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One wish for my birthday

First, I want to thank everyone who has sent my happy birthday wishes and everyone who came out for my party on Sunday. I had a marvellous time. All the gifts were lovely and those that were buying me drinks succeed in getting me thoroughly plastered. Thank you all.

Now that it is actually my birthday, I'm sorry to report I am so far not having a good day. I took the day off work to relax and I am anything but relaxed at the moment, which brings me to my one wish for my birthday at this point:

May I never have to suffer the illogic of others again.

Of course I may as well wish for immortality, world peace, and the abolition of taxes.

I was awakened by the door buzzer (well, not entirely true, I was awakened by the jack-hammers at the building being demolished half a block away, but I was still in bed when the door buzzer sounded). Thinking it might be the post for Elaine I ran to answer and it turned out to be someone claiming to be "the window guy". I was not expecting anyone so I presumed, as often happens, that it was someone who intended to buzz the managers (their buzzer code is the same as our suite number).

A few minutes later there was a knock on the door. It was in fact a contractor coming to close up our windows. An issue we'd already gone to arbitration over where I won. Both Elaine and I had been in and out of the apartment several times yesterday and there was no notice of the work. This brings me to the first failure of simple logic. The residential tenancy act says, "at least 24 hours and not more than 30 days before the entry, the landlord gives the tenant written notice..." – 24-hours is not the evening of the day before. It's a legal requirement and a precise measure of time, not a colloquialism for "sometime the day before". In fact, since the document was delivered by attaching it to the apartment door other stipulations apply. Part (6) Division (1) Paragraph (90) Section (c) of the BC Residential tenancy act states that a document attached to the door or other conspicuous place is not considered received until the third day after it is attached. In other words for a document attached sometime Monday the earliest the landlord can enter the suite is actually Friday:
Monday: document is attached.
Tuesday: 1st day after the document was attached.
Wednesday: 2nd day after the document was attached.
Thursday: 3rd day after the document was attached, the day the document is considered received, and the 24-hour minimum notice begins.
Friday 8:00 a.m.: the earliest the landlord can enter the suite for a reasonable purpose for a notice delivered Monday by attaching it to the door.
So, blindsided, with me still in my bed-clothes and Elaine still in bed, I refused entry. The contractor was adamant. I was steadfast. I told him repeatedly that it was insufficient notice. He started getting angry with me so I got angrier with him. It was insufficient notice, it was over an issue I've already gone to arbitration for and won, and no, he was not coming into so much as look at the windows, could fuck off and no I was not cooperating.

He walked away muttering about my being a jerk.

I had my coffee and a shower, got dressed and went downstairs to chat with the supers about what 24 hours means. At that point I hadn't read over the Residential Tenancy Act for the additional stipulation about when documents are considered received and just stuck to the 24-hours means a whole 24-hours.

A while later the contractor returned with the guy who is in charge of the building maintenance for the landlords. Herein comes the second, and more serious bit of logic malfunction.

You might remember this guy as the guy I've already butted heads with over this issue. At contention is Paragraph, Sentence (2) of the Vancouver Building By-Law which reads:
  • Height of Window Sills above Floors or Ground
    • 2) Windows need not be protected according to Sentence (1) where
      • a) [deleted]
      • b) the only opening greater than 100 mm by 380 mm is a horizontal opening at the top of the window,
      • c) the window sill is located more than 450 mm above the finished floor on one side of the window , or
      • d) the window is located in a room or space with the finished floor described in Clause (c) located less than 1800 mm above the floor or ground on the other side of the window.
The windows have a sill of greater than 45 cm and therefore do not have to be protected. He continues to maintain that regardless of the sill height the windows must not open more than 10 cm because they are more than 1.8 metres off the ground. In other words he can't follow the logic of the by-law.

Let's break down the logic by transforming the same logic with another set of conditions, shall we?

