Seafield Tenant Coins “Renoviction”

Update: 1436 Pendrell St. tenant Mark Moore put together a piece about renovictions, the law and an F.A.Q. that explains tenants’ positions on this practice.

Great ideas are often the product of enormous stress, lack of sleep and the absence of a meal or three.

This was the exact circumstance that Seafield Apartments tenant Heather Pawsey found herself in when she combined two seemingly unrelated words that had been on her mind since early September — renovation and eviction — in front of her students.

And so it happened: the word “renoviction” was born.

One Globe and Mail interview later, renovictions made national news thanks to Heather. She and her husband (along with all Seafield renters) went public with their evictions-for-renovations threat from new landlords Jason Gordon and Chris Nelson of Gordon Nelson Investments.

(Gordon Nelson Investments intend to transform Seafield Apartments, a well maintained historic rental building in Vancouver’s West End, by subdividing suites, upgrading kitchens and installing individual condoesque electrical heaters to ensure tenants are environmentally — cough, financially — responsible for their electricity use).

Soon after, the word “renovictions” was included in several other newscasts and articles as well as on several blogs, including wordmaster Bill Casselman’s Canadian Word of the Day. Bill called “renoviction” a creepy new Canadian word for a neological nightmare for British Columbia tenants.

We couldn’t have said it any better.

So what does renoviction really mean?

Renovict [ren-uh-vikt]
The act of evicting longtime tenants from their rental houses and apartments by moneybags landlords who announce huge renovation plans that require the emptying of apartments and homes to be renovated.

Once out, the tenants are not allowed to renew their leases until they agree to monstrous rent increases, sometimes double what they paid before the renoviction.

Examples of how to use “renovict” and variations in a sentence:

“I will be renovicted this winter.”

“Woah Nelly, these renovictions certainly add to the homelessness and unaffordable housing crises in Vancouver.”

“Renovictions are the devil’s magic.”

“Renoviction is to healthy communities like chocolate is to dogs: deadly.”

We think this baby is destined for the Webster’s Dictionary. What do you think?

3 Responses to “Seafield Tenant Coins “Renoviction””

  1. Robert Mitchell Says:

    Keep this word around as it started in “insanity-by-the-sea”, otherwise known here as Vancouver. It is a shame that this whole process of renoviction is taking place and potentially putting more people in a position of not being fairly treated and left in the dilemna of trying to find affordable housing. If I was moving to the city I would make sure that I didn’t rent from these men for fear that I would be renovicted just so they can further line their pockets. If there is a recession coming may it strike them first and hardest. I have passed this tale of woe around all my friends and asked them to pass it on to their friends as well.

  2. Michael Toolan Says:

    I have lived in my unit for 11 years and receive regular annual increases. Currently, I pay $905/mth for a 500 square foot one bedroom. Utilities are not included.

    Good luck to you.

    Michael Toolan
    901-1650 Burnaby Street
    Vancouver, BC V6G 1X3

  3. D Says:

    I live at Barclay and Cardero. I pay 825 for a large bachelor. My boyfriend lives at Broughton and Burnaby and pays 925 for a large 1 bedroom. Good luck with the fight against these people

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