Evicting a tenant before their lease is up is serious business that is often dealt with by B.C.'s Residential Tenancy Branch.
Sometimes evictions are upheld; sometimes they are not, depending on the circumstances.
In one recent case in Port Coquitlam and posted online, an arbitrator agreed with a landlord they could end a tenancy early because of a threat so scary that it was reported to the Coquitlam RCMP.
Tenant shaped his fingers into a gun
The landlord testified that on Aug. 14, 2021, the tenant made a direct threat to the landlord's friend by shaping their fingers "like a gun" and making a shooting motion to his own throat while saying "I will do this to you."
Following the threat, Coquitlam RCMP were called and the landlord's friend said he was "threatened with violence and my life threatened."
The landlord said he also witnessed the threat.
While the tenant never showed up for the Sept. 7 hearing, despite a notice being posted to his door, the arbitrator agreed with the landlord that the documentary evidence and testimony proved the tenant was adversely affecting the "quiet enjoyment, security, safety and physical well being" of another occupant of the residential property.
"Furthermore, I find the tenant made threats of death to the landlord or the landlord's guest," the arbitrator wrote in his decision.
Usually a month to get the tenant out
Normally, a landlord would have to wait a month after ending a tenancy for cause, such as unpaid rent.
But, in this case, the arbitrator agreed that the tenancy ended the day of the hearing and the tenant had two days to move out after receiving notice, at which point the landlord could re-possess the unit.
It is not known whether the rental unit was in a house or an apartment.
Nevertheless, the case shows the authority of the Residential Tenancy Branch to deal with serious issues on rental properties.
Under Section 56 of the Residential Tenancy Act, the director may make an order specifying an earlier date for ending the tenancy in specific situations, such as jeopardizing the health and safety someone or "adversely" affecting the quiet enjoyment of others, among other reasons.
While it's not known what happened to the tenant who made the threat, the Residential Tenancy Branch gave the landlord the authority to take back the unit within two days of the hearing and keep $100 of the $700 security deposit for filing fees.
The notice was to be mailed to the the tenant and was enforceable by the Supreme Court of British Columbia, according to the decision.