Garnet Rempel, 72, has mobility issue and says he hasn’t been able to access his third-floor apartment in Langley City after the building’s elevator broke down last Tuesday. Troy Landreville Langley Times

Langley senior left without a home due to broken elevator

A Langley senior with mobility issues says he was left grounded after the elevator in his apartment building stopped working last week.

Garnet Rempel, 72, who uses a scooter to get around, says he had to shell out $98 a day for a motel room because he was unable to access his two-bedroom suite on the third floor of Cassola Place in Langley City.

Rempel told the Times on April 18 that the elevator at Cassola Place broke on April 11, making it impossible for him to access his suite.

He said there have been problems with the elevator “off and on” over the past 36 months.

“This last time, it happened on Tuesday (April 11),” Rempel said. “Now it doesn’t work, period.”

“One time, (members of) the fire department had to carry me upstairs,” Rempel added. “It’s not like it’s an isolated incident.”

Rempel said a sign on the elevator noted that there is no timeline on any repair work. “No date, no time, we’ll keep you abreast of the situation.”

“Now, I’ve got to go to a hotel at 98 dollars a night,” Rempel said. “Who’s paying for this? Do I get any kind of compensation package? I’m not the only tenant with walking problems.”

He said he’s on a limited income and his money is going to run out. “I don’t have a lot of money.”

“I’ve got a bad heart,” Rempel said. “I’m stressed out. I’ve got a mobility problem up the ying yang, and they could care less; they don’t have a clue.”

Two people standing outside the complex late Wednesday afternoon confirmed to the Times that the elevator is still out of service, and has been for more than week.

They also noted that other residents have been left housebound because of this situation.

The property management company has not responded to repeated requests for comment.

Tenant Resource & Advisory Centre (TRAC) executive director Andrew Sakamoto explained that the Residential Tenancy Branch (RTB) has a number of policy guidelines on various topics affecting renters.

One of them is “termination or restriction of a service or facility.”

“In that document… it does note that an elevator at a multi-storey apartment building is considered an essential service,” Sakamoto said.

“So, particularly for these seniors who may have mobility issues, this is obviously an extremely serious and urgent issue.”

Sakamoto advised that those affected contact their landlord immediately.

Failing that, he noted the tenants’ legal recourse is to apply to the RTB for dispute resolution.

“So that’s essentially B.C.’s tenant/landlord court,” he said. “Through that service, they can ask for an emergency repair order and also compensation. If they’re unable to get up to their units, they certainly have the right to ask to be re-imbursed for those costs.”

Just Posted

‘Tis the season for Counter Attack in Langley

Langley RCMP are seeing more impaired drivers this holiday season compared to last

Bears will be flying as Giants get set for Teddy Bear Toss

Stuffed animals will be collected at Langley Events Centre, distributed through Lower Mainland Christmas Bureau

Man accused of shooting at border agents loses final bid to appeal extradition order

Nathan Hall was arrested in Abbotsford following cross-border manhunt in 2013

Life advice from Cloverdale’s Elfreda Anderson, a 103-year-old world traveller

‘You name it, I’ve been there’ : Elfreda on life, love and always having a suitcase on hand

VIDEO: Average Canadian food bill to rise by $348 in 2018

Atlantic Canada and B.C. will see the most increases for consumers

Debt-to-household-income ratio rises in third quarter

Total household credit market debt grew to $2.11 trillion in the third quarter

B.C. Mountie told to resign after texting teenage sex assault victim

RCMP documents say Const. Brian Eden sent sexually inappropriate photos to 17-year-old girl

Family doctors should learn to treat addiction, not shun patients: scientist

B.C. Centre on Substance Use’s Dr. Evan Wood said efforts underway to change addiction medicine image

Update: Small fire near Maple Ridge tent city

Occurred outside camp Wednesday night

Four dog deaths investigated in Cranbrook

One vet suggests a parallel to these deaths and similar ones in 2016

Meningococcal disease outbreak declared in Okanagan

Five cases in last six months among 15- to 19-year-olds, including one in Vernon

Military life gives way to chance as author

Retired Chilliwack officer pens book about life in Afghanistan

Province rejects Ajax mine in Kamloops

KGHM Ajax had proposed a 1,700-hectare open-pit copper and gold mine, just southwest of Kamloops

Most Read