Dow Avenue Tenant Group Letter sent to Matchpoint & Peterson Commercial
Matchpoint Development Ltd.
101- 6386 East Blvd
Peterson Commercial Property Management
1701-1166 Alberni Street,
March 17th, 2021
To the attention of Matchpoint Development & Peterson Commercial Property Management,
Object: Demand to follow BC tenancy laws and request for repairs
We are tenants at 6659/6661 Dow Avenue. We are writing you to make the following requests:
First to remind you of your obligation to make the emergency and necessary repairs to our suites living accommodation, in accordance to section 27(1)(a) of the Residential Tenancy Act. Since February parts of the ceiling of the building have collapsed, making our suites unlivable and exposing us to black mold. Since March 2, 2021, when Incredible Restoration began repairs, you have shown a disregard for tenants’ health, leaving exposed black mold in common areas and not informing tenants of the dangers posed by mold and asbestos.This has required us to enlist the assistance of Residential Tenancy Board Compliance to ensure the repairs are done properly and in a timely manner.
On March 16, 2021, WorkSafe BC was called to investigate an unsafe worksite in our storage area that exposed tenants to excessive amounts of mould that was not contained properly. Tenants have asked for a mould toxicity report numerous times but are told that you do have the results. We know from your notice posted March 5, that a mould toxicity test was taken on that day. It is imperative for us to know whether the air we have been breathing, and continue to breathe is safe. Since we have not received any test results, despite repeated requests, we will bring an independent certified mould inspector onsite this week. We reserve the right to reimbursement under the Residential Tenancy Act for the cost of the test, if the results show that levels of mould in the environment is unsafe for tenants. Mould has damaged tenants’ belongings that were stored in damage. On March 12, at the landlord’s request, we had to empty our storage and now those items are taking up room in our living space. Other tenants in 6661, whose storage lockers have yet to be repaired, have sustained water damage to their items in storage.
We demand that Matchpoint pay for storage costs or provide additional storage space for tenants’ belongings that were moved due to water damage and mould sustained in their storage lockers. Storage or payment for storage shall be provided to tenants until the storage area is in good repair and free of mould.
In November/December 2020, tenants began complaining about leaks in the ceiling of their suites. It was determined that the roof of 6659 was seriously damaged and leaking in multiple places. Because proper repairs were not undertaken,the ceiling collapsed on February 10, 2021. We have been living with a leaky roof, holes and cracks in our ceilings, and exposure to black mould over the last 4 months, with no definitive end in sight for the ongoing repairs. Therefore, we demand a reimbursement for rent paid for the months of January, February, and March, and any further months to be determined in future as the timeline and scope of repairs becomes clearer.
We are relieved that repairs have begun but demand you go about it in a way that does not put us at further risk. Our third demand is that, if we are required to move during repairs, you provide us with paid temporary accommodation in the neighbourhood (not in a hotel in downtown Vancouver), preferably in the Burnaby South/Metrotown area, until repairs are done and we can move back into our suites.
During this time, we should not be required to pay rent for the month of March and nor for utilities (electricity, internet, and cable) that we do not have access to. Furthermore, tenants shall receive a per diem food/travel allowance for each day we are not able to live in and use the amenities of our suites. That per diem amount shall be $40.00 per family and $25.00 per couple. If a bus pass or parking spot is required, then that shall be provided for as well. Finally, before agreeing to temporarily relocate for repairs, we require, in writing, assurances that we will be allowed to return to our suites, once the repairs are completed, and the suites have been sanitized and mould-free, and a reasonable timeline for our re-entry has been provided.
In the event that repairs in the building are no longer being carried out or are unable to be carried out due to the deterioration of the roof/ceiling or any other reason such as issues with structural safety, we respectfully ask that you follow Burnaby Tenants Assistance Policy, which requires developers to provide tenants who have been displaced due to development alternative housing at the same rent, and the right to return once construction is done. We are asking that you, as a developer currently applying for rezoning, to honour the spirit of this policy by doing the same for us in this instance.
Lastly, we demand stronger and clearer communication from both the management company and the developer about the extent of the repairs, the risks to tenants, possible relocation options and when we will be able to return to a safe, healthy home once again.
For your information, according to section 32(1) of the Residential Tenancy Act (RTA), rental properties must comply with health, safety, and housing standards required by law. It states:
(1) A landlord must provide and maintain residential property in a state of decoration and repair that (a) complies with the health, safety and housing standards required by law, and (b) having regard to the age, character and location of location of the rental unit, makes it suitable for occupation by a tenant.
If these issues are not resolved by then, we will use our rights to apply for dispute resolution through the Residential Tenancy Branch to ask for a repair order and monetary compensation as well as calling on the City of Burnaby to delay your rezoning application until this issue is addressed. We expect a reply by the end of the business day on Monday, March 22nd. Please email your response to firstname.lastname@example.org and cc email@example.com.
Dow Avenue Tenants Group, an affiliate of the Eviction Defence Network