Woman outside holding glasses; Hand showing parking area


‘We need housing reform now’: Tenant says landlord started charging $50 for parking to get around rent increase limits

'How is this legal?'


Eric Webb


Posted on Aug 7, 2023   Updated on Aug 8, 2023, 11:04 am CDT

TikTok has become a space where many tenants call out their landlords for rent hikes and other behavior that they find unfair. The latest of the genre involves creator Jo Morrison (@unaverage_j0) who recently posted a video about onsite parking changes they claim their landlord made amid a rent cap.

The video has almost 20,000 views as of Monday. Morrison geotagged the TikTok in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada. 

@unaverage_j0 we need housing reform now lol #landlordsareleeches ♬ original sound – big jo

“This year, to get around the fact that there’s a rent cap, our landlords decided to start charging us $50 a month to park in our own driveway,” Morrison alleged in the video. They did not name the landlord or the property where they live.

The creator claimed that the fee was added without any substantial improvements to the parking conditions, either.

Morrison said that they’ve parked in the same spot the entire time they’ve lived at the property, around seven years. The landlord allegedly recently informed the tenants that work would be done on the driveway, which excited Morrison, thinking that the gravel lot would be paved and the potholes would be fixed.

Instead, as the TikTok showed, parking space dividing lines were painted on the gravel lot, which can be erased with just a swipe of the foot, as Morrison demonstrated. Additionally, sign posts—sans signs— were added at the head of each newly demarcated space. 

Morrison also noted that the work done on the driveway did not include trimming back Japanese knotweed spilling into the parking area, nor did anyone address a missing fence that Morrison said was wiped out by last year’s Hurricane Fiona.

The creator said sarcastically, “The main issue is that none of us knew where to park, and now we have lines.”

The video was captioned, “We need housing reform now,” with the hashtag #landlordsareleeches. Commenters seemed to agree with that sentiment, with many offering advice and support to Morrison. 

“I would just simply park in front of the house, the $50 monthly fee will go towards potential parking tickets lol,” one person wrote. Morrison replied, “I’m considering it… the only issue is that street parking in the winter isn’t always possible and your car can get towed.”

“You should erase the lines and make just one giant parking spot … and park in the middle of it,” another commented.

“Our landlord called yesterday to ask us when he last raised the rent to see when he could raise it again,” a viewer added. Morrison replied, “Sounds like your landlord isn’t responsible enough to manage a property.”

“This is the most landlord special I’ve ever seen,” another commenter wrote, referring to a popular internet term for mediocre or shoddy maintenance done on rental properties.

“The way it wipes away,” one person commented about the spray-painted parking lines. Morrison replied, “Gonna start asking them to replace the lines every time it rains.”

Morrison confirmed in a subsequent video that the rent cap they referred to is Prince Edward Island’s Residential Tenancy Act, which went into effect in April. According to Canadian news service CBC, the act provides that rent increases in the province will be capped at 3% starting in 2024, though landlords can apply for permission to raise rents an additional 3%. Separate legislation passed in November prevents any rent hikes for the 2023 calendar year, CBC reported.

@unaverage_j0 Replying to @Vanessa 💖solidarity💖#housingcrisis #landlordsareleeches ♬ original sound – big jo

In their follow-up video, Morrison said, “What my landlords did is not illegal, just shady.” Their last lease had expired, and the new lease terms did not include parking, the creator said. Morrison added that they were ready to fight the parking fee, but other tenants were inclined to pay the new fee.

Morrison said that they posted the video to build tenant solidarity, stating, “I posted that because I think it’s really important that we be vocal about how people in power are treating us when we’re this upset about something as small as spray-painted lines on the driveway. It often points to the fact that there is a huge, huge issue, which there is. We’re all paying too much for rent here.”

Update 11:03am CT, Aug. 8: In an Instagram direct message to the Daily Dot, Morrison said, “I didn’t push back against my landlord because the other tenants in the building weren’t willing to, and since there is a housing crisis in PEI right now, you need strength in numbers to get anything done.”

They added that they think the Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission, the regulatory committee in the province enforcing the Residential Tenancy Act, “is pretty biased towards landlords.”

Morrison said they want viewers to know that it’s important to be vocal about how people in power treat you. They think housing is a human right that was never meant to be hoarded and rented out at a higher price. Morrison urged anyone with whom the video resonated to seek out community organizations fighting for tenant rights.

“Staying quiet never swings anything in your favour,” they said.

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*First Published: Aug 7, 2023, 2:39 pm CDT