Tenants at Kwantlen Park Manor in North Surrey have complained about moisture and mould in their suites for years. The landlord has been hit with a penalty of $115,000.

VICTORIA – The Province has levied the first-ever administrative penalty under the Residential Tenancy Act against a Surrey landlord who failed to maintain his rental property despite a number of orders from the Residential Tenancy Branch.

According to the provincial government, Gurdyal Singh Sahota and his company Waterford Developments have been slapped with the first ever administrative penalty given out by the Residential Tenancy Branch.

Tenants at Kwantlen Park Manor in North Surrey have complained about moisture and mould in their suites for years and the RTB has issued several orders for Sahota to fix the roof, without results

Sahota’s fine for failing to do so includes a $5,000 one-time penalty plus $500 for each of the 220 days that the roof was left unrepaired since the latest order. The RTB has had the legal right to fine irresponsible landlords a maximum of $5,000 per day since 2008. The landlord has been issued a penalty of $115,000. This includes the maximum one-time penalty of $5,000, plus $500 per day for each of the 220 days the landlord failed to comply with an order of the Residential Tenancy Branch. The penalty must be paid by May 15, 2012.

The act allows for an agreement to be reached that permits a reduction or cancellation of the penalty if the landlord meets certain conditions. At this time, such an agreement has not been reached with the landlord.

Most landlords and tenants understand and live up to their rights and responsibilities. Administrative penalties are only considered for serious, repeated and deliberate cases of non-compliance with the act.

An administrative penalty is different from dispute resolution, which is a hearing between a landlord and a tenant. Administrative penalty matters are between the provincial government and the person who is thought to have contravened the act or failed to comply with a Residential Tenancy Branch decision.