Vancouver, Pendrell Place: Strataco Management Ltd. sued for removal of improvements

 

 

www.myleakycondo.com

* Leaks, Rot, Mould and Fraud *

 

 

- PLAINTIFF: 2725321 Canada Inc., c/o 1000 - 595 Burrard, Vancouver (Rebeka Breder of Boughton Law Corporation, counsel).

DEFENDANT: Strataco Management Ltd., 270 - 10711 Cambie Rd., Richmond.

CLAIM: $37,692.70 for the removal of leasehold improvements.

 

 Source: "Keeping Track", Vancouver Sun, March 3, 2008

Vancouver, Pendrell Place: BCAssessment Authority Appeal Panel reduces 2008 values of condos at Pendrell Place because of unfinished rehabilitation work

 

www.myleakycondo.com

* Leaks, Rot, Mould and Fraud *

 

 

February 28, 2008

 

Dear Mr. Oldaker,

 

Re:   BC Assessment Authority Appeal Hearing Panel today at 10:30 a.m.

          Penthouse 4, Pendrell Place, 1819 Pendrell St., Vancouver, BC, Canada

          Strata lot 22, Strata Plan VR 1008 aka Strata Plan VAS 1008

 

This will confirm that I, along with Mr. Rudy Eylmann CIA, from the Coalition of Leaky Condo Owners attended the Hearing on your behalf.

 

I advocated that the value of the Building portion of the assessment for your Penthouse should be reduced to a nominal value of $1,000 because it has been uninhabitable since June 2000.

 

The following documents were provided to the Panel and BCAA, accompanied by brief narrative comments by yours truly:

 

          Photo, Mr. Richard B. Oldaker in Penthouse 4, Vancouver Sun, November 17, 2001;

 

          “Condo chaos bred a nightmare”, Vancouver Sun, November 17, 2001 (extract);

 

          Photo, Mr. Rudy Eylmann inspecting Penthouse 4, posted to Blog November 15, 2005;

 

          City of Vancouver Letter, “complete this work, within 30 days”, July 5, 2007;

 

          Media Alert, “CTV’s W-FIVE investigates leaky condos and other shoddy new homes”, November 1, 2007;

 

          “From Haven to Hell”, interview with Mr. Oldaker in Penthouse 4, CTV, November 2, 2007;

 

          Judge Crawford’s decisions: 2003 BCSC 1900 and 2004 BCSC 63;

 

          Levelton Engineering’s Report: East Wall Condition Assessment, November 21, 2005;

 

          The Court of Appeal decision: Hamilton v. Ball, 2006 BCCA 243;

 

          Madam Justice Gill’s decision: Oldaker v. The Owners, Strata Plan VR 1008, 2007 BCSC 669.

 

(All of the above documents are available at www.myleakycondo.com BLOG.)

 

The Panel was advised that 2007 BCSC 669 was under reconsideration with a decision expected any day.

 

The Panel was advised that other lawsuits claiming damages were outstanding.

 

BCAA did not oppose a reduction in the 2008 Assessed Value of Penthouse 4 and left the amount to be determined by the Panel.  BCAA acknowledged that J.P.Daem of Strataco Property Management had informed BCAA by letter that the building envelope problems at Pendrell Place had been fixed, when they obviously had not been fixed.  BCAA acknowledged they had not inspected Penthouse 4, but had relied “on the file”.

 

The members of the Panel seemed stunned.

 

They wanted to know if other condos at Pendrell Place were uninhabitable: “No”. If other condos were damaged and fixed: “Yes”.  Why the owners had not fixed your condo while fixing theirs: “They chose not to; ask them”.  The estimated cost to fix the inside of Penthouse 4: “About $50,000”.  The estimated cost to fix the remainder of the east wall that is leaking and a hazard to passers-by plus the cost to seal the concrete:  “About $300,000, perhaps more.”  The cost of outstanding litigation: “Unknown”.

