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Dan Fumano: After complaints, the property firm says they will change the model

A Vancouver Group of Companies wants to change the way they are doing business, a spokeswoman said this week, answering questions about buying their old apartment buildings and paying long-term tenants to leave or post them.

This week, the Vancouver City Council believes that measures to protect tenants from "renewal" and "aggressive redemption" practices have attracted dozens of lenders to council chambers to share sometimes painful stories and re-nominate one owner group.

Attorneys claim that these cases are an excellent example of the need for stricter laws and better enforcement in a city where the proportion of vacancies is near zero and rising rents.

And with Vancouver Council and B.C. Government-weighted measures that could make it difficult for rental tenants to be renovated, a representative at these companies, which includes Coltric Properties and VS Rentals, said on Wednesday they already find it harder and "change our entire model."

On Tuesday evening, Valerie Farina shared the story of her 23 units in a Kitsilano apartment building called Manoa Yew, who bought a Coltric related company in September and immediately began offering money to tenants to encourage them to leave. Green things Pete Fry asked questions about Farin, seemingly surprised that, from all the complaints he had recently received about Coltric and VS, Farin's building was not even on his radar.

"I added it to my news list, which I got from VS-slash-Coltric," Fry said. "It's not even on my list."

Since September Farin's young hosts have offered ten ten-day rising buyout offers to their newest arrival on Monday. "We are happy to inform all tenants. To assist them in this transition, it would be easier for us to offer a new offer," the paper suggests before specifying what is offered: a $ 5,000 redemption premium, a three month rent, $ 500 per transfer of expenses, reimbursed deposit, and a reference letter.

Farina told the property manager that she wants to move temporarily to make the renovation so she can come back later, she said, but she felt she was forced to take money and leave to allow the new tenant to move.

"Their focus is entirely on getting people to redeem," Farina said. "It really has been this real pressure, and this constant problem allows us to leave."

But when Postmedia News contacted VS Rentals on Wednesday, Vice President Christopher R. Evans said he was planning to let Farin and other tenants know that they could stay in rebuild or afterwards.

When Postmedia handed this message to Farin later, she said: "Wow, that's not completely close to what we said … Until now, we had nothing more than: "Sooner or later, you're going away." "

While property owners often say that rehabilitation is needed to save a large proportion of outdated rental housing in the community, tenant lawyers consider that evictions are often a means for owners to avoid long-term residents and increase rental rates in order to maximize profits. . A senior vancouver employee in a recent note suggested that this type of evocation is often the case by new homeowners who buy a building.

"A significant increase in market rentals in recent years has created an environment in which unit sales may represent significant returns for owners, and the low proportion of leased vacancies is relatively easy to find new tenants who are willing to pay new, higher rents," said a recent letter from Dan Garrison, Vancouver Assistant Director for Housing Policy and Regulatory Affairs addressed to the BC House Rental Group.

"For these things, we hear more often when a rental property is sold to a new owner. Because long-term owners generally support the maintenance of stable rental contracts, new owners can look for unit sales to increase revenues from new investment."

When the 90-year-old Manoa Yew was put up for sale at the beginning of this year, the sales brochure said the building was net of operating income of $ 170,000 to $ 175,000 a year after deducting the cost of repairs, maintenance, property taxes, insurance, utilities and the elevator and other "various" operating costs.

The sales brochure also states: "Roof and plumbing have already been replaced by reducing the required capital."

Evans said that the operating costs listed in the sales brochure do not include the cost of mortgage financing that is significant. However, Evans did not dispute the details of another sales brochure, such as maintenance costs and the fact that the roof and plumbing were replaced. In fact, an agent whose name is mentioned in the Manoa Yew brochure, Terrence Harding, is now interested in this property.

Harding, who confirmed on Wednesday that he was a sales list agent, is one of the two directors in 1875, Yew Street Nominee Ltd., B.C. The company, which bought a $ 10.5 million property on September 17, was about $ 1.5 million below the book price of $ 12 million. The other director of the company, Zvonimir Duric, is the director of Coltric Properties.

Real Estate Management Coltric and its sister company, VS Rentals, a real estate management firm, are part of a network of affiliates who have recently acquired several rental properties throughout Metro in Vancouver, explains Evans.

Evans said, "Some of the business model, for example, at Manoa Yew, has bought" undercapacity "buildings by improving and renting new tenants, but now it comes to a place where it's difficult."

"We're changing our entire model, it's getting harder," he said. "The reason is, It seems to me that with the attention of the entire media, most tenants are reluctant to leave. "

"I do not feel good about what I'm doing," Evans said. "We are community people, we feel bad about what's going on."

David Hutniak, Landlord B.C. representing the tenants sector, said: "I personally do not know the companies or the principles, so I can not talk about their involvement in this industry. I will say that Landlord BC does not support" renovations "and this is certainly not the best practice in the industry … We believe that, that in most cases the landlord should not stop renting or repairing even if it is easier or maybe somewhat economically complete the work. Owners doing this do not unnecessarily burden the tenants and, frankly, harm the wider industry. "

Earlier this week, The Vancouver Sun reported that tenants in another building owned by VS Rentals were struggling with their allegations of eviction and last month made a decision from the Residential Premises Branch to receive a second announcement of weekly evictions.

Evans declined to answer how many companies belong.

But Coun Fry said he has received complaints about about twelve Vancouver Metro owned businesses.

"It's tremendous for me," said Fry, who introduced the proposal at the beginning of this month to create a rental law firm in Vancouver.

"I do not think that everyone is making money, but we must be honest and useless," said Fry. Frey said that renovation work in Vancouver is beneficial and adds: "Hopefully, these days are over, because I think we are starting to see a new direction from the city council."

by Carolyn Soltau file

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