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From planned renoviction to townhome for sale signs

The 42 Pineview Heights townhomes are now listed for sale with Royal LePage, starting at $455,000, with a handful of units listed online
pineview-heights-for-sale-sign-horiz
Last spring, Kamloops This Week reported on a bid by the Fraserview Development Corporation to apply to the province’s Residential Tenancy Branch to evict residents of the 42 units at Pineview Heights, at 1920 Hugh Allan Dr., due to planned renovations. In October, Fraserview withdrew its application to the Residential Tenancy Branch. Now, however, the company is selling the townhouse units individually, with the first few starting at $455,000.

Tenants of a Pineview Valley townhouse rental complex who were preparing for a Residential Tenancy Board (RTB) hearing last fall regarding their landlord’s so-called renoviction plans now face the possibility of having their homes sold out from under them.

Up to 42 families, many with school-aged children, in the Pineview Heights complex at 1920 Hugh Allan Dr. faced possible eviction from landlord Fraserview Development Corporation last June when the company applied to have tenants vacated from their rental apartments to accommodate a mass renovation of the 20-year-old complex.

Numerous tenants had planned to fight the application, but the landlord has since opted to sell the units.

The 42 townhomes are now listed for sale with Royal LePage, starting at $455,000, with a handful of units listed online.

A source with knowledge of the situation, who KTW has agreed not to name, said tenants are “on edge” because nobody knows when their unit will sell and how long they will have to find a new place to live. The source said it’s difficult to now find an appropriate rental, noting alternatives of comparable size aren’t listed for remotely close to tenants’ current rent, given the current market.

One tenant told KTW last summer that she and her family paid about $1,850 in rent at Pineview Heights and could not afford an increase.

The person with knowledge of the situation said other rentals in Pineview are scarce, so tenants are faced with the possibility of having to uproot their families. Some tenants are considering moving to Alberta, citing the unaffordability of housing in Kamloops.

Others are waiting out the situation until they have to move, the person said, noting Fraserview’s real estate team told tenants it will be trying to match investment buyers with units that have tenants.

The source claimed Fraserview told tenants they will sell the units that become vacant first, but one tenant noted their townhome was recently shown to a prospective buyer. The sign outside the complex states all 42 units are available for sale. The source said they are not aware of any tenants who are buying their rentals or who are in a position to make that purchase.

Kelly Melnyk of the Thompson Rivers University Community Legal Clinic, which was representing tenants for free in the renoviction application, said Fraserview withdrew its application to the RTB without explanation shortly after an October pre-conference hearing.

“It seems to me they didn’t want to go through the process of the hearing, which is always a risk for both sides,” Melnyk said.

Melnyk said under the Residential Tenancy Act, tenants cannot be evicted unless the buyer intends to move in. If that happens, tenants must be given two months’ notice. Melnyk said those who purchase the property as an investment are obligated to keep the existing tenants on at their current rental rate.

“They’re assuming that arrangement,” Melnyk said.

The landlord for Pineview Heights, Fraserview director Curtis Schlosser, told KTW last spring the complex needed “substantial” renovations.

“My family owns it as a business and we want to keep it for another 25 years and keep renting it, but I can’t keep Band-Aiding everything. It’s just nickeling and diming me to death,” he said.

Schlosser is out of the country and unavailable for comment.