By Trevor Greyeyes
Buildings managed, and partially owned, by Karin Harper have made the news in three separate stories in local news coverage but is only quoted in one.
Here’s an image capture of the story that ran on CTV News.
Harper is quoted in the news piece directly (https://winnipeg.ctvnews.ca/blowing-up-a-community-residents-ordered-out-of-winnipeg-apartment-building-1.6528420?fbclid=IwAR1LGW-g5ZRP9EMVo1C3ROQfzXQj2O8BzcWZPWN7MA6fDXF9-1oN4cEe-vM).
She was also the property manager here, and I can’t say she was a part owner but I will follow that up to see, of an apartment block on Mountain Ave. that went up in flames in August as well.
Here’s an image capture of the story that ran on CBC. (https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/adanac-apartments-winnipeg-fire-safety-vacate-order-deadline-1.6943079)
I know Harper was the property manager there because my next-door neighbor said that she was living in that apartment block and found this place because Harper had an opening in this building.
Later that afternoon, there was a knock at my door and S. Glenn Collins, the guy I knew as the property manager, introduced Harper as the new property manager. Harper interjected in the conversation that she was also a part owner of the building.
He mentioned to me that ASH Management had indicated that I was late with my rent.
Now, for full disclosure, yes, I am behind in my rent. Quite constantly actually because I have always been underemployed without a full-time job in nearly twenty years.
I had put down $1000 on my rent in mid-August. The exact day I received a payment for publishing my last edition of the First Nations Voice.
And I will readily admit that as a property manager Harper is well within her right to evict me.
However, that being said, it weighed on my conscious if I should write this story or not. I majored in Journalism at a post-secondary institution, and I am a graduate.
So, by the standard rules of journalism, I am not supposed to write about his situation being personally involved but then I realized a long time ago that the so-called rules of journalism are nothing more than Balder Shots.
Take away my license to practice journalism. Besides, I will just structure it as an editorial on what I have found out about renting since I’ve been living here.
In late August, I found a Form 8, as noted by the Residential Tenancies Branch, claiming that I owed $7800.
I posted on Facebook that was a ridiculous amount and described her as being “venomous” when last we spoke.
Harper read that post and reached out to me through Facebook Messenger telling me that she wanted me out and was not even going to go through the RTB mediation process.
There are two important points I would like to highlight here:
- I have already been through an RTB mediated process with the previous property manager S. Glenn Collins in March 2023.
However, Harper didn’t have a copy of that agreement or failed to factor that into her estimates.
All my past receipts were brought up to date as of April 15th with a cheque cashed by ASH Management.
I have all the receipts too because I was not operating from spreadsheets supplied by a third party to this building’s property management.
Harper has no idea in real time how much I owe or can even prove if I owe.
- The second point is that the property management here doesn’t collect the rent receipts because the company holding the mortgage had assigned ASH Management the collector of rent receipts because the property owners here were behind in their mortgage payments.
It’s been over three years and ASH is still collecting all the rent paid here.
Now, in mediation with Collins, he asked how I knew much of this information.
I am a working journalist/ writer/ researcher and I can look up through normal channels with just someone’s name and a number of a company that person owns.
To be fair to Collins, not all his properties are run down vermin infested fire traps like this apartment building at 285 College Ave.
Like that time a caretaker here piled up mattresses and other debris against the back of the building on June 2, 2022.
However, someone like that can own multiple properties but hive them off by having a different numbered company so that that owner doesn’t have to shift resources, as in money, for repairs from another building.
Now, the property owners here do collect funds that go above their mortgage payments and there were a few months here during Collins time and he did pay for new hallway carpets at one point.
However, three months ago I told the caretaker in his employ that the kitchen handle had broken off in the kitchen sink. He told me that he would have to check but thought there wouldn’t be enough money in the budget for that repair.
There have been multiple fires here since I moved in, and those apartments have still not been renovated.
Collins told me on multiple occasions that he would fix up the building as revenues started coming in and that once the mortgage payments had been caught up then the property owners would start collecting the receipts.
If you ask for my input, since ASH Management is collecting the rent then they should be the ones managing the building, but this is the system the current legislation allows.
The other problem in this city, as in other large urban centers through North America, large investment
Firms have been buying up property with an overriding principle to maximize profit for the shareholder which has created a situation where rent rates are going through the roof.
That correspondingly has the effect of raising all rent prices in that city.
And that means small players in the game without the management or resources to properly manage with properties like this and believe me this is beyond my area of expertise.
Which brings me to the third story that a building that Harper manages has made the news.
That’s the front of my building where Winnipeg firefighters are having to wash off the blood of a young man who was shot in the neck inside the front door of this apartment building. He had stumbled outside leaving a trail until he collapsed.
The tragic incident happened Sunday evening around 6:45 and after the police presence had left late Monday afternoon. I went to do some grocery shopping since we could leave through the front door again.
The mess inside the door hadn’t been cleaned up yet. By Tuesday morning it had but the door had not been replaced and you can still see the bullet holes.
On social media, I received messages from the young man’s friends who thought I was seeking to sensationalize his death.
Out of respect for his friends and his family, I won’t mention his name here but to me this is tragedy.
His young life ended at 25-years old with a one-year-old daughter and that’s it.
No chance of redemption or turning his life around. Or having his daughter know him as a father.
And I know this is out of Harper’s purview or responsibility, but I talked to several tenants, including myself, who don’t feel safe in this building. There are so many social ills that are reflected in this building.