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

Victoria athletes gold at karate provincials

Provincials were held in early December at The Richmond Olympic Oval

Police investigating ‘unprovoked attack’ at Uptown bus stop

Man was attacked while waiting at Douglas St bus stop Sunday night

Intense winds could reach 70km in Greater Victoria

Environment Canada issued wind warning for Dec. 17

Saanich police are seeking suspect in sexual assault report

Incident happened early Saturday morning near Rudd Park

Langford elementary school kids test their hand at entrepreneurship

Students sold their own products at a Young Entrepreneurs Fair Friday

POLL: Are you dreaming of a white Christmas?

The rain Vancouver Island is famous for is coming down in buckets,… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Dec. 11, 2018

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Ryan Reynolds to narrate movie about B.C.’s Great Bear Rainforest

Vancouver-born actor known for Deadpool movies will voice film to be released Feb. 15, 2019

Airline passengers could get up to $2,400 for delays, damaged bags: Canadian agency

Canadian Transportation Agency is releasing draft regulations for public feedback

Top of mind: ‘Justice’ is Merriam-Webster’s word of the year

Merriam-Webster has chosen “justice” as its 2018 word of the year, driven by the churning news cycle and President Trump’s Twitter feed.

‘Spider-Verse’ swings to the top; ‘Mortal Engines’ tanks

“Spider-Verse” has been very well-received among critics, and audiences in exit surveys gave it a rare A+ CinemaScore.

Speaker at rally says Alberta oil ‘puts tofu on the table in Toronto!’

RCMP estimated more than 1,500 people attended the rally in Grande Prairie

White House closer to partial shutdown with wall demand

Without a resolution, parts of the federal government will shut down at midnight on Friday, Dec. 21

Most Read