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The tenants fears about new management taking over the Guelph Stationview Apartements have become reality. The Apartments were sold at a closing price of $8 million dollars on March 8, 2023. As of July 2023, 50 of the 60 residential units in the 4-story downtown property have been vacated. Many former tenants have seeked shelter with the remaining tenants or in homeless encampments throughout Guelph. Management has been reportedly abusing and harassing remaining tenants to pressure them into leaving.
While the owners of Stationview are not legally allowed to evict tenants outright, many tenants were pressured out in cash-for-keys deals. Nathan, one of the few remaining tenants in the building explains "if you hand in your keys, they'll give you some money but you have to hand in your keys and be out that minute and if you leave anything behind, too bad".
According to the local outreach and support group, No Evictions Guelph, tenants have been offered $1500 - $4000 in exchange for their keys. This amount of money "in Guelph is barely enough for first and last months rent, never mind moving expenses", says Nathan. "I pay $600 a month for my unit. There's no way I'm gonna be able to find a place in Guelph close to that".
Tenants who refuse to take the cash deal are met with intrusions, disruptions to their amenities, and harassment by management. Water and key fobs have been shut off to make life at Stationview inhospitable. Management has reportedly entered their units without notice in an attempt to threaten tenants into leaving.
When asked what is being done about the situation, Nathan said that on top of taking in former tenants from off the streets he and other tenants have "been talking to the legal clinical about everything [...] it's hard being low income and not being able to financially get a lawyer to help us. I've talked to a few lawyers and called them and a lot of them won't even touch it".