A townhouse owner at Station Villa, a 22-unit mixed use complex in Langford, has lost privileges to the building’s guest suite after allegedly allowing a sex worker to use it for business. (Kendra Wong/News Gazette staff)

B.C. townhouse owner allegedly allowed guest suite for sex work

Greater Victoria man not allowed to use suite for one year, ordered to pay fees

A townhouse owner in Greater Victoria has lost privileges to the building’s guest suite after allegedly allowing a sex worker to use it for business.

In a decision by the Civil Resolution Tribunal, the man, known as T.M. in court documents has lost his rights to the guest suite at Station Villa, a 22-unit mixed use complex on Station Street in Langford, B.C., for one calendar year. He must also pay the strata any outstanding rental fees from his use of the guest suite from November 2015 to the present.

The issue began when T.M. booked the guest suite for use for approximately 12 weeks between November 2015 and March 2016.

At the time, strata rules stated owners could use the suite for a maximum of 14 days. The room is furnished in a similar way to a hotel room, with many furnishings donated by owners. The cost of maintaining the suite and its utilities are paid as a common expense of all the owners.

Fellow owners Paul Masse and Tomas Remington, T.M. and two other individuals sat on the strata council.

But by June 2016, Masse and Remington, who brought forward the complaint, became concerned about T.M.’s use of the guest suite and the appearance of guests occupying the site.

“They did some investigation which indicated his guest was a sex worker who was actively using the suite to solicit and carry on her trade,” said the document. “There is also evidence in the form of a statement by Mr. Masse setting out that there was smoking contrary to strata bylaws and potential drug use about the guest suite.”

At one point, Masse booked the guest suite for use, but upon arriving, found it was occupied by T.M.’s guest.

The woman told Masse that “an old guy living in the complex had taken her in and had provided her with the guest room to conduct her business.”

He also said she said the man was providing her with money and other items.

Shortly after, a police report was filed and the strata council looked at tightening the rules around use of the guest suite, including increasing the fees, minimum and maximum stays, revising the booking procedures and deadlines, controlling access to guest suite keys and requiring owners to pay a deposit to secure their booking.

At the time, Masse and Remington said T.M. allegedly used his position of authority to block potential changes to rules around the use of the suite, and said some strata council members had personal or business relationships with T.M., and refused to take action against him.

In June 2017, the strata council implemented new rules to govern use of the guest suite.

But T.M. said he was not aware of his guest’s commercial activities and was being treated unfairly.

He noted he owns multiple units in the building, which he believes entitled him to use the guest suite for extended periods of time.

“Based on the applicant’s evidence, I find that the guest was operating a business out of the guest suite contrary to the bylaws,” said tribunal member Maureen Abraham in her decision dated April 4.

“I find that an appropriate remedy for the respondents’ failures to enforce and comply with the rules and bylaws pertaining to the guest suite is that the respondent owner should lose the use of the guest suite for a reasonable period of time.”


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

kendra.wong@goldstreamgazette.com

Just Posted

N. Cowichan, Duncan considering community “gateway”

Feature would be at the southwest corner of Beverly Street and the Trans Canada Highway

Duncan denies emergency shelter for women on Cairnsmore Street

Will look at a mobile shelter for women instead

Harvest House benefits from music trivia fundraiser

Total surpasses $2,300 from Cowichan Valley Autos tournament, with more to come in

Hurdles to bike-sharing program in North Cowichan, study continues

Will also consider adding electric bikes and scooters

Abundance of candidates for North Cowichan council positions

Three in the mayor’s race and 15 vying for councillor seats

B.C. RCMP turn to Const. Scarecrow to shock speeders into slowing down

New addition will watch over drivers from a Coquitlam median for first-of-its-kind pilot in Canada

B.C. home to 1/3 of Canada’s overdose deaths in first 3 months of the year

There were 1,036 overdose deaths in the first three months of the year, with 94 per cent accidental

B.C. candidate moves from hospice care to council race

He beat terminal cancer twice and entered hospice when he decided to run for council.

Ministry of Agriculture commits $300,000 to help B.C. farmers obtain land

B.C. Land Matching Program supports access to affordable farmland for young farmers

Canadian air force short 275 pilots

Attrition outpaces recruitment and training claims Air Force

Teacher suspended after physically shushing, saying ‘shut up’ to student

Grade 5 student reported feeling ‘confused and a little scared’

A B.C. society helps to reforest Crown land after wildfires

Forest Enhancement Society of BC focuses on wildfire mitigation and the reforestation

B.C. marijuana workers may face U.S. border scrutiny

Cannabis still illegal federally south of the border

Most Read