Saturday, October 18, 2008
1:00 – 2:00 pm

See photos of the rally

People joined in cities across BC , rallying to end homelessness and bringing affordable housing to all communities. Renters at Risk Campaign participated in the Stand for Housing rally. Stand in solidarity with us to protect tenants from eviction and unaffordable rent increases!

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West End tenants facing evictions

Tenant Christine Brandt flanked by city council candidates
News1130 Photo

Sunday, November 09 – 08:18:00 PM 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.

Sharon Issac with Renters at Risk says renters’ issues affect the local economy.

“People that make decent money no longer can live in Vancouver and that’s a real problem for the economy of Vancouver when the merchants and business owners in the city can’t find staff because nobody can afford to pay rent in Vancouver.”

She’s glad politicians are now paying attention to the hardships Vancouver renters face and hopes the momentum doesn’t stop once upcoming elections are over.

Source –“>

Robertson vows to stand up for renters’ rights


Updated: Sun Nov. 09 2008 16:05:17

Vision Vancouver’s Gregor Robertson took a stand on renters’ rights in the city’s West End.

He paid a visit to the Seafield Apartments Sunday to support tenants who say they’re being evicted so the landlord can make minor renovations and raise the rent. Robertson says he’d put a stop to that.

“Vision Vancouver council will direct staff at city hall to carefully scrutinize all the permits for renovation and ensure that in fact they are necessary renovations needed to bring a building up to code, up to standard and ensure that the interests of the renters are being taken into consideration by the landlord,” Robertson said.

Eighty three-year-old Roland McFall and his two older sisters moved into the building in 1961. He thought he’d always live in Seafield and doesn’t know what his next step will be.

“Well that’s it. where would I go?” he said.

Residents say renovations have been done before without anyone being evicted. They insist the landlords could allow them to stay during repairs, if they want to.

Source –

Landlords manipulate loophole to increase rents: Robertson

Christine Brandt and her son stand with Vision Vancouver mayoral candidate Gregor Robertson in front of Seafield apartments, where she and other residents are facing evictions.


November 10, 2008 05:17

While many Vancouverites watch Dec. 1 draw near with thoughts of the approaching holidays, 24 tenants of Seafield apartment are bracing for eviction notices that day.

Yesterday, they gathered on the steps of their West End heritage building, joined by Vision Vancouver mayoral candidate Gregor Robertson, demanding the right to stay in their home when renovations start on Feb. 1, and to be allowed to return without the proposed subsequent rent increase.

Resident Christine Brandt said when Chris Nelson and Jason Gordon bought the building in July, they were told to expect eviction notices in December, followed by cosmetic renovations and rent increases of 80 to 100 per cent.

“Many of us cannot afford that,” she said, adding that some tenants have lived in the building for nearly 50 years. One couple is expecting their first baby on the day of the possible eviction.

“We’re very much an extended family. It’s way more than just knocking on the door for an egg or cup of sugar … We love each other, and we don’t want that to end,” she said breaking down in tears.

“And it’s going to be over our dead bodies that we allow this to happen.”

While she spoke her neighbours stood behind her, applauding or putting their arms around her when she was overwhelmed with emotion.

Robertson said many Vancouverites are in similar situations because of a loophole in the Residential Tenancy Act.

“(The Act) should strike a balance between protecting renters and serving the interests of the landlords,” he said.

“Unfortunately the balance has been tipped … and we now have landlords manipulating these loopholes to drive renters out on the premise of renovation and jacking up rents after the fact.”

He said the loopholes need to be closed and, in the meantime, the city needs to protect renters.

Robertson said permit applications should be scrutinized to determine whether renovations are necessary to keep a building up to standard or merely to justify a rent increase.

“We have not seen that kind of advocacy at City Hall,” he said.

Messages left for Chris Nelson and Jason Gordon were not returned by press time.

Photo – Rafe Arnott/Metro Vancouver

Source –


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womanTHE BC LIBERAL GOVERNMENT has rewritten the Residential Tenancy Act to favour landlords, allowing mass evictions of renters from their homes, and community. They have also made it possible for landlords to get massive market rent increases higher than yearly rent controls, even if you have a lease.

HOW? Landlords easily get around tenancy laws either by simply asking you to agree to pay more rent, or they evict you, claiming your suite needs to be vacant for renovations. Floor-by-floor and building-by-building, corporate landlords are evicting tenants so they can double the rents.

REALITY: Tenants who challenge their evictions at the government’s Residential Tenancy Branch find the process exhausting, and they usually lose their cases or give up, despite recent BC Supreme Court rulings in tenants’ favour.

The government of Ontario has taken action to stop evictions by implementing rights of first refusal. This gives renters the option to return to their units after renovations are completed. The BC Government refuses to change the legislation to help tenants and even denies that mass evictions and rising rents are even a problem! Renters need a government that will protect them! The legislation must be changed!

Authorized by Renters At Risk, BC Elections Act, 604-602-1218

Contact your MLA and voice your concerns.
Are you being threatened with eviction? Call TRAC – Tenant Resource & Advisory Centre – Mon. to Thurs. – 9am – 5pm – In Vancouver call 604-255-0546. Or outside the lower mainland: 1-800-665-1185