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Kelowna to start cracking down on unsafe, illegal properties with compliance team

The city announced a collaboration that will focus on properties with unsafe living conditions or suspected criminal activity.
The city announced a collaboration that will focus on properties with unsafe living conditions or suspected criminal activity. Global News

Owners of troublesome properties in Kelowna may soon feel a financial sting, as the city starts cracking down on unruly tenants.

The City of Kelowna announced a new initiative on Friday, a collaboration that is focusing on properties with “unsafe living conditions or suspected criminal activity.”

According to the city, the Property Standards Compliance Team started working in June, and is a mix of resources from a variety of agencies, including city staff, bylaw, police and the fire department.

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The city said the team’s goal is to attend “potentially unsafe or illegal properties” and act on repeated complaints from neighbours.

“We receive calls from concerned neighbours throughout the year, as do the RCMP, about properties that are causing repeated disturbances to the neighbourhood,” said David Gazley, city bylaw services manager.

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“This approach puts the onus on the property owner to address the concerns, rather than focusing on the tenants who might be the source of complaints. The fines and orders from the team motivate the property owner to take action.”

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The city said in one case, bylaw issued tickets totalling more than $2,500 to a property owner.

“We have always collaborated with RCMP and others on property complaints,” said Gazley, “but this team takes a more coordinated and proactive approach to establish priorities and to bring the right people into the residence to assess illegal and unsafe conditions.”

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