Landlords under fire for ‘reno-victions’

The mayor of one of Canada's largest cities wants his province to tackle so-called “reno-victions," although landlord advocates say those evictions are all about protecting renter safety.

“Like the mayor, we are concerned about the few ‘marginal’ landlords employing ‘reno-viction’ tactics,” said David Hutniak, the CEO of LandlordBC. 

“At the same time, we need a fair and balanced approach to provide responsible landlords the necessary structure to address tenant dislocation when they are doing upgrades of aging rental stock.

“These upgrades are essential if we are going to be in a position to continue to deliver safe, sustainable, rental housing.”

In British Columbia, there has been a rise in ‘reno-victions,’ a move where renters in older properties are asked to leave so that landlords can renovate ageing buildings.

Vancouver's mayor says that this practice doesn’t just temporarily displace tenants; the rents increase post-renovation so many are unable to afford to move back.

Hutniak says that tenant dislocation is an unfortunate reality when a building is undergoing a complete renovation, but that responsible landlords are not insensitive to this challenge.

“There is a cost involved to address tenant dislocation and, while we support the mayor’s concern, we feel that the City needs to be sensitive to these costs too when considering the approval of building permits for renovations,” he adds.

“The City cannot simply look at the construction costs in isolation because a landlord doesn’t have that luxury when considering a renovation.”

From the perspective of Vancouver’s rental industry, ending tenancies to invest in purpose-built rental units presents a huge challenge for landlords, continues Hutniak.

“While the [Rental Tenancy Act] technically allows this, the courts and, in turn, the Residential Tenancy Branch now say that owners are acting in bad faith if they wish to invest in our properties. 

“We have supported in the past and continue to support trading more compensation to tenants, more notice time, and the right of first refusal to return to the renovated building for current tenants in exchange for clear language that allows ending tenancies for permanent renovations.

“We want to ensure that tenants are treated professionally and appropriately. At the same time, there needs to be a clear, transparent and, balanced approach to this issue.”
 

 
 

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COMMENTS

  • by andrew nagy 2015-03-27 9:49:44 PM

    I use to own a six plex and a twelve plex, the landlord tenant act is way too much in favour of the tenant and the landlords suffer with all the rules and regulations, like when costs for hydro go through the roof, taxes, water etc and the allowable rent increases dictate by government arenèt in line because they want to protect the tenant way too much. And yet home owners have to live with any costs realized when they go up, how is a tenant different than a home owner, tenants have to pay the necessary increase just like the landlord and everyone else, if the government is so protective of tenants, then the government should regulate the costs that keep hitting landlords, they should subsidized the tenants, oh and when bad tenants, the professional movers and crooks that landlords get stuck with and loose thousands, the government doesnèt allow registries of bad tenant as available information to landlords because of privacy, the governments want their cake and eat it and the landlords can eat crap all the time, I sold my buildings and anybody that wants to be a landlord must have a real strong stomach and likely should see a psychiatrist in my opinion, unless you like getting it from both ends, the tenants and the government and their legislations rules and unfair practices making owning buildings a deplorable proposition in so many ways, When is the landlord going to get the rights and privileges of fairness, free market, and understanding, the government canèt hardly run any of their own buildings without soaking the tax payers, but they sure ram it to privately owned buildings depriving them of any pride of ownership over the hassles encounter by tenants and bills and legislations. Hooray for hassle free and quite enjoyment for the tenants and their rights with no vested interest protected by government over and over.

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