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Flooding at apartment building near UBCO results in mass eviction

(Update: Feb. 16 @ 1:30 p.m.) - NowMedia has obtained a copy of a notice to tenants of the U Two building near UBCO after flooding forced residents to vacate the building.

Strata Management issued a notice to tenants on Tuesday which said that all residents must vacate the building.

Another notice was sent on Thursday informing tenants that the order remains, along with an update on the situation.

"The City will not allow occupancy and the chief building inspector will be issuing notice at any time. All personal belongings and contents must be removed ASAP," reads the notice. It adds that the BFL insurance policy will cover handling and storage of owner's contents, even for those without personal condo owners insurance. According to the notice, that does not extend to tenant's personal belongings, only owners.

They also gave tenants an update on the timeline for the building to be repaired.

"It is estimated that the drying and emergency portion of the work will take approx. 1-2 months, which is subject to change depending on gypcrete removal and any mold ebatement," strata management said. "The tender and bidding process will take approx. 2-4 weeks. The repairs will take approx. 3-6 months, again, all of which is subject to change due to a number of factors."

Strata Management also advised tenants to contact a variety of resources, including for international students. A reduced rate offer at the Comfort Inn and Suites for the displaced tenants was also attached.

"If your tenant has insurance they can contact their insurance provider for assistance on the additional living expenses. Barring that, they can contact any number of resources that provide accommodation including by not limited to, hotel, short term rentals, residential property managers, or online listings. Some international students may have resources through the program that brought them to UBCO, through a homestay program, or through friends they have made while in Kelowna. A list of resources and options will follow ASAP."

(Original Story: Feb. 16 @ 6 a.m.)

Tenants from the U Two apartment building near UBCO have had to move out after flooding did significant damage to several floors.

The school’s student union said yesterday that they are aware of “ongoing issues” at the building.

<who>Photo Credit: University District Kelowna

“Those who are affected by strata’s decision of mass eviction are encouraged to refer to the following resources for financial aid and/or knowing your rights as a tenant,” the student’s union said in a post on Facebook providing students with a link to legal aid.

A student at UBCO and a tenant from the building, who wished to remain anonymous, told NowMedia that on Feb. 4 around 11:30 a.m. the alarms went off at the property. The Fire Department told them that a pipe burst on the fourth floor.

“They allowed people to enter the building because they turned the water off,” said the tenant. “But most of the apartments around the elevator on the first floor were filled with water.”

“Thus far, the strata hasn’t given us a reason as to why the pipe burst but we assumed that it’s [because] of the cold that week.”

After the flooding occurred, the tenant said that an inspection was done and the affected suites were told to move out immediately. Some suites were allowed to stay, until this week. A notice was sent out to tenants on Tuesday night saying that due to the restoration that will take place and “microbial community growth” the building is no longer a viable place for anyone to live in.

Built in 2016, U Two is a two building complex. Each building is four floors with a total of 112 residences. There has been postings from tenants on Facebook groups “desperately” looking for rentals due to flooding.

Joshua Elliott, a local real estate consultant at RE/MAX, said that he has seen requests for rentals go up.

“I typically get a few inquiries about rentals every week. I've had six in the past hour alone. I can't say for certain that it’s related, but seems logical,” he said.

He said that he first heard about the situation at the building when a client called asking about it because she received an inquiry on her rental property from a UBCO student who was being displaced from the building.

NowMedia has reached out to strata management. There was no response before the publishing of this article.

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