 

The Panel adjourned to formulate a decision.

 

When the Panel returned, the Chairperson announced a decision with the following elements:

         

A reduction to fix Penthouse 4: $50,000;

 

A reduction to fix the east wall and seal the concrete:  $300,000;

 

A reduction in the value of Penthouse 4 equal to 6% of $300,000 (your proportionate share); and

 

A corresponding proportionate reduction in the value of the other 21 strata lots;

 

An additional reduction to the value of Penthouse 4: $30,000 for contingencies.

 

The panel directed BCAA to provide you and all the other owners with a revised 2008 Assessment Notice.

 

You (not the other owners) have the right to appeal the Panel’s decision upon payment of $30.

 

The other owners of Pendrell Place may want to thank you for achieving a reduction in assessed values and property taxes for their leaky rotten condos at Pendrell Place.

 

BCAA would like further documentation to substantiate the estimated cost to repair the east wall and seal the concrete.

 

The Chairperson found the photos and documents very helpful and suggested that you take pictures in July 2008 and October 2008 in preparation for a possible appeal of the 2009 Assessed Value, especially if the required work has not been done and you still do not have an occupancy permit.

 

I suggest that you arrange for BCAA to inspect Penthouse 4 just prior to July 2008 or October 2008.

 

It will also be helpful to provide BCAA with copies of new court decisions.

 

Yours truly,

 

Dr. James Balderson PhD, QS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RECBC sues Strataco Management Ltd., J.P. Daem and Royal Bank of Canada for production of records

 

www.myleakycondo.com

* Leaks, Rot, Mould and Fraud *

 

RECBC sues Strataco Management Ltd., J.P. Daem and Royal Bank of Canada for production of records 

The Real Estate Council of British Columbia has applied to the Supreme Court of British Columbia in S-074847 (Vancouver Registry) for an order to produce

"one true and unedited copy of the bank account statements, cancelled cheques and deposit slips, for accounts no. [deleted] and [deleted]in the name of either Strataco Management Ltd. and Jean-Pierre Daem also known as J.P. Daem ... for the time period January 1, 2006 to October 31, 2006."

 An RECBC audit revealed that funds were apparently not being handled in accordance with regulations.

Some examples:

"(c)    Some of the contingency reserve and/or special levy monies maintained by the Brokerage are still registered in the name of the strata corporations, rather than in a trust account held by the Brokerage, for the benefit of the strata corporations, contrary to section 7-9(2) of the Council Rules."    

 

 "(d)    The Brokerage had collected special levy  monies from the owners of Strata Corp NW2489, but in some instances had deposited the funds into its operating trust accounts before transferring them into the contingency special levy trust account, contrary to section 7-9(3) of the Council Rules."


"(h)   When the brokerage charged strata corporations for natural gas from Direct Energy Business Services for seven of its strata corporations, it paid the accounts directly and then invoiced the strata corporation itself with a 3% administration fee, for which the council requested documentation to show that the strata corporations were aware of that charge."

The RECBC says they

" ... require the information contained in the records which it has requested be produced by the Respondents in order to fully investigate the incidents [described in  the Petition], which it is concerned give an indication that there may have been misconduct on the part of the Respondents, or conduct unbecoming a licensee.  The Petitioner is of the belief that an Order for the production and/or seizure of the Respondents' bank records will produce the evidence necessary to complete its audit and inspection in relatio to any misconduct or conduct unbecoming a licensee, if there was such conduct."

Court records show that J.P. Daem responded to the RECBC requests for records by stating in a letter dated December 12, 2006:

"For the record, the funds which are being questioned have been credited to the brokerage account on December 1, 2006 and have been re-disbursed from the brokerage to the writer, which we hope now complies with your procedural requirements.

