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Kelowna  

Evicted over Airbnb

An organization that runs an affordable housing complex in Kelowna is evicting a tenant who listed his home for short-term rental.

The Ki-Low-Na Friendship Society runs i spa-us ki-low-na, an 86-unit affordable housing complex on the Central Green property.

"One of our tenants works at Interior Health, and took our unit, pretended it was his, and has rented it out," said Tina Larouche, program director with the society.

The society says Chris Eytcheson listed his two-bedroom rental on Airbnb.

The listing, which was printed off by the society before it was taken down, shows Eytcheson was asking $50 a night for someone to stay in one bedroom while he was there, and $179 a night for the entire condo unit.

He said he had a roommate for a while who moved out a few months ago. At that point, he said he wanted a roommate on a temporary basis, and turned to Airbnb.

He added he was asked about making the apartment available for longer-term rentals.

"It's something I wrestled with because I did feel at odds about that decision," said Eytcheson.

"But, I decided to make that available to a couple of people, but it was very minimal.'

According to the Airbnb listing, it was rented out fully at least seven times dating back to July, and more than 30 times as a private room, based on Airbnb reviews.

Larouche also claimed Eytcheson made, as a senior systems analyst, much more than the threshold allowed for affordable housing, and never should have been there in the first place.

"I was very angry. We have a 0.2 per cent vacancy rate.

"I told him to get out right away, get out now, this is crazy."

BC Housing income limits for affordable housing obtained by Castanet shows the threshold for a two-bedroom affordable housing unit at $47,000 annually.

Castanet has learned Eytcheson earns below that threshold.

While he's willing to leave, Eytcheson says he's contemplating legal action against the society.

He says they violated his privacy rights by releasing personal information. He is also ready to file a complaint with the RCMP for blackmail and extortion. He says the society told him if he didn't move out in four days, they would take the story to the media.

He says he's already filed a complaint with the Landlord/Tenancy branch because the society entered his apartment without notice.

"I know what I did was questionable," he said, "but, what about the next guy.

"They've gone too far. This is way out of control."



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