Category Archives: Housing

Complaint against Sutton West Coast over the disruption of AG David Eby’s town hall

I’ve just filed a complaint against Sutton West Coast over the part they played in disrupting BC Attorney General David Eby’s town hall.

Here’s the full text of my complaint:

  1. Sutton Group West Coast Realty (“Sutton West Coast”) took out a full page advertisement on Vancouver Courier newspaper published on or about 2018 April 28 urging supporters to disrupt Attorney General David Eby’s planned town hall with his constituents.
  2. This advertisement, and similar call by BC Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson, forced Mr. Eby to cancel the event owing to security reasons.
  3. The wording of the call for action in Sutton West Coast’s advertisement was “Regardless of whether or not the Hall is full, demonstrate your opposition to these taxes and make your voice heard by attending:” followed by details of Mr. Eby’ town hall. The “Regardless of whether or not the Hall is full” was underlined in the original advertisement.
  4. Similarly, Mr. Wilkinson, urged his supporters to protest at Mr. Eby’s town hall “whether you have a ticket or not”.
  5. An elected MLA has a duty to meet with his or her constituents. In turn, the constituents have a right to meet their MLA. Sutton West Coast’s advertisement, singularly or in conjunction with Mr. Wilkinson’s letter, amounts to a deliberate disruption of the democratic process. It deprives the constituents of their democratic rights, and prevents an elected official from carrying out their democratic duties.
  6. Section 35(2) of the Real Estate Services Act states :
    A licensee commits conduct unbecoming a licensee if the licensee engages in conduct that, in the judgment of a discipline committee,
    (a) is contrary to the best interests of the public,

    (b) undermines public confidence in the real estate industry, or

    (c) brings the real estate industry into disrepute.
  7. It is plain and obvious that Sutton West Coast has violated Section 35(2) of the Real Estate Service Act as inciting mobs to sabotage a democratic process is contrary to the best interests of the public, undermines public confidence in the real estate industry, and brings the real estate industry into disrepute.
  8. Candice Dyer is named as the managing broker of Sutton West Coast.
  9. Section 6 (2) of the Act states:
    A managing broker licensed in relation to a brokerage acts for the brokerage for all purposes under this Act, and is responsible for

    (c) the control and conduct of the brokerage’s real estate business, including supervision of the associate brokers and representatives who are licensed in relation to the brokerage.
  10. Therefore, Ms. Dyer is named as the licensee against whom the complaint is made.

Airbnb has caused my rent to go up by $750. I want Airbnb to pay up.

A UCLA study has found that “that a 1% increase in Airbnb listings leads to a 0.018% increase in rents.”. Short term rentals have been illegal in Vancouver until April 18, 2018, but Airbnb listings have grown by over 270% between 2013 and 2018. Applying the UCLA model, Airbnb has lead to a 4.87% rent increase in Vancouver. That works out to $3,397.17, or, more than $750 extra annually for me. It’s time for Airbnb to compensate renters of Vancouver.

The following is my demand letter to Airbnb.

Airbnb, Inc.,
888 Brannan Street,
4th Floor, San Francisco,
CA 94103,
United States

April 28, 2018

Dear Sir or Madam,

Demand Letter

Facts

1. Between Jan 1, 2013 (or earlier) and April 18, 2018, Airbnb has operated or caused to operate illegal short term rentals in the City of Vancouver in violation of City of Vancouver Zoning & Development Bylaw 3575 as in force in that period, specifically:

Section 10.19.4: No person shall use or permit to be used any sleeping unit for a period of less than one month unless such unit forms part of a hotel.

Section 10.21.6: No person shall use or permit to be used any dwelling unit for a period of less than one month unless such unit forms part of a hotel or is used for bed and breakfast accommodation.

2. Based on data provided by Airbnb 1)https://2sqy5r1jf93u30kwzc1smfqt-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/VancouverReport_finalcopy_June-1.pdf and the City of Vancouver 2)http://council.vancouver.ca/documents/pspc7_000.pdf, the number of Airbnb units have increased from 1,800 in 2013 to 6,667 as of March 2018, and increase of 270.39%.

3. A UCLA study has found that “a 1% increase in Airbnb listings leads to a 0.018% increase in rents” 3)https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3006832.

4. Based on the UCLA study, Airbnb is responsible for a 4.87% rent increase.

5. I moved to Vancouver in November 2013. Between then and April 2018, I have paid $69,800 in rent.

6. Thus, applying UCLA model to Vancouver, $3,397.17 of my rents are an increase attributable to Airbnb’s illegal operations in Vancouver.

Demand

Based on the facts above, the I hereby demand the following from you:

Payment of $3,397.17 as restitution for damages suffered as a result of rent increases caused by Airbnb operating, or causing to operate, illegal short term rentals in Vancouver.

Please confirm in writing that you have complied with the above demands within thirty (30) days of this letter.

Please note that if I have to commence legal proceedings in order to require your performance of the above actions, this letter will be tendered in court as evidence of your failure to attempt to resolve this matter. Further, you may be liable for any court costs, attorney fees and damages, including punitive damages.

You might want to contact a lawyer to discuss your legal rights and responsibilities.

Yours sincerely,

Rohana Rezel

References   [ + ]

1. https://2sqy5r1jf93u30kwzc1smfqt-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/VancouverReport_finalcopy_June-1.pdf
2. http://council.vancouver.ca/documents/pspc7_000.pdf
3. https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3006832