Seafield Residents Protest Gordon Nelson’s Rent Hike

By Matt Kieltyka

24 Hours

The owner of a West End apartment building has no reservations about raising tenants’ rent by up to 73 per cent.

Jason Gordon, of Gordon Nelson Investments, took ownership of the 12-suite Seafield Apartment building at 1436 Pendrell Street last year and says the proposed rent increases are fair.

“It’s a competitive business and the West End is extremely desirable,” Gordon told 24 hours yesterday. “This group [of tenants] pays 50 per cent of what’s on the market. I think they should pay what everyone else is.”

But the residents of the tight-knit building have opposed the rent hikes, and have enlisted the likes of Gregor Robertson – when he was a mayoral candidate – and new Vancouver-Burrard MLA Spencer Herbert to champion their cause.

“The Residential Tenancy Act is completely out of balance,” Herbert said outside the Seafield building yesterday. “The only reason the landlords are seeking these increases is greed.”

Herbert is lobbying to eradicate the geographic area clause in the act, which allows landlords to raise below-market rents up to the same levels of neighbouring units.

“B.C. is the only province in Canada that allows this to happen,” Herbert claims.

In the meantime, the residents of Seafield will be making their case to the Residential Tenancy Branch in March and they’re ready to take their fight to court.

“There is very little else that we can do,” said David Bronstein, whose rent for a one- bedroom apartment will jump from $1,100 to $1,880.

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One Response to “Seafield Residents Protest Gordon Nelson’s Rent Hike”

  1. Marlyn Says:

    Read Bill M 228 – what these landlords are trying to do is not legal according to Bill M228 which is Long Term Renters Protection Act

    http://www.leg.bc.ca/38th4th/1st_read/m228-1.htm

    BILL M 228 — 2008
    LONG TERM RENTERS PROTECTION ACT, 2008

    HER MAJESTY, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of British Columbia, enacts as follows:
    [Explanatory Note]

    This Bill amends Part 3 of the Residential Tenancy Act to protect the homes of long term renters by removing the ability of the landlord to raise the rents of long term tenants based on the rent paid by other tenants in other units in the geographic area.

    1. Section 43 of the Residential Tenancy Act, S.B.C., c. 78 is amended by adding the following subsection:

    (4) A landlord may not apply for an additional rent increase under subsection (3) on the basis that the rent for the rental unit is significantly lower than the rent payable for other rental units that are similar to, and in the same geographic area as, the rental unit.

    Explanatory Note

    This Bill amends Part 3 of the Residential Tenancy Act to protect the homes of long term renters by removing the ability of the landlord to raise the rents of long term tenants based on the rent paid by other tenants in other units in the geographic area.

    Copyright (c) 2008: Queen’s Printer, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

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