British Columbia

City files 60 charges against Balmoral Hotel

The City of Vancouver has filed 60 charges in provincial court against Balmoral Hotel Ltd., over safety and maintenance standards violations.

Infamous SRO was deemed uninhabitable last month over fears the building would collapse

The City of Vancouver has filed 60 charges against the owners of the Balmoral Hotel on East Hastings Street. (Harold Dupuis/CBC)

The City of Vancouver has filed 60 charges in provincial court against Balmoral Hotel Ltd. over safety and maintenance standards violations.

Eight weeks ago, 142 residents of the Downtown Eastside SRO were ordered evacuated over fears the building would collapse.

Inspectors feared the Balmoral could collapse due to rot and water damage. Over 140 tenants had to be evacuated. (Tina Lovgreen/CBC)

The bylaw breaches addressed in Thursday's filing include failure to maintain walls, ceilings and floors to an adequate standard and lack of maintenance to plumbed facilities such as baths and toilets.

Each infraction carries a potential fine of $250 to $10,000.

"The City of Vancouver is committed to holding landlords accountable for maintaining habitable standards in single room accommodation buildings," said Kaye Krishna, general manager of development, buildings and licensing. 

Evacuation notices were posted on doors back in June. Most tenants were relocated to social housing. (Tina Lovgreen/CBC)

The Balmoral is among a group of low-income residences owned by the Sahota family, who former city councilor Geoff Meggs recently categorized as "despicable slumlords."

An in-depth engineering inspection released by the city last month said tenants of the 176-room building were in imminent danger due to severe water damage and rot in the interior structure. 

A man holds up a sign denouncing the Sahota family, which own the Balmoral Hotel on Vancouver's Downtown Eastside. (CBC)

The Balmoral is also the subject of two class-action lawsuits — one aimed at the city for not exercising its powers to force repairs earlier and another targeting the Sahota family for allowing the building to fall into such a state.

Nearly all of the former tenants of the hotel were relocated to social housing.

The exterior of the Balmoral Hotel, which was shut down by the City of Vancouver in June 2017. (Tina Lovgreen/CBC)