issued for 3 months following the hearing due to the current LTB backlog.

The HPTA would like to thank Drew Harvie for his review of GWL Realty’s AGI request. Kathleen Burke for representing the HPTA during the case hearing. And all tenants that attended the case hearing to provide their testimonies.