Regent Towers at 415 Michigan Street in James Bay is one of Starlight Investment’s properties where tenants are filing grievances with the Residential Tenancy Branch. (Lauren Boothby/VICTORIA NEWS)

James Bay tenants find a sympathetic ear in Minister of Housing

Property owner Starlight Investments also responds to renters after tenant meeting

B.C.’s Minister of Housing is supporting additional renter protection as tenants of four apartment buildings in James Bay step up their action in an ongoing dispute with property owner Starlight Investments.

Selina Robinson has asked the Residential Tenancy Branch to provide an information officer to help the group understand the rights and obligations of landlords and tenants, and to answer questions about the dispute process. The province is improving protections for renters by increasing funding for the Residential Tenancy Branch and closing lease loopholes, she added.

“We are committed to ongoing improvements to address the many challenges facing renters in our tight rental market,” Robinson said in a statement. “I have directed ministry staff to review the Residential Tenancy Act and prepare additional options to strengthen protections for renters facing other challenging situations, including those being evicted due to renovations and demolitions.”

RELATED: James Bay tenants seek renter protections, compensation for ongoing construction

Starlight Investments also came forward following a tenants meeting last week. The company is in the process of a multi-million dollar restoration and renovation project of buildings it purchased in 2015 at 415 and 435 Michigan St., and 350 and 360 Douglas St. The renovation work includes both structural and cosmetic improvements, including retrofitting balconies and the exterior, elevators and interior common areas.

“The scope and size of the restoration work, as well as the financial commitments required, were significant, but they were necessary,” said spokesperson Danny Roth in a statement. “While we understand renovations cause substantial disruption, we are committed to ensure construction is done with as minimal interruption and inconvenience as possible for our residents and neighbours.”

The company hopes to complete the remaining work by the end of year.

lauren.boothby@vicnews.com

 

Tenants of properties owned by Starlight Investments meet at James Bay New Horizons Saturday to collectively file grievances with the Rental Tenancy Branch. (Lauren Boothby/VICTORIA NEWS)

Just Posted

Greater Victoria philanthropic food event raises funds for mental health

Oak Bay’s Vis-a-Vis one of 12 restaurants participating in Kitchens 4 Missions

B.C. SPCA Wild ARC seeking donations to replace roofs

Donations made to the roof campaign will be matched up to $10,000

Sidney town crier endorsement of mayor raises ire of resident

Local crier code doesn’t specify personal endorsement rules

Big Brothers Big Sisters seek mentors for kids who need a guiding light

September marks National Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada Month

Indian and Western music combine at the Mary Winspear

Harry Manx and Emily Carr String Quartet play Sept. 23

Saanich homeless camp residents at a standstill, evicted, prohibited from local parks

‘Ultimate goal is to get people into shelters and longer-term housing,’ Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing

B.C. home to 1/3 of Canada’s overdose deaths in first 3 months of the year

There were 1,036 overdose deaths in the first three months of the year, with 94 per cent accidental

B.C. candidate moves from hospice care to council race

He beat terminal cancer twice and entered hospice when he decided to run for council.

Canadian tobacco exec pushes back against vaping health concerns

A warning from Interior Health about the unknown health risks of vaping is getting a partial rebuke

Ministry of Agriculture commits $300,000 to help B.C. farmers obtain land

B.C. Land Matching Program supports access to affordable farmland for young farmers

Canadian air force short 275 pilots

Attrition outpaces recruitment and training claims Air Force

Teacher suspended after physically shushing, saying ‘shut up’ to student

Grade 5 student reported feeling ‘confused and a little scared’

A B.C. society helps to reforest Crown land after wildfires

Forest Enhancement Society of BC focuses on wildfire mitigation and the reforestation

Most Read