New Team to Focus on Troublesome Properties
New team focuses on troublesome properties
A new collaboration between police and government agencies is cracking down on properties where unsafe living conditions or suspected criminal activity have attracted neighbours’ attention.
The Property Standards Compliance Team (PSCT) is a new initiative started in June that brings together RCMP, City of Kelowna staff, Kelowna Fire Department and other agencies as needed to attend potentially unsafe or illegal properties.
The goal of the team is to act on repeated complaints from neighbours about properties. It combines enforcement of criminal activities with RCMP when necessary, in partnership with City Bylaw and building inspection staff.
“We receive calls from concerned neighbours throughout the year, as do the RCMP, about properties that are causing repeated disturbances to the neighbourhood,” said David Gazley, Bylaw Services Manager. ”This approach puts the onus on the property owner to address the concerns, rather than focusing on the tenants who might be the source of complaints. The fines and orders from the team motivate the property owner to take action.”
In a recent case, Bylaw Services issued tickets totaling more than $2,500 to a property owner. More specifically, the Bylaw officer attended with the RCMP and City Building Inspectors and issued the following six tickets to the property owner:
- more than five occupants not related
- illegally occupied bedroom in the furnace room
- illegal occupied utility trailer
- illegally occupied shed
- illegal room in the carriage home attic
- Building without a permit in the attic
RCMP attend to investigate possible criminal activity, while other government agencies might also attend to assess public health and safety issues.
“We have always collaborated with RCMP and others on property complaints, but this team takes a more coordinated and proactive approach to establish priorities and to bring the right people into the residence to assess illegal and unsafe conditions,” said Gazley.