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Balmoral Hotel and Sahotas face 60 charges for maintenance bylaw infractions

Stephanie Ip

Wendy Pederson in a fire escape stairwell at the Balmoral Hotel in the Downtown Eastside in Vancouver on May 11, 2017. (Arlen Redekop/Postmedia Network)

Wendy Pederson in a fire escape stairwell at the Balmoral Hotel in the Downtown Eastside in Vancouver on May 11, 2017. (Arlen Redekop/Postmedia Network)

A total of 60 charges have been filed against the Balmoral Hotel and the Sahota family for violations of building maintenance bylaws.

In a statement released Thursday, the City of Vancouver said the charges against the dilapidated hotel and its notorious owners related to 18 infractions found during a Jan. 31 inspection and another 42 found during an April 19 inspection.

The charges stem from things such as failure to keep walls, ceilings and floors to an adequate standard and lack of maintenance for bathrooms and toilets.

Kaye Krishna, general manager of development, buildings and licensing for Vancouver maintained the city's commitment to "holding landlords accountable" for single room occupancy buildings, particularly those in the Downtown Eastside.

"It’s critical that we protect this housing stock, which provides much needed affordable housing to some of the city’s most vulnerable residents,” she said.

The Sahota family will be summoned to appear in court. if found guilty, each infraction carries a potential fine of $250 to $10,000.

In mid-June, officials evacuated the hotel's 150 residents after the 105-year-old building was deemed structurally unsound, following years of complaints about the Sahotas' lack of attention to the building, which allowed it to fall into a state of disrepair and filth.

The Balmoral is now undergoing a contractor review ordered by the owners to assess what work is needed to bring the building up to standard.

A July 14 inspection by the city found that the building had been stabilized to the city's standards, though a "significant amount of work" is still needed before the building is habitable.

sip@postmedia.com

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