Pubdate: Fri, 06 Jul 2001
Source: Kelowna Capital News (BC)
Copyright: 2001, Kelowna Capital News Ltd.
Author: Brandon Weller


To the editor:

I'd first like to say "the Surrey solution" is a big mistake ("Landlords 
have reason to complain," July 4).

It's just a pathetic and desperate attempt on "The War Against Drugs." On 
one hand we have the government talking about decriminalizing the 
possession of marijuana and now we are trying to penalize rental property 

It makes no sense to me what they are trying to accomplish here, besides 
making up for the loss of photo radar revenue.

This bylaw would be making the owners like the parents of small children 
which would be the tenants, who are adults and are responsible for 
themselves and their children.

Why not raise the fines on the growers? They are the ones making money from 
the illegal grow-op. In most cases the landlord is not going to make any 
more money from a tenant that is operating a grow-op. In some cases the 
landlord is involved, but that should be investigated when a bust is made.

This looks like a money grab from landlords, they can obviously pay the 
fine if they own, at a minimum, a second home .

I guess the Surrey council hasn't thought too hard about this bylaw. How 
can they expect a landlord that is in another part of the country to check 
up on their houses?

You could make them hire someone to inspect their homes, but then you are 
infringing on the tenants' rights. If they were to pass a law allowing 
inspections, they would have to be so often that it would just completely 
invade the tenants' privacy.

Eventually you will see law suits from all sides.

I have a hard enough time finding a rental home now, it would be impossible 
to rent if owners might fear a couple of 20-year-old guys are going to get 
them fined.

This is going to become a big case of discrimination.

Should the provincial government start fining municipalities for building 
alleys where drug deals can take place, or how about fine BC Hydro for 
supplying electricity to houses of illegal grow-ops?

I guess landlords will have to start renting houses to crack dealers and 
pimps, since they won't get fined if the tenants are arrested.

This bylaw will not last, it is just an attempt to make more money for the 
city, it just simply has not been thought out.

Brandon Weller,
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