Vancouver: A soulless city of heartless lords and hapless serfs

By Joyce Yip

The name Anoop Majithia drives fear into the hearts of renters who live in his real estate fiefdom in Vancouver. Soon after taking possession of the apartment block at 1168 Pendrell St in 2014, Majithia’s company Plan A Real Estate Services Ltd. tried to raise rents by 30% and jacked up the price of a load of laundry from $3.25 to $13.50.[1]

Following that, Majithia’s company tried to evict all the tenants and turn it into an “AirBNB Hotel”.

Then, in early in 2016, Plan A tried to increase the rents by 40%.[2]

Later in the year, the real estate company tried to evict a 69-year-old pensioner Ron Sigurdson citing “safety concerns”, only to list the unit at a much higher rent.[3]

British Columbia’s Residential Tenancy Branch has thwarted Plan A’s attempts to illegally evict tenants and unlawfully raise rents dozens of times, but Majithia seems to be waging a war of attrition, perhaps hoping that eventually, the renters will become weary and give up.

But, who could blame Majithia?

It’s just free market driven neofeudalism.

The story of Majithia and the tenants of Plan A Real Estate Services is the story of Vancouver: a soulless city of heartless lords and hapless serfs.

The king in this neofeudalistic setup, Mayor Gregor Robertson, pays much lip service to making life better for the serfs, but his party Vision Vancouver is bankrolled by, and therefore beholden to, the real estate industry.[4]

The provincial government under Premier Christy Clark, a big lover of big donations that came from the real estate industry, slashed funding to the Residential Tenancy Branch, making it easier for slumlords to get away with skullduggery.[5]

People are moving further and further away from the city and wasting hours of their lives commuting everyday as rents in the city become unaffordable.

Those who are in fortunate enough to have found housing Vancouver live precariously under the damocles sword of “renoviction”, the semi-legal process by which landlords empty entire rental buildings in the name of “renovation” and then rent out the units at much higher rates.

Landlords, including Majithia, stand accused of evicting tenants to and turning rental buildings into AirBNB hotels.

The Green-backed NDP government led by Premier John Horgan came to power on a platform that included specific pledges to ease the burden on Vancouver’s beleaguered tenants.[6]

While the annual rental rebate of $400 will hardly make housing more affordable, the closing of the “fixed-term” loophole that enables landlords to increase rents bypassing the rental control caps is expected to provide some relief.[7]

But unless all levels of government come together and recognize housing as human necessity and not a commodity, Vancouver’s gradual decay into a desolate wasteland of empty homes and homeless will be inevitable.

References   [ + ]

34 Responses to Vancouver: A soulless city of heartless lords and hapless serfs

  1. Anonymous says:

    Vancouver is a truly depressing place. My friend who works in admin makes a smidgen over minimum wage, so, about $2,000 a month. He pays $1,000 a month for a single room in the fire trap of a mouldy basement they live in. The four bedroom house upstairs has been empty for the last five years because the landlord lives in China. And because the landlord lives in China, there’s no one to talk to about repairs.

    • Smart says:

      >Vancouver is a truly depressing place. My friend who works in admin makes a smidgen over minimum wage, so, about $2,000 a month. He pays $1,000 a month for a single room in the fire trap of a mouldy basement they live in. The four bedroom house upstairs has been empty for the last five years because the landlord lives in China. And because the landlord lives in China, there’s no one to talk to about repairs.

      Easy solution, move upstairs.

      • Paula Brink says:

        Totally agree with Smart. Move upstairs. I think it’s time people just started squatting in these unused homes.

