PEI

Tenants in low-cost rentals scramble after eviction notice

In the midst of an extremely low vacancy rate, people living in two Charlottetown buildings with affordable rents say they've been told they have to move out. 

17 affordable rental units coming off the market, buildings up for sale

Jordan Bober has lived in this Fitzroy Street home since he moved to Charlottetown in 2017. (Stephanie vanKampen/CBC)

In the midst of an extremely low vacancy rate, people living in two Charlottetown buildings with affordable rents say they've been told they have to move out. 

The two buildings, located on Fitzroy Street, contain 17 units. Some of the units are vacant, so it's not clear how many tenants are affected. 

One of the tenants, Jordan Bober, has lived in a room in one of the buildings for two years.

He rents the room and shares a bathroom and kitchen with other tenants.

He told CBC News his rent is an affordable $485 per month, with utilities and internet included.

Worried for fellow tenants

Bober received an eviction notice from his landlord July 12. It gave him 30 days to move out and although he has been able to find another place he worries for the other tenants. 

"They're going to have to look for something that's really within the price range of what they can afford on that fixed income," said Bober. "This was that something."

The application of city policies is ... basically causing people to be rent evicted.— Jordan Bober

Bober said he doesn't think his neighbours will be able to find something equivalent in the city. 

The eviction notice indicated the reason for terminating the rental agreement was related to a government order. 

Fire bylaw violations

According to city officials, a complaint triggered a fire department inspection of the buildings in the spring. The fire department issued a hazard compliance order related to both buildings on May 13. 

Bober has appealed his eviction to the Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission and is awaiting a hearing scheduled for July 26. (Stephanie vanKampen/CBC)

A city official said the fire inspector has been working with the property owner to bring the buildings into compliance. The buildings are listed for sale on several real estate websites. 

Bober said he doesn't blame the fire department, but he also said the city's enforcement of the rules is making a bad situation worse. 

"I think that all of our city and provincial policies need to work hand-in-hand to protect … the currently existing rental stock," said Bober.

Appeal for more time

Bober has appealed his eviction to the Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission and is awaiting a hearing scheduled for July 26. He said he plans to ask the commission for more time for the tenants to find another place to live. 

"This is an instance where actually the application of city policies is ... basically causing people to be rent-evicted," he said.

"Not through landlords rent-evicting, but through cities pushing landlords to rent-evict."

CBC News reached out to the owners of the buildings but did not receive a response. 

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