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

Langley residents and musicians remember Gabby’s Country Cabaret

Nightclub showcased local talent, connected friends, and even hosted a wedding during its 34 years

Fort Langley National Historic Site to reopen with limited services on June 8

No interpreters, group activities, events, or oTENTik stays will be offered until further notice

Surrey RCMP promise enforcement at unofficial show ‘n’ shines

Cars have been impounded at the site in the last two years

UPDATE: Gabby’s Country Cabaret announces ‘heartbreaking’ permanent closure

Owner Steve Gallagher ‘holds out hope’ of a new future for the 35-year-old nightlife hotspot

Summerset organizers aim to appeal restriction to continue with Langley drive-in festival

A recent provincial health decision, no more than 50 vehicles are permitted to gather for B.C. events

B.C. retirement home creates innovative ‘meet-up’ unit for elderly to see family face-to-face

Innovative ‘purpose-built’ unit keeps residents safe when seeing family for first time since COVID-19

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

Thanks for helping the Aldergrove Star to continue its mission to provide trusted local news

Fraser Valley libraries to offer contactless hold pick-ups

FVRL Express — Click, Pick, Go service to be offered at all 25 locations starting June 1

B.C.’s essential grocery, hardware store employees should get pandemic pay: retail group

Only B.C.’s social, health and corrections workers are eligible for top-ups

Edmonton, Vancouver and Toronto vying to be NHL hubs, but there’s a catch

The NHL unveiled a return-to-play plan that would feature 24 teams

B.C. sees 9 new COVID-19 cases, one death as officials watch for new cases amid Phase Two

Number of confirmed active cases is at 244, with 37 people in hospital

Nanaimo senior clocked going 50 km/hr over limit says her SUV shouldn’t be impounded

RCMP say they can’t exercise discretion when it comes to excessive speeding tickets

United Way allocating $6.6M in federal funding to help with food security, youth mental health

Applications from Fraser Valley and Lower Mainland charities being accepted for the emergency funding

Illicit-drug deaths up in B.C. and remain highest in Canada: chief coroner

More than 4,700 people have died of overdoses since B.C. declared a public health emergency in early 2016

Most Read