Jonathan Korst in front of Cloverdale’s Kolumbia Garden. (Grace Kennedy photo)

Cloverdale apartment tenants won’t be ‘renovicted’ after all

Settlement agreement will allow residents to stay in their homes during renovations

Residents at Cloverdale’s Kolumbia Garden won’t be evicted from their homes, after reaching a settlement agreement with the new building owner.

In February of this year, the Kolumbia Garden apartment building (17719 58A Avenue) was purchased by Guy Bouchard, a Lower Mainland investor who seems to specialize in flipping older buildings for profit with his company Top Down Investments. In May, all 39 units received eviction notices because of planned renovations to the building.

More than half of the tenants in the building decided to dispute the eviction notices, taking their concerns to the residential tenancy board.

Jonathan Korst, a disputing resident in the building, told the Cloverdale Reporter in mid-September that he wanted the residents to “stand together, united, against this injustice.”

“There’s a lot of people here who are disabled, people who are old, elderly,” he said. “A lot of vulnerable people here, low income, who will be hurt by this, just so they can make money.”

Rents at Kolumbia Garden are below the average amount for the area — something that can be hard to find in the current housing market.

The final hearing for the dispute was scheduled for Sept. 25. However, about a week before the scheduled hearing, residents from 23 units reached a settlement with the landlord (officially Bouchard’s company CL 17719 GP Ltd.).

In that settlement both sides came to the agreement that the tenants would not be evicted. Their rent would also be reduced by $100 for one month to help pay for fees related to the dispute, and the landlord wouldn’t issue another eviction notice related to the renovations. The tenants are also required to work with the landlord to accommodate the renovations.

These terms only apply to the tenants who disputed the eviction notice. Other tenants have already moved out, or will have to move out before an extended eviction date of Nov. 1.

“I’m happy we don’t have to deal with this anymore but I also feel bad for the tenants who didn’t decided not to dispute,” Korst said in an email to the Cloverdale Reporter.

“Ultimately, those who didn’t dispute the notices will have to find a new place to live.”

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