      • bianca fox says:

        exactly fight fire with fire if he lives in china just keep paying your rent and move on up shit im sick of them taking advantage of renters like really you aint doing anything illegal you paying your rent just movein on up just like the jeffersons

    • Paul Graham says:

      The place is a joke! Unless you have money your screwed! The gov’t call AB.
      dirty environmentalists, but they dump their raw sewage into the ocean? I was recently out there visiting the island, nothing like Vancouver, and couldn’t believe that they actually destroyed a lake because they dumped sewage into it? Really, these so called greens are nothing but a bunch of lying scumbags who would have you believe they are protecting the environment? What a joke! The traffic is terrible because they don’t really build any roads, so you spend time stuck in traffic on the mainland, the place is extremely expensive, and downtown is extremely dirty, people in garbage cans, looking for food? Like I said the place is a total joke, the mayor is another real piece of work, and all I can say about Horgan and Weaver, good luck with these two clowns, they will eventually bankrupt the whole province and chase jobs out of B.C. Oh, by the way, forget about coming to AB. to work, like in the past, no jobs here, the NDP have chased away most of the investment, nobody invests when these idiots are running the place!!

  2. jd says:

    Anoop is a BC Realtor and would love to take your call.
    Anoop Majithia

    #240 – 997 Seymour Street
    Vancouver, British Columbia V6B3M1
    Phone Number604-683-5548
    Fax: 604-648-9205

  3. Mike says:

    This city is getting so out of control I’ve put my property and I’m getting the hell out of here. When things like luxury real estate tours to buy luxury real estate starts popping up you now you’re in wtf

  4. Conrad says:

    expropriate the bourgeoisie

  5. Herp Derp says:

    Were I his tenants, I’d be suing him for every single penny he has, and then requesting the government tear up his citizenship papers and deporting him back to whatever Middle Eastern hole he came from. Scum like him have no place in Canada.

  6. Dark Knight says:

    I currently rent from Anoop and I can personally tell you he is a crook. Its insulting He claims Financial hardship as the reasoning for his renovictions. He creates stress and grief on the senior citizens of our city to be able to turn a higher profit. His mother is probably ashamed of him.

  7. Pete Pringle says:

    It’s going to be interesting when Vancouver becomes a great big ghost town.

  8. Kevin says:

    This sort of situation exists in the UK as well. I think it’s probably a world-wide thing with investors buying up property in countries that they don’t actually live in. Making it impossible for many people to have any sort of a future as they often can’t afford to buy property in their own area.

  9. Jacqueline Elliott says:

    As a recent visitor to Vancover I was astonished and disappointed in the, what appears, lack of support by local authorities to keep the place clean. The amount of cigarette buts everywhere, unwashed windows, scruffy paint work on buildings, weeds, plants unwatered and unattended, garbage spilling over and so much more. I am still shocked at the state of this world famous and promoted city being soooo untended. The local authorities responsible for the upkeep need to travel and looks at standards. Very, very sad. Please don’t blame the homeless it’s the local authorities who need taking to task.

    • Donna C Olson says:

      I live in Vancouver. I believe garbage on the streets reflects the disdain and hopelessness of those making less than $100K/year (i.e., the poor). We are, however, on water restriction due to lack of rain so less window washing, street washing, plant watering, showers, etc. Scruffy paintwork? When you’re working just to pay the rent or exorbitant taxes, you are not likely to spend your food money on paint. One of the problems is that very few units of social housing have be created over the last 20 years. Another is the incredibly high rate of taxation in this city. For example, on the west side, a normal (not fancy) 3 bedroom home will be charged $700/month taxes. Add the very high rates for repairs and you have driven the middle class out. Is it cheaper to live in the outskirts and commute? Not sure. You have to go really far out to get an affordable condo or house but the cost of transportation is high. Drive and you pay for gas (not cheap), possibly bridge tolls, vehicle upkeep, high cost auto insurance (it’s a monopoly), and parking which runs from $80 to $120 per month. If you take public transit, you’ll pay $170 per month for a 3 zone pass plus however much you pay to get to the Vancouver public transit system. I am soon retiring and plan to leave the province.

  10. Christine says:

    This is an interesting article. I lived in Vancouver for 7 years. I loved that city but cannot afford to go back there to live anymore. What is happening is really sad.

