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Surrey landlord fined $115,000

Kwantlen Park Manor is located at 12975 106 Ave. - Evan Seal / The Leader
Kwantlen Park Manor is located at 12975 106 Ave.
— image credit: Evan Seal / The Leader

The landlord of a soggy Surrey dwelling has been ordered to pay a $115,000 penalty for failing to plug the leak in the roof of the Whalley complex.

It’s the first time the Residential Tenancy Branch (RTB) has levied such a fine against a landlord in B.C.

Tenants at Kwantlen Park Manor, at 12975 106 Ave., have long complained about the damp conditions in the building.

Gurdyal Singh Sahota and his company Waterford Developments have been ordered several times in the past to fix the leaky roof, but it was never done.

Sahota’s lawyer states that one tenant is the sole source of the complaints about the building and that “any health and safety concerns are unsubstantiated.”

But the RTB poured over 300 pages of evidence in coming to its decision to levy the fine.

The fine against Sahota and his company includes a $5,000 one-time penalty and $500 for each day since the last order to fix the roof.

Sahota is also owner of Pinewood Apartments on Pandora Street, a single-room occupancy hotel in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver which flooded after the roof collapsed.

Similarities between Kwantlen Park Manor and the Pandora property are pointed out in the RTB ruling.

Perhaps most notable is the amount of warning the landlord had that the building was deficient. In both cases, those warnings came from a former caretaker.

“Testimony in (previous hearings) confirms that the landlord was made aware of maintenance issues with the residential property that included the water ingress into the residential rental units from the roof as early as 2005,” the RTB ruling states.

“In November 2009, the landlord was notified that four suites on the second floor of the residential property had leaking ceilings and a resident of one of the landlord’s properties was hired to do the repairs.”

On hearing that, the engineer hired to examine the building said he was not told of the extent of the damage.

The documents indicate the landlord “has a history of consistently not completing maintenance on the residential property or having substandard repairs made on the building.”

Sahota’s representative said the Pandora comparison was completely unrelated, and irrelevant to the case because it happened more than two years ago.

Sahota has until May 15 to pay the fine.

kdiakiw@surreyleader.com

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