Strata handyman informs and entertains neighbours on Twitter

Landon Hawryluk starts informative and at times, hilarious Twitter page for his strata

Landon Hawryluk
Landon Hawryluk outside his building at 555 West 7th Avenue in Vancouver.

A Vancouver man fed up with the management of his strata is taking to Twitter to keep his neighbours informed, and call out those breaking the rules.

Landon Hawryluk bought a unit in 2016 at The Werks building at 555 West 7th Avenue. The seven-storey, 20 unit condominium development was completed in 2013 by a small developer.

Hawryluk says he quickly realized that the building had a lot of loose ends and issues that needed to be addressed, compounded by outstanding strata fees and irregular payments from the developer, who still owned a quarter of the units.

“This led to the building being very short on funds and unable to afford luxuries such as landscaping and regular weekly building cleaning,” said Hawryluk. “After finding out what I’d gotten myself into, I started taking on the duties free of charge. Any expenditures for the building I’d either foot the bill myself or pay with money I would get from returning the building’s beer and wine bottles I’d picked from our blue bins.”

Hawryluk eventually secured an official caretaker contract for the building, in addition to taking on the role of strata president. He started the building’s unofficial Twitter page, @555TheWerks, as a news source for his neighbours.

What feedback have you received from residents?

Feedback is and was minimal. I think most if not all residents didn’t or still don’t realize it was “that guy” they would bump into on occasion in the lobby painting the walls or out shovelling the sidewalk, that was posting updates on the this very random Twitter handle that bared the namesake of their home. It’s my understanding that most, if not all of the residents signed up to Twitter just to follow the Twitter handle they saw scribbled on a piece of painters tape on the wall of the garbage room.

What sort of problems are Airbnb units causing in the building?

Generally just disregard for the people that live in the building. Be it by having loud parties, clogging the lobby and elevator with their luggage, essentially treating our home like a hotel. On one occasion I had a guy come at me after I asked him to be quiet at 1 a.m. on a work night. His response? “You know how much I’m paying a night for this place?!”

How do you juggle three roles: landscaper, handyman, strata president and social media strategist?

I’m a doer. I’m also a self-driven first-time homeowner that realizes just how lucky I am to get into this crazy housing market in the best city the world has to offer. Also, I like coming home from my full-time job to see a nicely manicured lawn and my reflection in the lobby floor.

  • Cop 663

    He should probably use Facebook instead of Twitter. For example, set up a Facebook page for “The Werks”.

    The problem with Twitter is that:
    (1) Not very many people use it. Only tech-savy people for that most part.
    (2) It’s totally public. Most of his posts are lighthearted, but there are some (e.g. the ones that have specific unit numbers) that may introduce privacy and security concerns. For example, if he tweets that the door is unlocked and a thief sees this and enters the building, would he not be liable? Perhaps? Yes, he could protect the tweets, but that’s clumsy and nobody would actually follow.

    Using Facebook would help because:
    (1) More people, including non-techies, use Facebook.
    (2) Facebook provides a bit more control over who has access to pages/groups. Yes, anonymous people can still see your content but in most cases they’ll be using their real accounts.

    Personally, if somebody did this in my condo building, I’d probably find most posts informative and funny but would also be concerned about security and annoyed over vigilante justice/shaming.