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Petition asks City of Surrey to stop eviction of families living in illegal suites

Click to play video: 'The City of Surrey’s crackdown on illegal suites leaves 175 families in limbo' The City of Surrey’s crackdown on illegal suites leaves 175 families in limbo
Tenants of illegal suites are caught in the middle as Surrey steps up enforcement. Nadia Stewart has details – Sep 15, 2017

An online petition is urging the City of Surrey not to crack down on secondary suites in the Clayton neighborhood and find instead another solution for overcrowded parking.

This comes after the city sent about 175 notices, with more on the way, warning homeowners they’ll be hit with a $500-a-day fine starting February if they have an illegal suite.

READ MORE: Surrey cracks down on illegal suites, pushing 175 households into a punishing rental market

Richard Von Sychowski, a landlord who lives in the area, started the petition. He acknowledged parking is an issue in the area but said the city should think of other solutions.

“From the very get-go we all share the same corner in the community, parking is definitely an issue. We believe there’s a better way of resolving this and partnering with the city,” said Von Sychowski.

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Von Sychowski said evicting tenants isn’t the way to go, especially during a housing crisis.

READ MORE: City of Surrey demand homeowners operating illegal suites to stop or face legal action

City by-law manager Jas Rehal said the city has tried a number of initiatives over the past few years to free up parking, but there’s been no significant change.

“Over the past couple years, we’ve had about 400 complaints in relation to illegal suites, and over 7,600 parking complaints.”

Rehal said the city understands there is a housing crisis, adding that that’s why the city is giving landlord and tenants six months’ notice.

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