Blackwood Apartment Village, located in White Rock. (Aaron Hinks photo)

White Rock man says landlord ‘threatened’ tenants for seeking cash after no heat over Christmas

Porte Realty VP says original notice was harsh and quickly replaced

A resident of a White Rock apartment building says tenants received a “threatening” notice from their landlord after they worked together to request compensation for eight days spent without heat during the Christmas holidays.

However, Porte Realty vice-president Daniel Bar-Dayan told Peace Arch News the building-wide notice was quickly taken down because it was unnecessary and wasn’t approved by head office.

Heat and hot water stopped working at the Blackwood Village Apartments (1550 Blackwood St.) on Dec. 23 or 24. Resident Theo Pella said Monday tenants were in discussion with the Residential Tenancy Branch and believed that they could be compensated for the days they went without heat.

A letter and partially blank form – created by a tenant – outlining how to formally request compensation from Porte Realty began circulating in the building this month.

Shortly afterward, a notice was posted in the building Feb. 19 under the Porte Realty letterhead addressing the compensation form and letter that had been circulating to tenants.

The notice said Porte acted quickly to resolve the heating issue and offered to reimburse residents if they purchased a portable heater. The notice said all requests for additional compensation will be responded to individually.

“In addition, such actions of circulating letters will not be tolerated in our buildings as it is misleading and shakes the foundation of our community has been built on. Porte and the local authorities will be reviewing footage of the individual responsible for handing these letters out earlier this week, which will result in further repercussions,” the Porte notice read.

Pella took a photo of the notice, before it was replaced, and called PAN.

SEE ALSO: Cloverdale senior out $40,000 due to problem tenant

“I couldn’t believe it, to be honest with you. I didn’t believe that (the property manager) would write that. And that they would actually post that,” Pella said. “There’s 63 suites in this building, to threaten everybody and say you don’t have the right to do that. You don’t have the right to question us and we’re going to bring the law into this is just, you know, that’s ridiculous.”

The notice was replaced later that day with a new notice that made no mention of reviewing video or police involvement.

“I’m not going to make excuses, the letter was a little harsh,” Bar-Dayan said.

Bar-Dayan said the building manager wrote the sentence that caused the stir.

“I think it was a little bit of her probably feeling a little bit underappreciated for all the hard work and running around that she did. We don’t condone that, those lines. It was a little bit strong and we said ‘Hey, you know, that should come down,’” Bar-Dayan said.

However, Bar-Dayan did take issue with the compensation form and letter that was circulated in the building among tenants.

“What’s not right is that someone created what seems to be a letter that seems to be coming from the landlord when it did not. That was the purpose of us trying to clarify that it did not,” Bar-Dayan said.

“Someone in the building is being sneaky.”

Bar-Dayan said one of the tenants contacted Porte and indicated that they were under impression that the compensation letter was issued by the landlord.

“Misleading people to think it was actually us. Understanding that… probably isn’t legal but we’re not going to waste our time trying to pursue that. We’re very comfortable with our reaction,” Bar-Dayan said.

SEE ALSO: Rental vacancy rates last year hit lowest since 2002 after third year of decline

Pella showed PAN a copy of the letter and compensation form that was circulated to residents by residents. The letter didn’t explicitly say it was issued by Porte, nor was it under Porte letterhead or signed by a Porte representative.

“I really don’t think there’s a story here… It sounds like this person is maybe involved with creating this fake template that supposedly came from the landlord is maybe the person that’s trying to stir up trouble,” Bar-Dayan said.

Bar-Dayan said it took eight days to repair the heat because the boiler required a part to be air-freighted in, which was a challenge compounded by the fact that it happened during Christmas holidays.

He said he received two letters from tenants expressing gratitude for a job well done.



aaron.hinks@peacearchnews.com

Visit us at peacearchnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

rental marketRentals

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Volunteers with chainsaws remove tree blocking Highway 1

Maple fell across the highway blocking all westbound traffic Monday afternoon

Abbotsford Triathlon Club staying fit in COVID-19 era

ATC members using virtual reality training, social media and solo races to keep in shape

New crosswalk lights could be coming to McDonald Road

Action based on data collected from district in summer

Snowfall warning in effect for Coquihalla Highway

Total accumulations of up to 25 cm can be expected by this evening

B.C. records first at-home death from COVID-19, but 70+ hospital patients have recovered

Total of 970 novel coronavirus cases in B.C., with the majority in the Lower Mainland area

BC Ferries able to restrict travel for sick passengers

Ferries working on schedule shifts to keep workers safe

Pay parking suspended at B.C. hospitals due to COVID-19

Temporary free parking reduces need for keypads, contact

Canada expands 75% wage subsidy to COVID-19 affected businesses of all sizes: Trudeau

Program will provide up to $847 per week for each worker

Helping those at risk, one piece of paper at a time through ‘isolation communication’

Simple paper tool during pandemic making its way across Canada thanks to social media.

‘Back to school, in a virtual way’ for B.C. students in COVID-19 pandemic

Province adds online resources to help parents at home

Canadian COVID-19 round-up: Air Canada cuts 15,000 jobs, 90% of flights

Comprehensive Canadian news update as of 2:30 p.m., Monday, March 30.

Canadian ferry operators call for inclusion in COVID-19 travel restrictions

Domestic travel restrictions should include ferries, operators say

Most Read