News

Tenants pursue winter power costs

Tenants of Villa Vista apartment felt they were forced to go public with their complaints about a lack of heat in their building during a cold snap in January.

They contacted politicians and the media when heating issues that had stretched back for weeks were aggravated by sub-zero temperatures in January. The heat in the building had been off since Dec. 10, and some units said their heating issues stretched back farther than that.

The management of the building, Mainstreet Equity, had the boiler fixed in a matter of days. The company said at the time that they had supplied the tenants with electric heaters, and they would be reimbursed for additional power costs kept keeping their units warm.

Now, tenants have complained to their MLA, John van Dongen, that the company has still not reimbursed them for the energy costs seven months later.

Richard and Pat Beaulieu said their Hydro bill was $27 higher over the period, after using an electric fireplace as the primary heat source to keepir the apartment live-able. Richard told the News the Mainstreet’s position is that he will not be reimbursed until all the tenants submit their claims. He has submitted his paperwork, but said other tenants have moved away, been evicted, or can’t be bothered.

“Way too much time has gone by,” said Beaulieu, a resident of the building for 17 years. “If I’m one day late with my rent, they ding me $50.”

Van Dongen said Mainstreet’s position makes no sense. He wrote to the company on behalf of the tenants over what he termed “a broken promise to reimburse tenants for additional electricity costs incurred throughout an extended failure by the landlord to provide heat in the building.

He said the amount of money is not as important as the principle that renters must be dealt with fairly.

“This approach to tenants is not acceptable,” he said.

Tracy Alano, the regional manager for Mainstreet, said the company sought to have all the tenants bring their bills forward, so they could determine an average power increase. She said that has not happened.

“I will follow up with my resident manager,” said Alano.

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

Surgical waits average five months in B.C.
 
NDP demands audit of Multi-Material BC
 
Mayhew sentenced to more jail time
MCC Centre opens on Gladys Avenue
 
Robbed Good Samaritan gets her gear replaced by Langley store
 
Fraser Health gets new president
Signs of life at stalled Cloverdale mall redevelopment project
 
Fire at Surrey home claims cat
 
Call to end government clawbacks

Community Events, November 2014

Add an Event


Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Nov 26 edition online now. Browse the archives.