An illegal lack of stairs and a do not occupy notice on a property on Government Street were shared with council on Tuesday, Sept. 6. (City of Penticton)

An illegal lack of stairs and a do not occupy notice on a property on Government Street were shared with council on Tuesday, Sept. 6. (City of Penticton)

Illegal renters refusing to leave causing headache for Penticton landowner

The property owner wants to demolish the building and replace it with an apartment

A difficult renter landed one Penticton landlord in front of city council on Tuesday, Sept. 6.

The owners of 1042 Government Street appeared before mayor and council to unsuccessfully plead for more time before the city put a notice on title for the property.

According to city staff, among the issues at the property were an occupied illegal secondary basement suite and a missing set of stairs where “someone could open a door and fall straight down.”

Although originally stated that they didn’t know the people they had rented the upstairs too would bring in additional renters, when asked whether there was a rental agreement in place, the owners admitted to making one after the basement was occupied.

A former employee of theirs allegedly reported the property for being the site of an illegal grow-up, which wasn’t the case, but revealing to the city the illegal secondary suite and its renters.

According to the owners, they had been working on trying to boot out the renters since January in order to finish the work needed to make the building properly habitable.

In August, they instead filed a development permit for a five-storey apartment building on the property with plans to outright demolish the existing building instead of trying to make repairs.

However, the renters have refused to leave.

“We told them ‘We made a mistake, why don’t we move you to a different place,’” the owner told council. “I don’t know why they like that place but they want to live there.”

Despite filing with the Residential Tenancy Board in July, the owners said the adjudication process is expected to take six months. They asked for time and assistance from the city in trying to oust the renters, however council was unswayed and voted unanimously to place the notice on title for the property.

That will cost $500 to remove even after the renters are out and the building brought back into compliance with the city’s regulations.

READ ALSO:Five-storey affordable housing coming to downtown Penticton

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