Landlords who operate run-down hotels in the Downtown Eastside may soon be legally compelled to bring their buildings up to code or be fined.
City council is expected to vote on a motion this afternoon recommending using legal injunctions to clean up three slum buildings — including the Balmoral hotel, which is owned by the Sahota family.
“Our inspectors have been in many times and have issued many orders and we have not had compliance,” said Coun. Tim Stevenson.
“(With an injunction), if they decide not to get the work done as ordered, then they’re in contempt of court and could be fined.”
Stevenson said it’s not a matter of aesthetic upgrades, but that the buildings are unsafe and pose health risks.
“The Balmoral is a matter of the elevator not working and has not been working for some time,” he said.
“We’ve had other buildings where the balconies were just falling off … A lot of them have rats and bed bugs.”
He said the three buildings are some of the most run down in the city.
“This is very significant because it’s never been done before,” Stevenson said. “My hope is landlords will understand that we really mean business and … others will come into compliance.”