Just an Informed Resident

Authority City of New Westminster

Gary’s condo building was leaking and required repairs. After the remediation work was completed, Gary noticed some airflow issues remained. He asked the city whether the repairs to the building met the requirements for safe ventilation under the city’s building bylaws and the BC Building Code. After several months without a satisfactory response, Gary sought our help.

The city told us it had taken steps as a result of Gary’s questions and concerns. The city had requested the Engineer of Record on the building permit for the envelope repair to confirm that the elimination of the vents would be in compliance with the BC Building Code. The city withheld final inspection approvals on the building permit until the engineer verified compliance with the BC Building Code and bylaw requirements. When the city did not receive the confirmation, the city put the contractor and the strata council in contact with the original architect to inspect the suites for compliance.

We asked why Gary was not informed of the actions taken by the city and learned that the city mistakenly believed Gary was corresponding from the building’s strata council and was, therefore, informed of the city’s actions as they were reported to council. We noted that Gary was not a member of the strata council and therefore it was not reasonable to assume he would be aware of the city’s actions.

As a result of our investigation, the city agreed to provide Gary with a written response describing its actions in response to the concerns he raised. This open, direct communication was important to demonstrate that Gary’s concerns were respected and he was being treated fairly. Gary was pleased to learn his concerns were being addressed.

Names in our case summaries have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals. This case study can also be found in the 2016-2017 Annual Report.

Category Housing and Property, Local Government
Type Case Summary
Fiscal Year 2016
Location The Lower Mainland