Vancouver tenants protest evictions, allege harassment by landlord

West End tenants rally against alleged mistreatment by a landlord. As Lauren Stallone reports, residents have been served cease-and-desist letters.

By Charles Brockman, Lauren Stallone, and Raynaldo Suarez

Tenants of a West End apartment building took to downtown Vancouver streets Tuesday, demanding an end to alleged harassment and two attempted evictions.

Residents of 1925 Nelson Street, or ‘Park Beach Manor,’ are demanding that their landlord, Plan A Real Estate, drop the evictions of neighbours and stop its surveillance and breaches of tenant privacy and security.

In April, tenants of Park Beach Manor received notice that their building had been acquired by Plan A. 

Pat Vickers says she’s lived in the building on the corner of Nelson Street and Gilford Street for 28 years, but claims the issues only began following the change in ownership.

“We’re calling for stopping the evictions that are in process; just get rid of those cameras that are in our halls; just stop harassing us and answer our emails,” said Vickers. 

Another tenant, Marie Weeks, says the company has installed cameras throughout the building in spaces that are “quite invasive.”

“They’ve basically stated they’re surveilling us,” said Weeks. 

Weeks said that Plan A threatened not to give her new keys upon changing the locks to her home, claiming she was not an “authorized tenant,” since she wasn’t on the original agreement, but was later added in 2020.

Anoop Majithia, the founder and president of Plan A, says tenants are demanding self-governance of the building and making inappropriate claims. 

He says they have been engaging in a campaign of defamation against himself and his company. 

“We’ll continue to act as we always have: within the parameters of the law,” said Majithia. 

“If we feel they’re doing something wrong, the proper course of action is for us to issue a letter of material breach, which gives them the chance to correct it. If they choose not to correct it, then we have the opportunity to ask the [Residential Tenancy Branch of B.C.] to decide whether or not we’re right or they’re right.”

He says when the tenants first began a campaign of protest, they printed his face on posters that he considers defamatory, which they placed “all over downtown Vancouver.”

“[The tenants] basically call me a slumlord and landlord scum. So this is deeply offensive, both to me and my wife, and it’ll be met with the full force of law,” said Majithia.

This isn’t the first time Plan A has found itself caught up in controversy. In 2022, the company received a penalty of $10,000 by the Residential Tenancy Branch for requiring tenants to sign lease agreements that it falsely claimed were not covered by B.C. tenancy laws in Vancouver.

Ben Ger with the Vancouver Tenants Union suggested that Tuesday’s protest is part of a larger discussion.

“A housing system that is for-profit — that is run treating housing like a commodity — will not be able to provide the kind of housing people need and will continue to drive rents up and up and up every year. It’s not sustainable,” said Ger.

Ger says his union wants to see an end to evictions like Plan A is threatening, an end to what he calls “displacement for profit,” and “just housing” for all.

“And particularly, with the Park Beach Tenants Collective, we want them to be able to live in peace and know that their homes are theirs, not their landlord’s investment.”

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