Posts Tagged ‘Surrey’

Fighting Your Landlord Brings…An Eviction Notice?

Friday, June 22nd, 2012

June 22nd, 2012

Who Received an Eviction Notice?

Sue Collard is chair of the Whalley/City Centre chapter of controversial low-income advocacy group ACORN Canada. Collard was a former building manager at Kwantlen Park Manor and is now a tenant there.

Why is this Newsworthy?

It’s getting media attention because of who the landlord is and the timing of the eviction notice.

Who is the Landlord?

The landlord is Gurdyal Signh Sahota and his company called “Waterford Developments.”

In March, the BC Residential Tenancy Branch gave a $115,000 administrative penalty — the first of this type of penalty — against the owner Gurdyal Singh Sahota and his company Waterford Developments.

The May 15 deadline passed last month, and Sahota hasn’t been paid and the roof hasn’t been fixed.

On May 31, Collard and three other tenants occupying front-facing second-floor suites received letters ordering them to move out by July 31 because the landlord needed to do necessary repairs.

The Landlord has Begun to Do Repairs.  What’s the Issue?

Because Collard is very angry.  She states:

“Despite the number of large headlines that the province is taking action against scofflaw landlords, well, they’re still scoffing.”

Collard continues:

“Despite the number of large headlines that the province is taking action against scofflaw landlords, well, they’re still scoffing.”

Collard also says:

“I am now left wondering about the complete and utter grotesque absurdity of the entire process.”

“They have not paid the fine, not done the work, now they are issuing notices and so far, the only thing the province is doing is ‘negotiating,’” she said.

What Does the “Fine” have to Do with Evicting To Fix Things?

A spokeswoman for the housing ministry said no one at the Residential Tenancy Branch was available to be interviewed.

“The Residential Tenancy Branch is still in discussions with the landlord,” said an emailed statement from the BC ministry. “We can’t comment on the specifics while negotiations are underway.”

Payment of the penalty is “on hold” while an agreement is negotiated, the email said.

What is Collard Doing Now?

Collard is disputing the eviction notice and has a hearing scheduled Thursday.

Isn’t this Kind of Like “Extortion?”  Using the ‘Fine’ to try to Take Control and Avoid Evictions?

Many people agree with you.  Let’s see what happens.


More “Rights” Coming for BC Tenants?

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

May 22, 2012


Fight, Fight, Fight or a Search for Social Justice?

According to a story in the Peacearch News, BC tenants with may soon find it easier to fight their landlords.

The Surrey government has asked the Lower Mainland Local Government Association to lobby the province to amend the British Columbia Residential Tenancy Act.

Amend the BC RTA?

Surry councilor Judy Villeneuve received unanimous council support for a resolution calling for a change in Part 5 of the Residential Tenancy Act.

What is Part 5 of the Residential Tenancy Act about?

Part 5 of the RTA states how tenants can enforce their ‘tenant rights’ against landlords.  Tenants who have issues with their landlords must now go to court and present and prove their case.

So What’s Wrong With That?

According to Villeneuve having to make and defend your case is too difficult and too bureaucratic for tenants.

The Surrey resolution states:  “Tenants who wish to enforce their rights under the RTA must navigate a complex bureaucratic and legal process and be prepared to spend significant amounts of time and money to engage the process.”  It goes on to say “Creating barriers for tenants to access the RTA, especially tenants with low incomes of vulnerabilities.”

Villeneuve goes on to voice her concern that many rental properties in British Columbia were built 25 to 30 years ago.  She says “Tenants are living in untenable situations.”

Wait a Minute.  To Create More Private Rentals You Increase Government Interference in the Market?

Villeneuve and Surrey Council seem to think so.  Which is strange because even the former Ontario NDP government under Premier Bob Rae found out otherwise.  Our friends at the Ontario Landlords Association explain the NDP 1991 rent increase exemption here.

Let’s hope Villeneuve and Surrey Councilors come together and rent out their basements and invest in some private multiplexes to help create more high quality, new rental stock in the province.

Don’t hold your breath.