Have Airbnb evictions arrived in Vancouver?

While researching my story on short-term rentals for The Tyee back in the spring, I asked the Tenants Resource and Advisory Centre whether staff there had heard of any Vancouver tenants being evicted to make way for short-term rentals. The answer was no, but that was before Plan A Real Estate bought 1168 Pendrell (Hoffmann Manor), a low-rise apartment building in Vancouver’s West End, in August and promptly began issuing eviction notices to tenants.

Wanting to make a property available for short-term rental is not legal grounds for eviction, so no sane landlord would ever state that as a cause. However, based on what I’ve gathered from media reports, Twitter, and the Greedevictions blog set up by Hoffman Manor tenants, Plan A was illegally renting out apartments in that building on a short-term basis through Airbnb. It’s hardly a logical leap to conclude that the company’s desire to increase its profits through short-term rentals was one of the factors driving the eviction notices it sent. That said, Plan A has stated that it issued the eviction notices because after taking possession of Hoffman Manor on August 5, it found that tenants were not complying with the terms of their existing leases, and that it had no intention of converting the entire building to short-term rentals. If bringing tenants into compliance with their leases was really the only goal, issuing 11 eviction notices within a month of taking over is an inept and draconian way to go about it. For a professional property management company to make that claim strains credulity, but that is nevertheless what Plan A has said. Continue reading