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Dan Fumano: After complaints, a company says they will change a model



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A group of Vancouver companies are trying to change the way they are doing business, a representative this week responded to questions about their habits of buying old apartment buildings and either paying long tenants to leave or turn them out .

This week, as Vancouver city council considers measures to protect tenants from practicing "renewal" and "aggressive purchases," a dozen renters with chambers and councils sometimes visited painful stories and one group of landlords was raised repeatedly.

Advocates say that these cases are a good example of the need for tighter laws and better enforcement in a city with a close and zero vacancy rate and rising rents.

And with the advice of Vancouver and B.C. the government pressed measures that could make it more difficult to evict tenants to renew, said a representative for these companies, which includes Coltric Properties and VS Rentals, on Wednesday that they already find it & They are harder, and they "change our whole model."

On Tuesday, Valerie Farina shared the story of her 23-unit Kitsilano flat building, known as Manoa Yew, who bought a company related to Coltric in September and immediately started giving cash offer to tenants to find out . Green Alliance Pete Fry asked questions to Farina, it seems surprising that she was illegal that even Farina's building was not on her radar, and of all her recent complaints about Coltric and VS.

"I'll add it to my list of reports that I have on VS-slash-Coltric," says Fry. "It's not even on my list."

Since September, Farina's new landlords have offered three increasing buyer offers for tenants, with the next evening to come on Monday. "It's pleasing for us to inform all tenants. In order to help them in this transition period be easier for you, we made a new offer," says the written motion, before outlining what's on get: $ 5,000, "three-monthly rent bonus, $ 500 for mobile costs, the security deposit returned, and a reference letter.

Farina told the property manager that she was willing to move out temporarily to allow refurbishment to be made, so she can return later, she said, but she felt she was being pressured to take the money and let me allow a new tenant to move in.

"Their focus is on pushing people towards buying," said Farina. "Only this real push and this constant debate are that we're leaving."

But when News Postmedia joined VS Rentals on Wednesday, vice president Christopher R. Evans said he intended to let Farina and other tenants know they can either wait during refurbishment or return.

When Postmedia announced that message up to Paris later in the day, he said: "Waw. That's not exactly about what we were told … Up to this point, we have had nothing other than: Soon, or later, you'll go. & # 39; "

Although property owners often say that there is a need to renew to keep a lot of aging rented homes in the region living, tenant advocates say that eviction will often be a tool for landlords to enforce long-term residents and rent jack to increase profit. Senior Vancouver staff suggested in recent memo that these types of blanket eviction notices often follow new owners who bought a building.

"The significant increase in market rents in recent years has created an environment in which unit turnover can mean a significant product for owners, and low rent vacancies rates make very quickly in finding new tenants who are # 39; ready to pay new, higher rents, "said a recent letter from Dan Garrison, assistant director of Vancouver for housing policy and regulation, having referred to the BC government housing housing task force.

"We often hear about these cases when rent properties are being sold to a new owner. Although long-term property owners usually favor maintaining fixed tenancies, new owners may look at unit turnover as a way of raising revenue on a new investment. "

When Manoa Yew, who was 90, was sold earlier this year, a sales brochure stated that the building had to clear between $ 170,000 and $ 175,000 a year in net operating income after removal repairs, maintenance costs, property taxes, insurance, utility and elevator, and other "variable" operating costs.

The sales brochure also noted: "The roof and plumbing has already been replaced by reducing the required capital."

Evans He stated that the operating costs listed in the sales booklet did not include mortgage financing costs, which are really. But Evans did not argue about the other details listed in the sales booklet, such as maintenance costs and the fact that the roof and plumbing had been replaced. In fact, the agent whose name has listed in Manoa Yew's sales booklet, Terrence Harding, now has an interest in the property.

Harding, who confirmed on Wednesday that he was the sales agent, was one of the two directors of 1875 Yew Street Nominee Ltd, B.C. A company that bought the property on September 17, for $ 10.5 million, about $ 1.5 million under the $ 12 million listed booklet price. The company's other director, Zvonimir Duric, is the director of Coltric Properties.

Coltric, who procures property acquisition, and "sister company" VS Rentals, a property management company, is part of a network of associated companies that have recently acquired a number of rental properties throughout Metro Vancouver, Evans .

Part of the business model of the companies has included, as in Manoa Yew, buying "underperformance" buildings, improving them, and renting new tenants for higher rents, Evans said, "but now he comes to a point where it's hard. "

"We are changing our whole model, it's getting harder," he said. "The reason is, Similarly, with media coverage, most tenants are not willing to leave. "

"I do not feel good about doing what I can do," said Evans. "We're not community people, we feel bad about what's happening."

David Hutniak, CEO of Landlord B.C. which represents the rental housing industry: "Personally, I do not know the companies or head teachers so I can not speak to their industry. I say that the Landlord BC does not support "renewal" and certainly not the best industry & industry … We believe that a landlord does not need in most circumstances to complete a tenancy for renewal or Repairs even if doing so would be easier or perhaps a bit more economical to complete the work. Landlords who take these steps unnecessarily are inconvenient to tenants and, indeed, damaging & # 39; the wider industry. "

Earlier this week, The Vancouver Sun said that tenants had fired with their eviction notices in another property that belonged to a VS Rent in the West End, and last month's decision from the Occupancy Tenancy Branch , but to receive a second notice turned out a week later.

Evans refused to answer the amount of property owned by the companies.

But Coun. Fry said he had received complaints involving dozens of Metro Metro buildings that belong to the companies.

"It's really important to me," said Fry, who earlier this month, presented a bid to create a renter advocacy office in the City of Vancouver.

"Do not warn anyone who makes money, but we need to be fair and disadvantage," says Fry. It seems that the practice of renewal has been profitable in Vancouver, says Fry, adding: "I hope those days will face them, because I believe we can start seeing a new direction from the city ​​council. "

with a file from Carolyn Soltau

dfumano@postmedia.com

twitter.com/fumano

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