The current state of the Royal Hotel. (Photo Contributed by Richard Leeks)

The current state of the Royal Hotel. (Photo Contributed by Richard Leeks)

‘No one is willing to step up to take any responsibility’: Royal owners plow on with renovictions

Heat, kitchen appliances, doors, running water and WiFi have been allegedly removed

One of the last remaining tenants of the Royal Hotel in Fernie has alleged the new owners are attempting to make the building unsafe in a bid to force him out.

Richard Leeks, who has lived in the Royal Hotel since September 2019 posted a video online of the havoc that has been wrecked on the residences on the top floor of the historic building.

“I think right at this moment they’re probably trying to make it unsafe and have it deemed unsafe so that by the time I get to my hearing I won’t even be able to be there…that’s my worry, I don’t have any proof of that,” said Leeks.

Personnel directed by the new owners, a group of businessmen from Alberta, have allegedly removed the doors, the washer and dryer, all base heaters on Leek’s floor including the one in his room, all kitchen appliances other than the sink, and have halted access to running water in the kitchen. According to Leeks, his internet access was also severed, and he is now forced to use WiFi from the businesses located below his apartment.

Leeks also alleged that he was given no notice that any of the above removals were to take place.

Leeks had been originally given notice to vacate on Nov. 1 because the new owners reportedly wanted to carry out extensive renovations. Leeks alleged that the notice to evict however was illegitimate, given BC tenancy laws force landlords to have all permits and applications already in-hand before they can end leases and evict tenants to proceed with works.

Leeks, who has previously said there is nowhere else for him to live given the tight housing market in Fernie, has said he’s afraid of being made homeless. Despite him having bought a camper truck as means of emergency housing, he still has not been able to find alternate accommodation.

“No one is willing to step up to take any responsibility, so the tenancy board tells me to go here, the BC WorkSafe tells me to go to the tenancy board, the police say they can’t do anything because this is a civil matter, the tenancy board has no enforcement method at all – so there is no one that seems to have any responsibility to hold (the owners) accountable or is willing to take responsibility to hold them accountable in any manner.”

The owners, who have not responded to any requests for comment from this newspaper, did not have any permits issued to carry out work when this story was first published on Oct. 9 nor when it was followed up on Nov. 7. The City of Fernie has confirmed that no work or building permits have been issued since.

READ MORE: Royal Bar and Infinitea issued lease extension until end of November



reporter@thefreepress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Community

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Toronto Public Health nurse Lalaine Agarin makes preparations at Toronto’s mass vaccination clinic, Jan. 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
3 deaths, 234 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health over the weekend

One death connected to outbreak at Kamloops’ Royal Inland Hospital, where 20 patients and 28 staff have tested positive

Zaudanawng “Jay-Dan” Maran in his Creston home. Hanging on the wall behind him is a logo of Kachin’s Manaw festival. Photo: Aaron Hemens
From Myanmar to Creston: The story of a refugee

In October 2007, Zaudanawng “Jay-Dan” Maran and his friends encountered a woman being sexually assaulted by two Myanmar soldiers.

(File Photo)
CBT kicks off new year with grant opportunities for Basin residents

A variety of grants are available for eligible community projects, non-profits, and businesses

(File Photo)
FAR kicks off wicked winter events

A number of virtual contests and events are headed Fernie’s way this winter season

Kimberley Alpine Resort’s Mask-Quatch reminds everyone to keep their mask on. KAR file
RCR resorts cope with “weird” ski season

It has been quite a ski season for the Kimberley Alpine Resort,… Continue reading

Crews with Discovery Channel film as an Aggressive Towing driver moves a Grumman S2F Tracker aircraft around a 90-degree turn from its compound and onto the road on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. It was the “most difficult” part of the move for the airplane, one organizer said. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: Vintage military plane gets towed from Chilliwack to Greater Victoria

Grumman CP-121 Tracker’s eventual home the British Columbia Aviation Museum on Vancouver Island

Kamloops This Week.
48 COVID-19 cases and one death associated with outbreak at Kamloops hospital

One of the 20 patients infected has died, meanwhile 28 staff with COVID-19 are isolating at home

Rolling seven-day average of cases by B.C. health authority to Jan. 21. Fraser Health in purple, Vancouver Coastal red, Interior Health orange, Northern Health green and Vancouver Island blue. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
2nd COVID vaccine doses on hold as B.C. delivery delayed again

New COVID-19 cases slowing in Fraser Health region

The trial of Harry Richardson began Monday at the Nelson courthouse. File photo
Trial of man accused of shooting RCMP officer near Argenta in 2019 begins

Harry Richardson is facing five charges in a Nelson courtroom

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Gerald Cordeiro of Kalesnikoff Lumber Ltd. says the company is looking for a non-profit organization to take over and run its proposed agroforestry project. Photo: Bill Metcalfe
Logging company proposes agroforestry project for Nelson area

Kalesnikoff Lumber is floating the idea of growing trees in conjunction with food crops

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. Two more cases of the COVID-19 strain first identified in South Africa have been diagnosed in British Columbia, bringing the total to three as of Jan. 16.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. now has three cases of South African COVID-19 variant, six of U.K. strain

Both variants are thought to spread faster than earlier strains

Rodney and Ekaterina Baker in an undated photo from social media. The couple has been ticketed and charged under the Yukon’s <em>Civil Emergency Measures Act</em> for breaking isolation requirements in order to sneak into a vaccine clinic and receive Moderna vaccine doses in Beaver Creek. (Facebook/Submitted)
Great Canadian Gaming CEO resigns after being accused of sneaking into Yukon for vaccine

Rod Baker and Ekaterina Baker were charged with two CEMA violations each

Police discovered a makeshift nightclub in a Vancouver apartment on Jan. 23, 2021, and say it wasn’t the first time this month officers have been called to the unit over social gathering concerns. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Doorman of makeshift ‘booze-can’ in Vancouver apartment fined; police look to court order

This marks the fourth complaint about social gatherings inside the apartment in January

Most Read