    I would like to answer to this comment that is found in the article : “But, who could blame Majithia?” He is the one who made the decision. Lets keep that in mind. We are all responsible for the decisions we make. Even if the law is as it is, we still have a choice.

  11. Anonymous says:

    It’s also sad that so many people complain really only because they can’t afford it. Honestly real estate prices have gone up so much and property taxes have gone up just as much. As a home owner or investor one just can’t afford to rent out real estate at prices people “think” are reasonable. Owners have to pay strata fees, upkeep, property managers etc as well. $2k asking rent isn’t crazy when a condo costs $800k to purchase.

    • Kathryn Ross says:

      Oh come on did you let the comments sink in at all.What you are using as a defense ie property prices and taxes are a result of an inflated market not natural evolution.It was all a big game ie realtors traveling to other countries selling property and businesses to foreigners at inflated prices and then when that market was established the locals had to bear the skyrocketing prices that were established.

  12. tedo says:

    Vancouver has a deplorable greedbag culture, what a shallow repulsive place to live. horrible toxic energy in vancouver, a city of pure hate.

  13. ooga booga says:

    Can’t blame the landlord! When in Rome do as the Romans do!

  14. Noop Noop says:

    there is no way anyone who ‘earns a normal wage’ canard to live in this town at anything other than poverty levels. rents are absolutely insane – beyond reasoning – and constantly getting higher and higher without any end in sight. Three years ago my $1600/month apartment was a crazy amount to pay for rent – now I have one of the best deals in town and can’t find a cheaper place unless I move into a single room with a shared bathroom , a mouldy basement or out to Surrey. Everyone is looking for somewhere else to live .. the future of this city is looking for the door and nobody in the government gives a damn – all that matters in this city is money .. it’s the greediest place on earth. The only thing that makes Vancouver attractive is the natural beauty – but soon the unnatural hideousness of the greedy business/government class and lack of community is going to make this into an even more shallow heartless ghost land. yay Vancouver !!!

  15. Unrepented Love says:

    In our building, the company that owns it never fails to raise the rent to the maximum they can year after year. Despite this, the elevator is perpetually not working, the laundry machines are often down, etc. All the extra rent that gets collected doesn’t seem to go towards upkeep, which makes it all the more frustrating that it is clearly just going into a pocket. This used to be an achievable rent but on the high side. Now it’s unreasonable and we’ll have to move, again. I like living in the city but we have to move to the sticks or we’ll go broke.

  16. Ray Sjolund says:

    Good thing that I moved away from there! Vancouver still has too much control of rest of the Province. It’s about time that we focus on decentralizing more of our services. We can no longer afford to feed the lower mainland and the south coast to the detriment of services to the northern communities

  17. MG Masterson says:

    Sweet!…great share!!

  18. Oingo says:

    Those who voted for liberals that rolled out the red carpet and the cash for the third world to devolve Canada into the shiteholes that these people came from should not happy to get what they asked for.

  19. Inside view standing back says:

    I live in Vancouver and observed a blanket of blame around the word greed but far too many don’t see the misuse of political power and their greed In the game. Question, how did Vancouver pass the selling of the last gas station in the city to a developer? Where is the responsibility to the people? Time to make a change, not in parties but in the system. Less government and more accountability… just say’n

    • Bittah says:

      When there such a thing as (corporate and private) contributions to election campaigns, that will always happen. As with the USA, money will (come to) control each level of government and more self-serving decisions will prevail. Take the financial gain out of politics and the tide may turn to serve the community.

  20. Critical Thinking says:

    He is married to an Oncologist Dr Sharlene Gill. How does she justify this given her mandate to care for people? She benefits from his unethical behaviour.

  21. erick says:

    this guy is the cancer of Vancouver one of the best cities in the world, ive been everywhere in the world and this i guy is the single most hated guy i know and with good reason, i dont know why he is free qwhen he should be in jail, but why do we moan about him instead of sue him all at once, this behavior should not be condoned and i just heard him calling a bitch to a customer as i, when did this became acceptable?

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