With respect to your demands for records we reiterate and acknowledge that these funds were placed in an account which was completely separate and has no relationship to the brokerage and is the sole and personal purview of the writer as the sole signatory for Bradson Holdings.  if doing what we did was not in keeping with the procedural requirements of the Real Estate Council we apologise and acknowledge as stated above that we have amended the procedures and corrected the error by re-crediting the brokerage account and re-distributing the funds through the brokerage account. ..."

"It is our view that we provide a service of the highest professional caliber and have always entertained procedures which provide the greatest possible protection for our client's funds and the highest level of disclosure to our clients since 1971.  We will continue to do so ...."

The RECBC replied on December 13, 2006:

"You acknowledge that '... our intent was neither to hide these incomes nor to suggest that we are not willing to cooperate and ensure that our operations are in keeping with your interpretation of the Real Estate Act.'  Your commitment is appreciated and noted.  We continue to request the missing information for our review."

"You have referred to 'other ancillary incomes' in your letter.  For clarification, you should be aware that the Real Estate Services Act considers any income of the brokerage as a result of real estate services, a defined term in the Act, is required to be paid into a brokerage trust account, and this may include administrative services."

"We look forward to receiving the aforementioned requested information without delay."

On January 9, 2007 J.P. Daem of Strataco replied:

"We again reiterate that we believe your request to see certain personal records is beyond the scope of the review of the brokerage accounts and while we have admitted and corrected any procedural errors which may have been uncovered during the course of the recent review we reiterate that these funds were drawn from the Strata trust accounts to a general brokerage account subsequent to which they were re-issued."

"All transactions were duly documented and while we understand that in future these monies should be redeposited to another brokerage general account rather than directly endorsed to one of the principals, a situation we have reversed and re-issued and corrected, we fail to see how this action would in any way jeopardize our client's position and/or be a breach of any of our fiduciary obligations."

"We have already eliminated some of the services which we previously delivered to our clients in order to avoid any potential conflict in future."

On January 12, 2007 REBC wrote:

"Despite your assurances that corrective action has been taken to amend procedural errors which may have occurred, our request for documentation is based on the fact that a cheque addressed to Strataco Management Ltd. was deposited into the same bank account as a cheque addressed to yourself.  We have no evidence that the records requested are "personal records" as we have not been provided the documentation requested. ... We continue to request the documentation for review ...."

"Should you not provide the requested documentation by January 26, 2007, the matter will be forwarded to the Council's legal department to consider an application under section 38 of the Real Estate Services Act (copy enclosed), and a claim for costs of such application."

"We trust this will not be necessary by your cooperation in the matter."

On February 22, 2007, Brian K. Evans, Legal Council for RECBC wrote to Marvin Lithwick, Barrister and Solicitor, Zahn Zack Ehrlich Lithwick, acting for Strataco Management Ltd. as follows:

"In the event that we do not receive your clients' cooperation by March 8, 2007 I have been instructed to apply to Court pursuant to section 38 [search and seizure] for this information  and to seek costs of this otherwise unnecessary application."

On April 10, 2007 Brian K. Evans wrote to Mr. Lithwick:

"Re: Strataco Management Ltd. and J.P. Daem

"Further to our telephone discussion on Thursday, April 5, 2007 and my letter to you of February 22, 2007, I confirm that the Council has allowed you until close of business Friday, April 20, 2007 to provide a response.  Please refer your client to section 37(3) of the Real Estate Services Act and section 2-19 of the Council Rules."

On April 20, 2007, Mr. Lithwick replied:

"We appreciate that you have given us generous extensions of time to address thew demands you have made of our client, Strataco Management Ltd.  unfortunately, we have encountered several unexpected urgent situations to which we have had to devote the lion's share of our time over the past few weeks.  Having said that, we have now made arrangements for our client to meet with us again to confirm instructions.  We ask that you extend your patience to a further ten days and we will definitely address all outstanding matters by that time."

The RECBC petitioned the Court for a search and seizure order on July 17,  2007. 

