Tenant and lawyer start class action suit against Regent Hotel owners and city

“The City of Vancouver has made a conscious choice not to enforce its Standards of Maintenance Bylaw with respect to the Regent on the basis that persons paying low rents are in a special category of tenants to whom the Standards and Maintenance Bylaw does not fully apply or applies only in attenuated form.” That’s what the lawyer in a class action legal case says about the city’s failure to enforce the Standards of Maintenance bylaw at the Regent Hotel.

The statement is part of a beginning class action suit against owners of the Regent Hotel and the city for a long list of maintenance violations including lack of heat and hot water, leaking roof, impassable fire escape, chronically broken elevator, crumbling facade, and rat infestation.

In the statement the lawyer asks for an injunction requiring the City to carry out the required work, and an order appointing a property management company to operate and repair the Regent.  It also seeks general, special, punitive and aggravated damages for the tenants which could add up to $200 per month for each month the tenant has lived at the Regent.

In response to the legal suit the city says it enforces bylaws on a complaint basis and has discretion in enforcing municipal bylaws. So far we haven’t seen how the Regent owners respond to the suit which could take years to go through the courts.

The legal case has begun with Regent tenant Jack Gates and lawyer Jason Gratl. When (and if) it is certified by a judge, then other tenants can join it.