BC Hydro sues Vancouver landlord over refusing smart meters
Tenants want smart meters, but the property manager and landlord are blocking them, says BC Hydro
BC Hydro is seeking a court injunction against an "aggressive" property manager and landlord who it claims have blocked tenants in two Vancouver buildings from getting smart meters for more than a year.
Hydro employees have been trying since November 2013 to install 100 smart meters in two buildings owned by Rockmill Myers' company Puppy Holdings and managed by Miro Jackanin, according to the notice of civil claim.
Nearly 70 tenants in the two buildings have registered for smart meters, the claim states. People using the old meters are charged extra each month.
[Jackanin] conducted himself in an aggressive manner ... stating he would 'get even' with BC Hydro- Notice of civil claim
But Jackanin has repeatedly refused access to installation crews, and in March 2014 he parked a vehicle in front of the meter room at 1869 Comox St., the claim alleges.
Later that day, when the BC Hydro employees moved on to another property he manages on West 13th Ave., he "conducted himself in an aggressive manner ... stating he would 'get even' with BC Hydro," the claim states.
This is the first time the crown corporation has sued a customer over refusing smart meters, said a BC Hydro spokesperson.
"As a final resort we are pursuing legal action because the property manager continues to prevent us access to our equipment," said Simi Heer
Manager says meters make rooms unrentable: claim
Jackanin disputes that tenants want the smart meters, and told CBC News Wednesday that most have signed a petition opposing them.
He said BC Hydro can install the meters anytime, provided they agree to certain conditions, including guaranteeing the safety of devices and covering any loss of revenue.
"If they feel the smart meter as a fixture is so safe, there should be no problem to accept it," he said.
But BC Hydro has already rejected Jackanin's terms — including a request in August 2014 asking for compensation for the loss of rental revenue that would come after smart meters were installed.
"Smart meters would render rooms adjacent to the meter room unsuitable for habitation due to excessive microwave radiation," said Jackanin in a letter, according to BC Hydro.
According to the court document, Jackanin has told BC Hydro he was acting as a representative of Puppy Holdings, owned by Myers.
Myers' wife has told BC Hydro he is in a nursing home, and "not in a frame of mind to understand the problem."
BC Hydro is asking for a court injunction to prevent anyone from stopping the smart meter installation, and unspecified damages.
A statement of defence has not yet been filed.