Here’s how not to get a reference when you apply to rent a suite.
Threaten your previous landlord and other tenants, run an illegal alleged "chop shop" that wakes people up with constant banging and let your friends do drugs and urinate in the hallways.
That’s what a couple of unruly tenants did at a Port Coquitlam apartment that resulted in their swift eviction by the Residential Tenancy Branch.
So bad, the owner of the rental unit joined forces with the strata council to give testimony at a recent hearing, telling the arbitrator the tenants' behaviour was disturbing, and even threatening to other residents.
ALLEGED 'CHOP SHOP'
While the tenants didn't call in to the virtual hearing, the arbitrator heard enough to grant the early eviction notice, which the landlord posted on the door.
Among the complaints were concerns the tenants were running an illegal "chop shop," a place where stolen cars are chopped up into parts for re-sale.
However, in this case, it appeared to be bikes the tenants may have been working on.
The landlord provided documentary evidence that the tenants were asked to cease their late night activities, which included sawing, banging and drilling.
OPEN DRUG USE, PUBLIC URINATION AND THREATS
Further testimony included complaints there were break-ins to other units, and that the tenants would allow strangers into the building, who were seen sleeping in the laundry room, injecting drugs in the stairway, urinating in the common room and creating "conflict" with other residents.
The property manager, meanwhile, said the situation got so bad — with tenants giving keys to friends, the late-night noise, multiple bikes being brought to the unit, public toileting, including defecating in underground parking and in the washing machine in the laundry room — that full-time security was hired.
Tenants also refused to wear masks as required by the B.C. provincial health officer, the arbitrator was told.
Police were called when the tenant threatened a strata council member with physical harm.
"I will smash your face in," the tenant reportedly said, adding a derogatory expletive to their threat.
Taking note of the testimony, the arbitrator noted, under section 56 of the Residential Tenancy Act, a landlord can end a tenancy for interfering with other residents, illegal activities, causing damage and jeopardizing the health of others among other things.
In the end, the arbitrator agreed to accept the landlord's "undisputed" testimony.
HELP AVAILABLE FOR THOSE INVOLVED
The Residential Tenancy Branch hears hundreds of cases a year, including many from the Tri-City area, where tenants and landlords are in dispute with one another.
The decisions show multiple instances where relations between landlords or tenants got out of hand.
But there is help.
Landlord BC offers support for its members and tips for researching a home with a tenant before purchasing, while TRAC (Tenant Resource and Advisory Centre) offers free legal education and advocacy.
The Residential Tenancy Branch also offers help for dealing with disputes and education for renters and landlords as well as a guide to dispute resolution.