Case Studies, Pendrell Place: Strataco Management and J.P. Daem sued

Strataco Management Ltd., Jean-Pierre Daem and The Owners, Strata Plan NW 2089 are being sued by DCP Developments (Belmondo) Ltd.

The Writ of Summons in Action No. L-053092 was filed in the Vancouver Registry on December 22, 2005. DCP, the owner of three lots in Strata Plan NW 2089, claims against Strataco, Daem and the strata corporation for:

1. their refusal or failure to comply with the Strata Property Act; and ...specifically, their delay in issuing Forms B and F ... and their refusal or failure to provide information as required under the Act.

2. their breach of trust in refusing or failing to properly credit and account for payments made by [DCP] in February 2004 ($28,284.37) and September 2005 ($116,496.28).

DCP seeks orders that the Forms be issued and that the funds be returned with interest.

Strataco and JP Daem resigned as Property Manager for Pendrell Place effective December 31, 2005.

Vancouver, Pendrell Place: East Wall Trouble

COLCO: Coalition of Leaky Condo Owners
www.myleakycondo.com

May 2, 2005

To: Richard B. Oldaker, Owner
Suite 504, Strata Lot 22, Strata Plan VR 1008
1819 Pendrell St., Vancouver B.C. Canada

Dear Richard;

Re: East Wall Trouble
Leaky Rotten Condo Complex,
Strata Plan VR 1008, a/k/a, Pendrell Place,
1819 Pendrell Street, Vancouver, B.C., Canada


Our investigation of Pendrell Place continues.

2005 March 11 Levelton writes to Strataco

David Evans, P. Eng., of Levelton Consultants Ltd., wrote to J. P. Daem of Strataco:

"...we confirm that Levelton will prepare a Scope of Work and provide material Specifications for the sealing of the exposed concrete walls on the north side of Unit 504 (5th and 6th floors). We will also include the temporary venting details for the stucco clad east wall. As requested, we will only include the north portion of the east wall. [emphasis added]

We understand that PacWest Restoration have been retained to undertake this work.

As agreed at the meeting, we will liase [sic] with Spratt Emanuel to ensure that all parties are in agreement as to the scope and materials to be specified.

We also confirm that our services for this work will be charged on an hourly rate."

 

 

We consulted with Louis van Blankenstein, P. Eng., from Spratt Emanuel. Mr. van Blankenstein assured us that he is in agreement with the Scope and Specifications for the East wall only as temporary measures.

PacWest Restorations is operated by Gary Wiggins. Neither Gary Wiggins or PacWest Restorations is a Licensed Building Envelope Renovator subject to the Homeowner Protection Act and Regulations with insurance on their building envelope renovation work.


2005 March 17 Levelton writes to Strataco


David Evans wrote to J. P. Daem as follows:

As previously advised, the painting/sealing of the exposed concrete walls of the building is recommended for the long-term performance of these walls. We recommend that the painting of the remainder of the building be incorporated into the buildings [sic] maintenance plan, to be carried out (or phased) over the next few years. [emphasis added]

With regard to the venting of the east wall, we have also previously advised that the proposed venting is considered to be a temporary measure to allow air within the wall cavity to escape to the outside [rather than into Mr. Oldaker's suite]. We recommend that the east wall (north and south) be monitored periodically until such time that the permanent modifications are made. As requested the Scope of Work does not include the south portion of the east wall at this time. [emphasis added]

We understand that PacWest Restorations have been retained to undertake the proposed work.

It is again clear from this communication that Levelton is specifying temporary work and that much more work and expense will be required to ensure the integrity of Pendrell Place's building envelope to the standard recommended by Levelton.

We have found no proposed schedule of work or budget for the uncompleted building envelope work overhanging the Strata Corporation as a contingent liability identified by Levelton, the Strata Corporation's consulting engineering firm.

 


2005 March 17 Levelton writes to Strataco


The Scope of Work for VR 1008 - Unit 504, 1819 Pendrell Street, Vancouver, B.C., is presented on stationary with the Levelton logo accompanied by the words "Levelton Engineering Solutions".

