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Landlord for 20th Street problem house says properties will be sold, getting out of rental business

COURTENAY, B.C- Amandio Santos is done with being a landlord.

Santos spoke with the newsroom after a public hearing at Courtenay city hall on Monday evening, aimed at giving residents a chance to speak on the possible rezoning of his property at the corner of 20th Street and Lambert Drive.

The home has been a rental property while owned by Santos, and has drawn attention from concerned neighbours and police in the last few years.

The zoning change is meant to allow the lot to have two homes, while the housing agreement dictates that the owner of the lands occupy the dwellings, restricts the use to single family residential, and prohibits the lease, license, or rental of the lands or any dwellings on the lands.

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The existing home also needs to be renovated as laid out in a plan submitted to the city in January of last year and prohibit driveway access onto 20th Street.

The housing agreement passed without opposition when it first came up for council, and the zoning change passed first and second reading, heading to Monday’s public hearing.

Multiple residents of the area spoke up during the hearing, detailing their concerns about the property and its future, with some detailing their experiences along the road.

One woman said she had to call the police about tenants at the Santos property, the same day she moved into her home in the area.

Details about the site were also provided by a development engineer representing Santos to council, who stated that all the residents of the property are gone except for one trusted caretaker tenant.

After the hearing ended, Santos said he felt things were going well with the property, and indicated he has no plans to live at the rezoned homes. According to him, the plan is simple, a cleanup and moving on.

“I’m well established where I live, and I own a few properties in the Valley, I just plan to sell it,” said Santos.

He is planning to sell all of his properties, which are mainly rentals across the Valley, and sell them to homebuyers. The 20th Street property is meant to be the start of that process.

“I’ve got a few in the works already, cleaning them up and selling,” said Santos.

“I’m 72 years old, and I plan to get out of this rental business because it’s not the best thing to be in.”

He indicated that housing agreements wouldn’t be sought for each property.

“That came about so we could maybe satisfy the neighbourhood, but it doesn’t have to be that, in my opinion,” said Santos.

“I’m not doing that (selling everything) because of the agreement, I’m doing it on my own.”

As for what he would say to anyone who took issue with his plan, Santos said he had nothing to say.

“I already told them my plan was to clean up the property, it’s been a bit of an eyesore in the past,” said Santos.

“I was there, before they were, so give me time, I’ll be good, they’ll be two good looking houses.”

The rezoning proposal will still need final council approval.

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