West End Tenants Facing Huge Rent Increase

By Katharine Sawchuk and Dave White
NEWS 1130

Tenants in Seafield Apartments in Vancouver’s West End have been handed a 38 per cent rent increase. This is due to a regulation in the Residential Tenancy Act which lets landlords increase the rent if they can prove it’s significantly below market value.

Christine Ackerman with Renters at Risk says this marks the end of rent control in B.C. “This decision itself proves that rent controls in B.C. are no longer. They are dead, they do not exist because you can find a tenancy agreement and it says you’re going to pay this much rent, but your landlord is just going to go and apply for an above average rent increase. And you’re going to be paying before you know it, another $500 out of your pocket every month.”

Ackerman says tenants are hoping to have this reviewed, in which case the decision could be put on hold. She says Vancouver-Burrard MLA Spencer Herbert will help repeal the clause.

Chris Nelson with Gordon Nelson Investments – owners of the building – says tenants at the Seafield are paying 50 to 60 per cent below market value. “We believe that the Residential Tenancy Branch evaluated a lot of evidence from both us and the tenants and ruled that in several cases an increase was warranted.”

Nelson says they are disappointed they didn’t get the full amount of the requested rent increase.

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