Indebted DTES Wonder Rooms landlord pleads poverty 0
An ex-landlord who has been ordered to pay more than $18,000 to 10 tenants of one his former properties related to the lack of standards in upkeep of the Wonder Rooms apartment complex. (PHOTO SUBMITTED)
He says he has no money or property and the Volvo he drove to the courthouse is mainly used to perform “tasks” for his ex-wife — but that’s all.
George Wolsey, the target of an angry-tenant manhunt earlier this year, arrived at a Vancouver court Monday to hash out how to pay the $18,163.75 he’s been ordered to give tenants of the Wonder Rooms hotel he used to operate on the city’s Downtown Eastside.
In court, D.J. Larkin, a lawyer for the Pivot Legal Society who was representing 10 tenants, listed off assets and property associated with the ex-landlord Wolsey.
He replied he doesn’t own them and they aren’t in his name. He also testified his rent is paid by friends who appreciate he’s in desperate circumstances.
“Your monthly rent is paid in cash based on gifts from friends?” Larkin asked.
“Yes,” replied Wolsey.
Larkin also produced documents showing Wolsey listed as a director for the Vancouver pub Funky Winkerbean’s on E. Hastings St. He said the information was out of date.
Wolsey owes the tenants money through 10 orders related to the lack of standards in upkeep of the apartment complex after the Residential Tenancy Branch found the residents to be living in squalid conditions.
Following missed court dates civil warrants were issued for his arrest and tenants stapled wanted posters around Vancouver. Wolsey eventually turned himself in.
In a phone call after Monday’s hearing Larkin said she’s now seeking further documents related to other holdings that may belong to Wolsey.
“He doesn’t seem to have anything in his name, regardless of what he has access to,” she said. “(We asked about) his ability to pay in terms of his assets and his businesses and his income and how he pays his bills and expenses and he was unable to provide a great amount of detail on that.”
The hearing has been held over until March 2014.