News / Calgary

Displaced Kensington Manor tenants meet to discuss next move

Renters driven out by structural issues questioning how their eviction was handled

Residents at Kensington Manor had to leave without notice on Nov. 23 due to structural issues. Many now have appointments to get into their old apartments to retrieve their belongings.

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Residents at Kensington Manor had to leave without notice on Nov. 23 due to structural issues. Many now have appointments to get into their old apartments to retrieve their belongings.

Many tenants at Kensington Manor now have dates in which they can remove their belongings, but it hasn’t removed questions from their mind about how their situation is being handled.

Residents of the 120 unit building had only minutes to gather up essentials and leave on Nov. 23 after inspectors found structural issues with the building.

On Sunday night, some of those displaced residents met with Renters Action Movement (RAM), a tenants’ rights advocacy group to discuss their legal rights.

Kate Jacobson, media spokeswoman for RAM, said the tenants they’ve spoken with are mainly young professionals who are now scrambling to find other accommodations.

She said the landlord handed most of them back their damage deposit – in some cases on their way out the door – meaning technically they’re no longer tenants.

Tenants who came to the meeting were reluctant to speak with media.

One tenant who asked not to be named told Metro they have six hours for packing and two hours to move out.

“I’ve got to schedule time off from work to move out - so that’s difficult,” he said.

He said many of the displaced tenants have connected through Facebook, and they are asking questions about how the landlord had damage deposits ready so quickly.

The tenant, who said he had been at this building for over four years, had seen work done to the roof, electrical systems, and the boilers.

“We all know that condos are going to be built there,” he said. “What we want to know is, legally, was it wrong for them to send us out so quickly?”

Jacobson said the tenants have two paths going forward. One is to undertake a class action lawsuit, which RAM can not help with.

The other is to push for better compensation from the landlord through public channels, as well as a review of the Residential Tenancy Act.

“When you get together with other tenants, you can actually address the root causes that cause situations like this to happen,” she said.

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