Friday, October 30, 2009

Landlord negligence will be awarded with big bills from the District of Maple Ridge

As time progresses property owners in the District of Maple Ridge will feel the bite of SCAN when it becomes law.

Radio Haney

An update on what is going on with SCAN legislation is over due so all of the information regarding SCAN and the process of getting it passed into legislation will be sent out early next week.
This delay though will allow an opportunity to see what the city accomplishes on November 1st. According to Brock McDonald, director of bylaws for Maple Ridge, the city will have the Athwal suites numbered 13,14,16,17,18 vacated so that they (the city) can begin their assessment for the cost of the repairs.
It appears that Athwal units 10,13,14, and 16 have been vacated, though one would not be incorrect in questioning that because it was 16 that had the fire within the last few weeks. This leaves Athwal units 5,6,7,8 still in operation and if the city honours its written word they will be vacated by December 1 so the city can begin repairs on those suites.
The reasoning out of the city as to why the closures were staggered the way they were is they claim that this is the order in which the repairs will begin. Brock McDonald has said that all the Athwal units, as well as Athwal himself, and the current court appointed administrator have been served with the documentation that the units will be shut down and not re-opened until the remedial repairs have been completed.  It is odd though if some suites are going to be worked on before others does that mean the city will tenure the repairs individually?
There is no word regarding the issue as to whether the city repairs these suites and cannot collect the money used in the repairs will they put a lien on the property and attempt to take possession of it themselves or have it sold at auction and collect whatever they can from the transaction?  If it is the later and the city puts a lien on the strata corporation to collect their money from Athwal this will certainly fly in the face of their prior inaction based on the often made claim that action could not be taken because of the adverse affect on the other owners. Putting a lien on the entire strata corporation to collect our tax dollars back would certainly have an adverse affect on the other owners, as will a protracted legal battle over collection the money from the repairs.  This all leads to another question which would be whether or not the city is planning on becoming a landlord to residential tenants?  Seeing how this is something that will play out over the next few years the community will have to wait on the periphery of the discussion even though we are in the middle of this mess.
At this point the discussion as to whether the city should be undertaking these repairs and then attempting to recoup this investment, by investment read our tax dollars, seems to be irrelevant. All signs point towards the city undertaking the repairs regardless of the damage to the suites or the potential problems in collecting the money back.
So once again those directly in and around Northumberland Court are going to be left in the waiting room to see what happens next. In some ways there has been progress, but at what cost in the short and long term still remain to be seen. Given the recent issues with fire and violence it is safe to say that though this issue may be winding down it is still far from over. Worst of all, nothing to date has come out of this to ensure that the same situation does not happen again at Northumberland Court, or anywhere else in Maple Ridge.
The next update will be early in the first week of November, and if there is any news as to what, if anything, is happening regarding the business license suspension.
Where things are at can best be described by the cliche two steps forward, one step back.  In this case though one and half steps back seems a bit more applicable.

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