District to contemplate New West-type bylaws

Councillor to propose changes aimed at downtown landlords

A Mission councillor has distributed a letter to downtown businesses indicating he will propose bylaw changes at the next council meeting to address problem properties in the downtown core.

“There is a small number of properties whose landlords have abandoned industry standards of screening tenants, opting for quick and direct profit at the expense of neighbours and taxpayers in Mission,” writes Nelson Tilbury.

The letter goes on to say that instead of renting to responsible tenants, the premises are being rented to “undesirables who often feed on the other good, hard-working commercial property owners in the area.”

Tilbury will recommend that staff look at two New Westminster bylaws.

Part of the bylaws pertain to the landlord’s responsibility to provide sanitary facilities and maintain proper working order of services and utilities, but it also deals with tenants who repeatedly incur “repeat nuisance service calls” from police and municipal officials.

For any tenants who receive three or more nuisance services calls for a single residential property in a 12 month period, the landlord may be fined.

“Police are called to the same establishments over and over again,” said Tilbury, adding the costs are being borne by the taxpayers to subsidize irresponsible landlords.

Tilbury said that if approved it should reduce policing costs in the district.