The Scope of Work document does not carry the signature and/or seal of a Professional Engineer. The document states:

Specification 1. Paint exposed concrete walls on the 5th and 6th floor balconies with Envirocoatings: Ceramic Insulcoat. Colour to match existing. Include exterior and interior of balcony guard walls (north and east) and divider walls (west). Surface preparation and application to be in accordance with the manufacturers [sic] requirements.

 

"Envirocoatings: Ceramic Insulcoat" is a product manufactured in Langley. The paint/coatings manufacturing company and the distribution company are controlled by Prima Developments Ltd.

A perusal of documents filed with SEDAR revealed that Prima appears to be a "'penny stock" listed on the TSX Venture Exchange in Canada and the Frankfurt Exchange in Germany.

Prima is controlled by Roland Langset. Prima has consistently lost money year after year. The accumulated deficit is in the order of $8,000,000.00, yes, 8 million dollars. Prima had negative working capital as of December 2004.

There is a contingent liability against Prima with respect to unpaid property taxes on polluted lands in Kentucky. The market price for PID./TSX has fallen from about $1.80 per share in June 2002 to about $0.20 as of April 01, 2005.

The primary business of Prima appears to be the announcement of franchises flogged for future funds that do not reach the company's treasury, for which Langset is paid approximately $100,000 per year plus expenses.

In our opinion Prima and its paint/coatings businesses could go belly-up leaving the owners of Pendrell Place with no manufacturer's warranty on the product, which, by-the-way, does not appear to be magically superior to other similar products which utilize micro-ceramic hollow spheres that are readily available from companies such as 3M Corporation.

We have doubts about the utilization of the specified product on concrete surfaces that have already been painted. The proper preparation of the substrate may be too costly. We will investigate further.

Specification 5. Install vents in the stucco clad east wall, north portion only. The existing sheathing membrane must not be damaged during installation.

We do not believe it is possible to install the array of vents without damaging the existing 20 year-old single-layer light tarpaper commonly used at the time of construction of Pendrell Place.

Of course liability for subsequent leaks and damage would probably rest with the contractor PacWest (or sub-contractor). Check with your friendly lawyer.

Nevertheless it is conceivable that installation of the vents as a temporary measure could provide a false sense of temporary security and result in further hidden damage due to leaks, rot and mould.

Please be advised that the City of Vancouver has just reported that PacWest Restorations does not have a current Business License to do work in the City of Vancouver.

Furthermore, it is our understanding that the proposed temporary ventilation work by PacWest on the north portion of the east wall will not result in the certification of the east wall.

In other words, any interior work that you do to make your leaky rotten condo inhabitable would be entirely at your own risk and probably contrary to the Vancouver Building Bylaw and Homeowner Protection Office Regulations.

We do not advise you to perform any interior work until this issue is resolved, via the Courts if necessary.

After all, you do not want to create a hazard for the owners of Pendrell Place by enclosing the wall cavity as a vertical mould garden, which it clearly was before you had the place ripped apart and sanitized four years ago.

We trust you find the above information useful in determining whether you and other owners want to spend more money on temporary repairs rather than a permanent fix of the leaks, rot and mould in Suite #504, Pendrell Place.

We wonder about a professional engineer's professional duty to all of the owners of Pendrell Place, and the public, as contrasted to temporarily satisfying a temporary property manager's instructions to prepare specifications for a temporary building envelope fix which does not fix the building envelope, thus leaving the owners with a contingent liability and an uninhabitable suite.

We have seen no trade-off analysis report showing options for the owners. We will explore this issue with the Building Envelope Council BC and the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists BC.

Our investigation of your abysmal leaky condo situation at Pendrell Place will continue.

Yours truly,

James Balderson

COLCO: Coalition of Leaky Condo Owners
JamesBalderson@myleakycondo.com

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