New provincial fines for delinquent landlords are great, says Vancouver Coun. Kerry Jang, but for best results charge them criminally.
Jang was pleased with a $115,000 fine imposed Tuesday on notorious landlord Gurdyal Singh Sahota, a slumlord millionaire who has been the target over the years of a number of Vancouver city crackdowns.
Sahota, who owns tens of millions of dollars worth of properties, was singled out for the first administrative penalty handed out by the provincial Residential Tenancy Branch.
“From our perspective, it’s about time,” said Jang. “I’m glad to see that the Residential Tenancy Branch is stepping forward. But we used to just impose a fine – that didn’t work.”
Jang said the city has found it’s most persuasive to get a court order enforcing the city’s standards of maintenance bylaw.
“If they fail to comply, it’s essentially contempt of court,” said Jang. “It’s a criminal offence – it’s not just a fine.