Courtenay council has adopted a bylaw to authorize a housing agreement that requires a rental property with a history of problem tenants to be owner-occupied.
The owner, Amandio Santos, wants to add a two-lot subdivision to his property at 2310 20th St. A zoning amendment would permit a secondary suite on each lot. He has no interest in ongoing ownership for rental purposes.
At a recent public hearing, several neighbours complained about noise, foul language and drug activity at the property.
Monday at council, Doug Hillian asked for clarity about enforcement, and the length of time neighbours can expect non-owners to be living onsite.
“Given that they (neighbours) don’t in fact trust the landlord or the owner of the house, the caretaker may be a similar type of individual to those previously being rented to,” he said.
The housing agreement takes effect immediately once it’s registered, director of development services Ian Buck said. There will, however, be a transition time to fully evict people.
Having a caretaker would not be in keeping with the agreement, Buck added.
“The house would either have to be occupied by the owner or be vacant, following that eviction process of any current tenants,” Buck said.
“The City has the ability at any time to pursue enforcement of our bylaws or covenants, and attend to the property to see to that,” he added.
Hillian recommends that City staff monitor the property because he anticipates further complaints from the neighourhood.
“I think this is a good precedent if in fact it does work,” he said.