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 property manager wrote the sentence that caused the stir.

“I think it was a little bit of my team feeling a little bit underappreciated for all the hard work and running around that they 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.

Editor’s note: Following the publication of this article, Bar-Dayan contacted PAN to say he subsequently learned that it was the off-site property manager who wrote the original notice.



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

Some Surrey landlords ‘kicking out’ businesses that can’t make rent

Surrey Board of Trade CEO suspects situation will be worse in May

Catalytic converters stolen from ambulances being repaired in Delta

The thefts were reported on March 31, and police say they have no suspects at this time

MP Tamara Jansen to donate pay raise to Surrey-based charity

Members of Parliament to receive legislated pay raise Wednesday, April 1

COVID-19: Daily update on the pandemic in Surrey, White Rock and beyond

APRIL 1: Surrey businesses ‘freaking out’ about not being able to make rent

Surrey RCMP not seeing ‘significant loss’ in ranks because of COVID-19

Surrey Mounties say they have a good tracking system to keep tabs on police officers experiencing an illness

First Nations, remote communities need special attention in pandemic, Freeland says

Health-care workers, seniors, Indigenous Peoples some of people most at risk, health officials say

B.C. teen donating stem cells for brother’s second fight with cancer

Chilliwack’s Fleming family appealing to the public to look into stem cell donation

High cost, limited coverage for asthma medicine a concern during COVID-19 pandemic

B.C. man says he skips puffs to save money, but others have it worse

B.C. man sick with COVID-19 calls it a ‘horrible disease’

Tim Green says he has ‘extreme coughing fits every hour’ to clear his lungs

Trudeau says Parliament needs to sit to pass expanded COVID-19 benefits

Wage subsidy program has been greatly expanded since it was first approved

UPDATE: Anti-tax group calls for MPs, senators to donate scheduled pay raises to charity

Bill C-30, adopted 15 years ago, mandates the salary and allowance increases each calendar year

Liberals delay release of 75% wage subsidy details, costs: Morneau

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

World COVID-19 update: NATO suspicious of Russian military drills; Cruise ships ordered to stay at sea

Comprehensive update of coronavirus news from around the world for Wednesday, April 1

John Horgan extends B.C.’s state of emergency for COVID-19

Premier urges everyone to follow Dr. Bonnie Henry’s advice

Most Read