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'Renters need to wake up' says blogger fighting 'rennovictions'

Renters are using the upcoming provincial election to fight back against jacked-up rates and renovation-happy landlords.

Christine Ackerman, of, said so-called "renovictions" - where landlords evict residents to conduct minor renovations and then raise rents - have reached crisis levels.

"Entire populations are being displaced," Ackerman told 24 hours. "It's a crisis in the province. Renters need to wake up and see that this is happening everywhere. For every resident you hear about being evicted for renovations, there are hundreds that don't say anything."

She believes that if renters - who make up 30 per cent of B.C. households - vote en masse in May's provincial election, more pressure will be put on the government to close loopholes in the Residential Tenancy Act.

The B.C. NDP have taken up the cause.

If elected, they vow to adopt tenancy rules used in Ontario that allow residents to move back into renovated suites at their previous rent.

"We need to stop letting landlords think it's OK to evict residents and let them come back for double the rent," said Vancouver-Point Grey candidate Mel Lehan. "Renters are being treated like second-class citizens."

Matt Kieltyka reports for Vancouver's 24 hours.

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