I am one of the leaseholders at Orchard House.
Although a 2-page report from an engineering company from September 2013 stated that windows were not in immediate need of replacement but were nearing the end of their service life, Westsea did provide an updated engineering report, dated March 24, 2016. In the March 2016 report, the engineers estimated costs for the window replacement project of $3.65 million. On or about July 5, 2016, only three months later, Westsea informed leaseholders that the windows project will cost $5.5 million.
Leaseholders cannot get any answers from Westsea to requested information relating to the increased costs (nearly $2 million more than the engineers estimate). Westsea is taking the tack it has no legal or contractual obligation to respond to any inquiries. To support this position, Westsea purports to rely on a settlement of a court application I made in which both myself and Westsea agreed that I would dismiss my court application for an interpretation of the lease, on the condition that Westsea would provide an engineering report about the windows project. There was no court order in relation to the substance of my application - just an agreement that Westsea would provide the engineering report. And yet Westsea's lawyer is telling leaseholders the matter "was litigated in the Supreme Court of British Columbia", which may mislead leaseholders to believe that the court made an order that Westsea has no obligation to answer inquiries -- such an order clearly was not made by the court. In turn, Westsea is exploiting a court settlement as yet another mechanism by which Westsea sustains their monopoly on the information exchange between itself and the leaseholders, who are required to pay all the bills that Westsea presents them.
The latest gaff by Westsea comes in their letter to leaseholders on July 21, 2016, in which Westsea has notified residents of the pending construction time-frames. The letter says:
"All residents are responsible for clearing their belongings. If the contractor is required to move personal belongings, the resident will be back-charged at a rate of $56.55 / man-hour. Farmer Construction and or Westsea Construction Ltd. et al will not be held liable for any items that require moving and get damaged."
I would be interested to know how Westsea has arrived at this hourly rate, which seems exorbitant and arbitrary to me. Westsea feels it can simply tell leaseholders what we must pay if workers have to move household items. I have seen nothing in the lease that gives them authority to make such a demand, let alone charge the cost they are suggesting; and their unilateral declaration that Westsea cannot be held liable for damages simply flies in the face of their legal duty to take reasonable care.
These are just further examples how Westsea exploits the imbalance in power between itself and the leaseholders, who pay the bills.