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What is a ‘renoviction’?

What is a ‘renoviction’?

(Photo credit: Michèle Turbin/Flickr)

(Photo credit: Michèle Turbin/Flickr)

Many people likely haven’t heard the term before, but it’s a phenomenon that’ s becoming more common in British Columbia.

A renoviction blends renovation and eviction together and some see it as a way to evict tenants who are paying rent below market values. In the west coast, there’s been outrage expressed by tenants who’ve been evicted from the homes they’re renting due to the owner’s renovation plans.

In BC, renters who are served eviction notices in this way are only privy to one-month’s free rent, but for many, this does little to ease their displacement. Many of them are unable to afford the new rents once renovations are complete.

Depending on where you live, different housing authorities offer varying rules regarding this type of eviction. For example, in Ontario, after a rental suite has been renovated, the landlord must first offer the option of renting the place to the previous tenant. The price offered by the landlord should be the same as it was before the renovation. If the tenant refuses, they can receive three months of free rent, if they live a residential complex with at least five residential units, and then the landlord can start the search for a new renter.

While in Manitoba, tenants are offered first refusal to live in the renovated property and landlords must offer them the lowest rent that would be charged to any tenant once the renovations are done. Landlords are also required to compensate the renter’s moving charges of up to $500.

But these types of evictions can create ill will between tenants and landlords. In 2011, the B.C.’s Residential Tenancy Branch ruled that the tenants of 1436 Pendrell St. could not be forced to move out by their landlord, according to the Globe and Mail. In 2008, Gordon Nelson Inc. purchased the building and issued its tenants an eviction notice due to renovations, which required tenants either move out within two months or see their rents increase.

In another case, tenants of a 30-unit apartment building were given eviction notices after the City of Vancouver issued development and building permits to the property owners. One of the tenants told the Georgia Straight that most of the residents pay monthly rents of less than $900. The residents mentioned in the article have lived in the building for years, but now they’re stuck looking for a new place to live.

As many Canadians find becoming a homeowner unaffordable, more people are renting for longer, which has led to low rental vacancy rates in some cities. This has also contributed to an increase in housing starts of purpose built rental buildings.

While investing in a property can be a savvy investment, landlords need to be aware of their responsibilities and rights when it comes to dealing with bad tenants or rent increases.

Homeowners may not be aware of the HST rebate, which can be claimed whether you plan to live in the property or rent it out. Rebate4U can walk you through how you can get back money on your investment with a properly filed rebate claim. Our priority is to provide our clients with the most professional and quality service in obtaining rebates for their new and renovated homes. We are proud to offer our clients the most personal and attentive service, and we make sure that all of our clients are 100% satisfied.

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