Tenants fighting eviction notice for Cook Street apartment building
A group of Victoria tenants is fighting a mass eviction that they say is unfair during the pandemic.
In October, tenants at a 21-unit, three-storey apartment at 805 Cook St. were given notices saying they had to move out by Feb. 28 so the owners can do renovations.
“It’s been really devastating,” said Tom Kershaw, a 72-year-old who has lived in the building for nine and a half years. “It’s just been overwhelming, the stress.”
Kershaw pays $590 a month for a ground-floor bachelor suite and would likely have to pay double that for a new place. “We’re looking at a zero per cent vacancy rate and we’re in a pandemic,” he said.
Hanson said she was told by a previous building manager there’s no asbestos in the building, so she doesn’t think the building needs to be vacant to do the necessary repairs. The onus is on the landlord to prove to the Residential Tenancy Branch that the renovations cannot be done unless the building is vacant. According to the eviction notice, the landlord is Donald McInnes.
The building was purchased in November 2019 for $4.3 million, according to land title records. Reached by phone at the number provided on the notice, McInnes hung up when asked about the eviction. He did not respond to a follow-up text.
Edited by Victoria Watcher, 12 December 2020 - 09:51 PM.