Metro News: Vancouver seeks legal action against problem landlord

 
An East Hastings landlord is in hot water after letting tenants move in despite numerous safety violations and without the city’s approval.
 
The owners of 3683 East Hastings St. have been renting 60 apartments in the four-storey building since January 2013 even though it never passed safety inspections after it was extensively damaged by a fire in 2002, according to a report by Carli Edwards, the city’s deputy chief building official.
 
The building received a development permit for residential units in 2005, but the city was under the impression the building was vacant until tenants complained about shoddy electrical connections and leaky plumbing in May.
 
The building did not meet life safety requirements, as it did not have a working fire alarm system, sufficient fire exiting or sprinklers.
 
While the owners quickly fixed those issues so the city didn’t have to vacate the building, they still haven’t met standards required for occupancy permits and a business licence for the ground floor fitness centre.
 
The city wants a B.C. Supreme Court injunction to force the owners to comply with rules they’re ignoring, including building, fire, zoning and development, licence and electrical bylaws.
 
The city has also taken the owners to Provincial Court for the permit and licensing violations.
 
“It is our hope that these charges will result in significant fines for the owners of the building and instill an understanding of the seriousness of their actions,” according to the report.
 
Furious tenants staged a protest in August to draw attention to building’s conditions. One tenant, who paid $950 per month for a one bedroom, said puddles of water formed around dripping hallway pipes.
 
Council will decide whether to approve the recommended legal action next week.
 
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Article by Emily Jackson for Metro News Vancouver