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Central Edmonton residents lose fight against landlord with criminal history

WATCH ABOVE: Central Edmonton residents came together Thursday afternoon to stop the plans of a city landlord. As Vinesh Pratap reports, the landlord has made the news several time over the conditions of his properties and troubles with the law. 

EDMONTON — A central Edmonton community league has lost its battle against a basement suite that was recently approved by the city.

A basement suite was approved for a property located in the area of 112 Avenue and 86 Street. The house is owned by Abdullah Shah, who previously went by the name Carmen Pervez.

Pervez was convicted in a $30 million mortgage fraud scheme in 2008. He owns several rental properties in Edmonton and has previously been accused of failing to maintain them.

“We’ve heard a lot of complaints from residents about the range of properties that he does own and the tenants that are in those properties,” said Richard Williams, vice president of the Parkdale Cromdale Community League.

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Pervez is associated with other properties in the neighbourhood and police, fire and EMS crews have been called to them several times. Global News has learned two of the properties have been declared unfit for human habitation.

“It was loud. There was late night screaming and fights; and dirty, there were needles. Our neighbours over here would find needles in their yard,” said David Williamson, who has lived just doors away from the property for five years.

“I have absolutely no problem with a person owning a property as long as it’s done responsibly,” Williamson added. “If day after day after day after day, week after week after week, there’s drug dealing and fights and needles and it’s not addressed, it’s no longer a person’s right to own a property.”

City of Edmonton staff say the area is zoned for a secondary suite, and as long as the bylaws are followed their hands are tied; they can’t base their decision on the property owner’s history.

“The development officers can only make decisions on the planning merits of an application, which is the zoning regulations and the uses that are allowed under the zone,” said Gail Hickmore, general supervisor of the City’s Development Approvals Team.

“We don’t have the authority to base our decision on the actual user of the building, only the use of the building which is outlined in the zoning bylaw.”

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The Parkdale Cromdale Community League had its application heard by the subdivision appeal board Thursday and it was denied. The decisions behind the appeal will be released in writing on August 21.

 

With files from Vinesh Pratap, Global News.

*Editor’s Note: This story was originally published on Thursday, August 6, 2015. It was updated at 10:45 a.m. Friday to include the appeal board’s decision.

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