The owner of a rental home in Pitt Meadows is protesting a $3,200 bill and a no-occupancy notice issued by the city after a bylaws team inspected it for abnormally high energy consumption.
Inspectors posted the no-occupancy notice at a house on 119 Avenue last week. They found "numerous plumbing electrical and building renovations done without a permit" at the home.
Todd Listwin, who owns the house, said he found out about the inspection after receiving a $3,200 bill for the inspection. The house was being rented out by Listwin. He had hired a property manager to screen tenants and collect rent.
"As an owner, I should have known the inspection took place. I just got a bill," Listwin said.
A landlord with 17 rental properties, Listwin said it was the first time a municipality had barged into one of his homes.
"They are taking over my house right now. I'm out of rental income. I understand some of the concerns. I had a property manager that made a bad choice and I'm the victim, really."
Listwin said he is going to dispute the $3,200 bill.
The City of Pitt Meadows has now inspected seven homes in the past two weeks for abnormally high hydro consumption.
The inspections are part of a three-month pilot project to eliminate residential marijuana grow operations through safety inspections.
No marijuana operations were found at any of the seven homes in Pitt Meadows.
"These houses have been identified by high hydro consumption," said Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows RCMP Cpl. Ryan Schlecker.
Under the program, RCMP forward a list of such homes to a team of four comprised of a bylaw officer and building, fire and electrical inspectors. B.C. Hydro then releases domestic electrical consumption information to the municipality. Homes that use more than 93 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity per day, or three-times the average, are investigated by city staff.
City staff first post a 24-hour notice of inspection at the homes.
City bylaws inspector Leslie Elchuk, who is co-ordinating the pilot project, said 10 homes with high electrical consumption have been identified so far.
On Tuesday, council directed staff to file notices in the land titles office about deficiencies at three homes after staff found work done without electrical, plumbing and building permits.
Documents filed by the inspection team show inspectors found tap and water lines in the basement of a house on Chestnut Crescent, as well as open panel electrical box connections and holes in sub-floors into the attic.
In a house on 118B Avenue, owned but not occupied by a Maple Ridge couple, inspectors found plumbing work done without a permit, open drains in the crawl space, incomplete wiring and a compromised fume barrier near the garage.
Elchuk said once the homes are fixed, the owners can apply to have the notices removed from the land titles office.
The notices warn prospective buyers that the homes were altered without permits.
2007 Maple Ridge News