Posted March 19, 2014
The first-ever provincial fine levied against a Surrey landlord for failing to conduct repairs has been waived, according to the B.C. ministry responsible for housing.
Questions, however, remain — at least for a former Kwantlen Park Manor tenant who initiated action regarding a lack of maintenance at the 12975 - 106 Ave. complex.
According to the provincial government, landlord Gurdyal Sahota would have had to meet three agreement terms within two years to waive the $115,000 fine administered in March 2012.
The terms included having repair work completed on the property by November 2012, offering “affected tenants” a resettlement package, and providing monthly reports on maintenance work to the Residential Tenancy Branch.
However, the B.C. Ministry of Natural Gas — responsible for housing — said on Tuesday only four tenants received a resettlement package. It said in January 2014 an “independent engineer” certified that repairs had been made.
There was no word on whether monthly reports were provided to the RTB, and reports were not provided at the request of 24 hours.
“Now that the work has been completed, the financial penalty has been waived,” the ministry said.
Susan Collard, a former tenant who’s been embroiled in the maintenance dispute — over issues of leaks, decay and safety conditions — questioned whether the terms were actually met.
She knew of affected tenants in at least half the building’s 31 suites, and she herself did not receive a resettlement package.
Additionally, Collard knew maintenance work was ongoing until at least March 2013.
“They didn’t meet the repair deadline in the agreement,” she said. “All we have to show for it is displaced tenants … how successful was the whole administrative penalty?”
Sahota could not be reached by press time.
The ministry said if a tenant feels they were evicted unfairly, they need to contact the RTB to file an application for dispute resolution.
Article by Michael Mui for 24hrs Vancouver