UBCO students speak out over weeks with no hot water at U-Five building

Weeks without hot water

Students living in the U-Five building near UBC Okanagan are frustrated.

They’ve been without hot water for two weeks and it could be another two weeks or more before it comes back on.

Ethan, Ella and Callia all say it took days before there was any explanation about why the hot water wasn’t working.

“Obviously the tenants were getting quite frustrated because we hadn’t heard anything about it. So, somebody posted a little letter to strata in the elevator saying we want to know what’s going on, because we can’t live without hot water and we have to have cold showers,” says Callia.

Ella adds that she had to send three emails before the property management representative finally responded. “I said (to her) don’t you think this is something you should be telling the residents?”

The three students say they have been told it’s not a simple repair.

“They sent out an update saying that the boilers had broken down, all of them, and that they didn’t really know when it was going to be fixed. And that they were hopeful that it was going to be in two weeks that the boiler would arrive,” but Callia says a recent update indicated that the boiler had just shipped and there was no indication when it would arrive.

“I’m fortunate to have a gym membership, so I just go shower at the gym. But there’s obviously days where I do still have to tough out the cold showers,” said Ethan.

Ella says they asked about compensation but she was told there’s a clause in their rental contract that prevents compensation. While some units in U-Five are individually owned, the students Castanet spoke to all rent from a central pool.

While the students understand that the equipment failure was unpredictable and could take time to repair, they would have liked better communication from the property manager.

Castanet called and emailed the management company representative responsible for U-Five but did not hear back by the time of publication.

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