Landlord tries to evict tenants without having necessary permits

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Today the Vancouver Renters’ Union held a rally in support and to bring attention to evictions occurring at 1850 Adanac Street to tenants of the building. MLA for Vancouver Hastings was attendance as well as city councilor Adrian Carr.

In a media release Vancouver Renters’ Union stated that the purpose of the rally was to, “protest illegal and hazardous renovictions by landlord Ashurwin Holdings, Lorenzo Aquiline CEO.”

The media statement goes on to state:

“Aquilini Investment Group purchased the 80-unit property last year, at which point renovictions began occurring one unit at a time. Amazingly, all renovations in the building have been unpermitted, rendering all recent renovictions completely illegal. Worse, the landlord did not hire a qualified expert to safely remove pre-existing asbestos from the drywall, thereby releasing asbestos throughout the building via these unpermitted renovations. As a result, last week Worksafe BC ordered all renovations be stopped.”
Vanouver Renters’ Union full media release

MLA Shane Simpson for Vancouver Hastings who’s riding the building is situated in was contacted by tenants in regards to the evictions and the unsafe living conditions. Mr. Simpson confirmed with the city that indeed 1850 was known to have asbestos in the building and that needed permits for the work in the building had not been obtain.

In a letter dated April 13, 2012 addressed to Lorenzo Aquilini Mr. Simpson stated the following :

“…according to municipal regulations, an Environmental Consultant needs to be hired in the event of a suspect asbestos presence, prior to renovations being commenced. If asbestos is discovered, an appropriate permit must then be filed with the municipality. According to City of Vancouver records, neither of these steps was taken, This is of particular concern given the 2009 confirmation that asbestos was present at the address in question. It appears that no permit has been issued by the City of Vancouver that approves the current renovations.

Finally, I have heard concerns from constituents that eviction notices were being served to tenants ostensibly so that renovation could take place. Moreover, after this work is completed, I have heard complaints that rents were being raised over the allowable limit as outlined in the Residential Tenancy Act.”

Tenants at the rally spoke of how they were being “Renovicted”. This is when an landlords attempts to evict a tenant to do renovations that need vacant possession of the apartment, but then only doing cosmetics repairs to the unit then increasing the rent to what there market will bear thus evading the regulations that control allowable rental increases.

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