More West End Tenants Facing Renovation-Related Evictions

Sunday, November 09 – 04:26:52 PM

By: Erin Loxam
VANCOUVER NEWS1130 – More people are facing eviction in the West End as another property owner says his building needs renovations.

The people living in the Seafield building on Pendrell near Nicola are outraged that they are being given the choice to accept rent increases of double what they pay now or find a new place to live.

The oldest tenant is 92-years-old. The longest standing tenant has been in the building since 1961.

Mark Moore has been living in the building for nearly a decade and says the new owners have been pretty upfront about their plans.

“They seem to feel that they have a right to get whatever rents they can. They haven’t explicitly said ‘we recognize there is a maximum legal increase, and the only way to get around that easily is by breaking your tenancies and we’re going to use this clause of the Residential Tenancy Act to break your tenancies’ but effectively that’s what they’re doing,” says Moore.

“We will expect eviction notices as of December 1st. February 1st we are all to be out. Two months of renovations. If we wanted to move back in, we had that option, but at 80-100% increased rents. Many of us here cannot afford that,” says Christine Brandt another long-time tenant.

The renters in the Seafield say they’re lucky.

As a tight-knit group, they’ve been able to band together and fight back, something that many people facing the same evictions haven’t been able to do.

And while there are court battles that have been won in favour of the tenants, they’re expensive and time consuming.

Moore hopes they can close the loop-hole that allows these renovations and evictions in the first place.

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