JANUARY 23, 2010
VANCOUVER – Tenants asserting persecution and intimidation by their landlord, Hollyburn Properties Limited, have been vindicated with their most recent win at the Residential Tenancy Branch.
Emerald Terrace is the rental building where Hollyburn has employed numerous tactics in order to circumvent a BC Supreme Court ruling preventing them from evicting tenants for cosmetic renovations. Tactics include providing misinformation to tenants through “Resident Opinion Polls” in an effort to scare them out of the building and bogus letters stating their tenancies would end. Hollyburn also tried to evict 83-year old Lynn Stevens, a 40 year tenant battling cancer, because they claimed they needed her suite for a resident manager. Hollyburn’s attempt to evict 10 pet owners in 2009 was also thwarted when those tenants filed for dispute resolution at the RTB and had the evictions set aside.
Excerpts from Dispute Resolution Officer K. Millar’s decision:
“I find that the landlord deliberately misinformed the tenants regarding the impact of the plumbing re-pipe.”
I find that the misinformation above had that effect on the tenants and that as a result they were deprived of the right to live in an environment free from intimidation.”
“While to a non-resident the Opinion Poll can be taken to show the landlord’s commitment to upgrade the building which presumably would benefit the tenants, I accept that for the residents of the building it assumed a more sinister air.”
“Emerald Terrace is the tip of the iceberg” explains resident Cynthia Holmes. “These tactics have been exposed only because the tenants in this building had the wherewithal to fight. There is something wrong with the system and the legislation when landlord accountability is entirely dependent on tenant action.”
“Although the amount awarded really does not adequately compensate us for our troubles, I am happy that the decision is in our favour” says 82-year old tenant Les McBride. “My wife Olwen passed away and I believe the stress and anxiety caused by Hollyburn had a significant impact on her health during her final days.”