BC ACORN

#2 - 630B Carnarvon St., New Westminster BC V3M 1E5

***Please enter through the BACK entrance - off Mackenzie St.***

Phone: 604-522-8706

bcacorn@acorncanada.org

______________________________

The Province: Sahota landlords fix up New Westminster apartments prior to media tour

John Dykema takes part in a rally in New Westminster on April 26, 2012. Residents are upset with the condition of their building, which owned and run by Sahota-family-owned Waterfront Developments. Problems were fixed in the building the night before a scheduled media tour   Repairs come hours before media tour of probems

In a surprising move, renters at a New Westminster apartment block owned by the Sahota clan got quick and timely repairs.

The ink was barely dry on a press release announcing a Thursday rally and tour of the run-down Waterfront Developments property on Cameron Street when workers descended and fixed the most obvious of the building’s shortcomings.

“They were working here until midnight patching holes in the walls, dabbing paint around, and returning our water,” said renter John Dykema, who joined other ACORN members with a rousing call and response — “Who are we? ACORN! What do we want? Healthy homes! When do we want them? Now!”

The Record: New Westminster tenants protest living conditions

Tenants of a rental building in New Westminster are rallying against appalling living conditions.

ACORN Canada organized a rally at 1210 Cameron St. on Thursday to highlight tenants' living conditions, which include mold, mice and a foul stench caused by a sewage leak.

"My cat has caught some mice - about three or four," said tenant Mary Cappell. "It's very stressful."

According to ACORN Canada, the apartment's owner was recently fined $115,000 under the Residential Tenancy Act for failing to fix leaks at a Surrey building.

B.C.’s worst landlord leaves New Westminster tenants without running water

Tenants at 1210 Cameron st. in New Westminster held a rally today to protest poor building maintenance by a notorious slum landlord who was fined only last month for poor maintenance of another building.

For over a week tenants have been without running water, had to deal with rampant mold, mice, and have suffered through a foul sewage leak.  

Despite the historic reprimand and $115,000 fine levied by the Residential Tenancy Office a month ago, the Sahota family remains unwilling to bring their properties up to the legal code.  

“These guys (the Sahotas) are a joke; the guy they hired to fix the water is a carpenter!” – Tenant Dan Watson

Surrey Now: First to be fined, landlord must pay $115k

A Surrey landlord has been fined $115,000 under the Residential Tenancy Act for failing to repair rental property at Whalley's 31-unit Kwantlen Park Manor apartment building, despite repeated orders from the Residential Tenancy Branch to do so.

Gurdyal Singh Sahota and his company, Waterford Developments, has until May 15 to pay the fine.

It's the first-ever administrative penalty to be levied under the act.

Besides a flat fine of $5,000, the landlord was also fined $500 each day for each of the 220 days he failed to comply with the branch's order to repair tenant Sue Collard's leaky ceiling and do other repairs to the building.

Collard used to be a manager at Kwantlen Park Manor, where she has lived for the past seven years in a second-storey suite. She's also the chairwoman of Surrey City Centre's chapter of ACORN, a group that fights for tenants' rights. 

"Sue's case started when she was pushing her landlord to make repairs, he got fed up with it and tried to evict her," said lawyer Scott Bernstein, of Pivot Legal Society.

Bernstein called the fine a "landmark decision" and a "good step forward." 

The Province: Vancouver city councillor wants slumlords to face criminal charges as well as fines

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. 

The Province: Surrey landlord slapped with $115,000 penalty

Rotting walls, a collapsed ceiling and decayed deck railings at a Surrey residential building have earned a notorious B.C. land-lord the first administrative penalty under the Residential Tenancy Act.

Gurdyal Singh Sahota and his company, Waterford Developments, have been handed a $115,000 penalty for deliberately failing to abide by a May 2011 agreement to address a chronically unattended leaking roof that affected up to six units at Kwantlen Park Manor in North Surrey.

The penalty includes a maximum one-time fine of $5,000, plus $500 for each of the 220 days of non-compliance since a June 2011 deadline.

Sue Collard, a one-time building manager at Kwantlen Park, still lives in the dilapidated three-storey building and said Tuesday's penalty "was warranted." 

CTV: Landlord Sahota fined $115K for failing to fix roof

A high-profile B.C. landlord has been handed a $115,000 penalty for refusing to fix the leaky roof on a Surrey apartment complex, despite numerous orders to do so.

According to the provincial government, the punishment handed to Gurdyal Singh Sahota and his company Waterford Developments is the first ever administrative penalty given out by the Residential Tenancy Branch.

Tenants at Kwantlen Park Manor in North Surrey have complained about moisture and mould in their suites for years and the RTB has issued several orders for Sahota to fix the roof, but to no avail.

Sahota's fine for failing to do so includes a $5,000 one-time penalty plus $500 for each of the 220 days that the roof was left unrepaired since the latest order. The RTB has had the legal right to fine irresponsible landlords a maximum of $5,000 per day since 2008.

Official complaints about the building came from resident Sue Collard, who told ctvbc.ca that the penalty is a testament to the hard work of housing advocates in Surrey.

Free Tax Prep Program Ensures Hard Earned Money Returned to Communities

ACORN Canada's office in New Westminster has become a hub of action for the 6th year in a row as we kick off our full time Free Income Tax Preparation Clinic.  

It's a packed house on a daily basis, which has helped us to complete over 500 returns in February alone!  In partnership with Van City Credit Union, ACORN Canada has volunteers waiting to do simple tax returns and help people save and redeem their hard earned money and credits.  

Since 2007 ACORN Canada has filed over 6000 returns for people in New Westminster, Surrey, Burnaby and beyond out of our office in New Westminster. That’s over $7 Million in tax returns, credits and benefits going back to communities where our members live, and over half a million dollars in direct tax prep cost savings, avoiding the high interest costs associated with corporate tax preparers. 

Pages