His kitchen started leaking. Then his landlord tried to use it to evict him, says Vancouver tenant

Kitsilano residents claim to be victims of ‘renovictions’
Residents of a Kitsilano apartment building say their landlord is trying to force them out in order to raise the rent, even resorting to illegal entry of their suites. Paul Johnson has their story.

Steve Lepage has lived in Villa Rosario, a three-storey rental building in Vancouver’s Kitsilano neighbourhood, for almost a decade.

A mental health professional, Lepage is the longest-serving tenant in his building.

WATCH: From 2015 — Renoviction roller coaster for Vancouver man

In 2014, his ceiling sprung a leak in the kitchen.

Then a new landlord bought the property.

Lepage said that the landlord offered to fix the leak in 20-square-foot kitchen’s ceiling. But he claims the landlord said the scope of the work meant Lepage would have to move out — and then back in under a new tenancy, and much higher rent.

He turned it down and was served with an eviction notice.

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READ MORE: Her landlord jacked up rent $64%. When she refused to pay, they tried to evict her

As the tenant paying the lowest rent in the building, he said the landlord would be able to rent out the unit to a new person for $1,000 more per month.

And he claimed the new landlord has had similar issues with tenants — and the renters have won.

“It seems to me it’s more about money than me here,” Lepage told Global News.

Villa Rosario, a rental building in Kitsilano.
Villa Rosario, a rental building in Kitsilano. Global News

He felt that the renovation required in the kitchen should be the type of repair that wouldn’t require him to move out — the contractor working on the job told him it would only take a few days, he said.

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Nevertheless, he claimed the landlord told him to take all his furniture out of the unit, and to leave entirely.

READ MORE: New rules could see ‘renovicted’ B.C. tenants get year of free rent

The landlord said she was too busy to talk to Global News.

But the manager, Amy, turned up when a news crew was present.

She stood firm on behalf of her boss and denied she was just trying to draw more rent out of a tenant.

“This is the landlord’s property,” Amy said.

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“You have to respect the law,” Lepage said.

Lepage has a hearing before the Residential Tenancy Branch on this matter on May 17.

  • Video report by Paul Johnson