"Windows need not be protected according to Sentence (1) where" - effectively, "You need not to do X if...". Let make it simple and say, "You don't need to walk the dog if..."

a) [deleted] whatever this condition was, it doesn't apply and can be ignored.

b) the only opening greater than 100 mm... - let's change this to "Mary has already walked the dog."

c) the window sill is located more than 450 mm above the finished floor.. - let's change this to "Mark has already walked the dog." This happens to be the condition that is true.

d) the window is located in a room... - let's change this to "John has already walked the dog."

With the same logic we now have the conditional statement:
You don't have to walk the dog if Mary has already walked the dog, Mark has already walked the dog, or John has already walked the dog.
And in this case Mark has already walked the dog, therefore you don't have to walk the dog.

Mapping that back to the original conditional statement: the windows have a sill greater than 45 cm above the finished floor, therefore the windows do not have to be protected.

Anyway, I seem wholly incapable of getting that across to the landlord's maintenance supervisor so I spent the morning pulling a different tack. I called work. I talked to the Director of Engineering and Planning. He put me in touch with the Chief Building Inspector for the City of Port Moody. He in turn gave me a back door number to contact an executive in the Chief Inspector's Office for the City of Vancouver who is not CUPE and not on strike. I was told:
"I can tell you very emphatically that if it is a clause with three conditions and an 'or' that only one of them is required."
I was also told that the work requires a permit to ensure it meets with fire regulations (which it doesn't). When he came back with the contractor I handed them the number of the contact in the Chief Inspector's Office with the quote, asked for the permit (which they couldn't produce) and sent them on their way.

I'm certain I'll end up in arbitration over this again. Of course I'm also certain I'll win again.


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 31st, 2007 10:21 pm (UTC)
Good grief!
Aug. 1st, 2007 01:53 am (UTC)
Haha! That sucks! I love that you stick it to them though :)
And it was good to see you Sunday, its been a while since someone was drunk enough to say to me "you're my best friend!" LOL
Aug. 1st, 2007 03:01 am (UTC)
Incredible!... I suspect you would agree that the stupidity of others never ceases to amaze. Of course, I can imagine it is an incredible test of your patience.
Aug. 1st, 2007 03:46 am (UTC)
what a bunch of wieners!
Glad you had a great birthday tho :)

Aug. 1st, 2007 04:54 am (UTC)
Happy Birthday Mike. To cheer you up, I'm sending your evil twin over with a grunt-o-gram. It's not 24 hours notice, but he's got a permit. Honest.


All the best,
Aug. 1st, 2007 06:01 am (UTC)

well, it's still an hour left, so happy birthday :P

Aug. 1st, 2007 04:49 pm (UTC)
Not to quibble with you but it is Thursday, not Friday that he may enter the unit.

"not considered received until the third day after it is attached"
Monday it is attached
Tuesday day 1
Wednesday day 2
Thursday day 3 - enter the unit, but not until the actual time of service.

However, if the notice is up up and if found to have be taken down (ie the person came home and took it) then it is back to the 24 hour notice.
Aug. 1st, 2007 05:52 pm (UTC)
Be careful about that, while most tenants (myself included) would find that plenty of notice, it wouldn't hold up in arbitration if the tenant knows the law and wants to fight you on it. The clause on serving documents is specific, the document is not considered recieved until the thrid day after being posted. The article on notice is equally specific that notice must be recieved a minimum of 24 hours before the time of entry. If, in the example the work was scheduled for Friday at 8:00 (or any other time on Friday for that matter) it would have to be *recieved* 24 hours before the scheduled entry time. In this scenario the notice would be considered recieved at the beginning of Thursday, and would be inadequate for entry scheduled any time Thursday.

If you are sticking the notice on the tenant's door you have to assume that they won't recieve it until the third day. It would be foolish to assume it would be recieved earlier because the onus would be on you to prove it was received with adequite lead time. Effectively, sticking something on the door Monday is precisely equivalent to the tenant having the notice in his hand at exactly 8:00 a.m. Thursday morning.
Aug. 2nd, 2007 04:57 pm (UTC)
Jesus! Hearing this makes me ever so glad we didn't move in there and oh so greatful that we have the landlord we have. Chin up love!
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )


Michael / Atratus

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