Heat back on at Abbotsford apartment building

Some tenants were without heat for several weeks, but the heating issue was fixed after MLA John van Dongen got involved.

Shirley David is among the tenants of Villa Vista apartments in Abbotsford who were without heat for several weeks and used portable heaters to keep warm.

Shirley David is among the tenants of Villa Vista apartments in Abbotsford who were without heat for several weeks and used portable heaters to keep warm.

After some five weeks of cold, the heat is back on at Vista Villa apartments in Abbotsford.

Last Tuesday, The News published an article about how Pat Beaulieu was organizing a petition of fellow residents in the Robertson Avenue building to try to put the heat on property management company Mainstreet Equity Corp to repair the building’s ailing boiler.

Abbotsford South MLA John van Dongen was helping the residents deal with the province’s Residential Tenancy Branch, and contacted Mainstreet management on behalf of the residents.

However, by last Wednesday night, Beaulieu was informed the heat in her suite should be back on.

“I’m sitting here, warm,” said a delighted Beaulieu, her happy sentiment echoed throughout the building.

“The ones I’ve checked with do have heat.”

She said the residents will still continue with the complaint process they have started with the Residential Tenancy Branch, because heat is supposed to be included in their rent. She feels they should be entitled to reimbursement.

Beaulieu said one resident has emails showing she started complaining about having heat off in her suite as far back as September.

She said it came back on just in time to counter the last week’s more extreme winter conditions, but the building was chilly.

“Even with my (portable) heater on, I was down to 61 degrees (16 C) here on (last) Tuesday night.”

Other residents, who were using their ovens for heat, would have been even colder.