February 23rd, 2012
Seniors who live in an East Vancouver rental building have decided to fight their landlord’s attempt to get a 45% increase in rent.
Many of the seniors or living on pensions and state if would be destroy their finances if the rent increase went forward.
Tenant Adeline Saunders is 57 and has rheumatoid arthritis. She says her disability pension barely covers her current expenses and if the rent goes up she will be in a very difficult situation: choosing between hearing her apartment or paying for food.
The tenants admit the landlord has put double windows in. They also admit the building is being renovated with security upgrades added.
Renter Andy Lai said it’s unbelievable the landlord could attempt to raise the rent so high. In British Columbia the normal allowable rent increase is 4.3%. In Ontario rents are going to be capped at 2.5% no matter what inflation is in 2013. See here. In Alberta you can raise the rent as much as you want.
The landlord has applied to the BC Residential Tenancy Branch to raise the rent higher than the allowable 4.3% increase because rents there are below market value.
The landlord claims that while rents are currently at $355/month for a bachelor suite, the market rent should be $740.