In 2014 Akelius applied to raise tenants' rent by 4.1 per cent. Tenants recently received notice that Akelius will be seeking an additional 4.6 per cent increase in 2015. When Akelius obtains a vacant unit in the building it renovates the unit and raises the rent. This has led building residents, including many Tibetan refugee families, to believe that Akelius is trying to push them out by raising rents, neglecting maintenance of their units, and removing the building's superintendent.
Tensions have increased as tenants prepare to protest on Monday.
"We want them to drop the rent increase, an increase of 4.6 per cent. The guideline was 0.8 per cent,"said tenant Choying Dolkar. "As a student I don't think I can pay that much money. Ever since Akelius moved in the only repairs they've done are outside the building. We have broken cabinets and cracking walls and mouldy spaces in my bathroom."
Landlord claims renovations have been done
But, Akelius claims that they are raising the rent because of work they've done improving the condition of the building.
"If you walk in my apartment you'll see, everything is breaking down. I have bugs coming in, broken cabinets, a hole in my bathroom wall," said Dolkar. "Since we've gone public, Akelius started doing the repairs inside the apartments.
A court date is set for April 28, Dolkar says.