The company that owns the tallest apartment building in Langford said they were shocked when news broke that the property was deemed structurally unsafe.
“This situation caught us entirely by surprise,” said Greg Romundt, president of Centurion Property Associates said in an email statement.
Now, Samantha and Tad Martin say they have no other choice than to return to a home that they don’t feel safe in.
Though the Langford couple says the building manager told them rent would be free after Jan. 3, the biggest factor in finding a new home has been their two dogs, Brizzo and Enyo. Black Press Media reached out to the building manager about the rent price, but they had no comment.
Brizzo, a Husky cross, has severe social anxiety that makes it hard to interact with strangers. Enyo, a Border Collie cross, suffers from epileptic seizures.
“These dogs are like family to us,” Tad said.
“You wouldn’t ask someone to get rid of their kids to move into an apartment building. At this point, it’s really disappointing with all the calls and [potential landlords] turning us down.”
The Martin’s run independent businesses out of their home, selling candles and leggings. The search to find a space that can fit their inventory that won’t break the bank has proved to be fruitless.
Romundt said Centurion Property Associates received a letter from Langford to notify them that there were no known issues with the property when the company bought it.
“And our own team, which although not engineers have inspected literally hundreds of properties, also inspected it and saw no issues,” Romundt said.
Langford is covering moving costs for residents, but that does not include the cost of packing. The City is also offering all tenants up to $350 in prepaid gift cards per unit for incidentals as well as rent difference up to three months, to a maximum of $1,200.
But there are only units with two bedrooms and a den remaining at The Star, which start at $2,250 a month – $570 more than what the Martin’s were paying for a one-bedroom loft at Danbrook One.
Black Press Media reached out to Design Build Services of Langford, who constructed the apartment building, but they declined to comment.
Though the City of Langford has revoked the occupancy permit and recommended residents leave, it hasn’t prevented access to the building or evicted residents.
“There’s no amount of reassurance anyone can give to me even after the problems with the building are fixed again to want to stay there,” Tad said. “But then again it feels like we have no choice in what we do.”