An arbitrator with B.C.’s Residential Tenancy Department has sided with two residents of a cellular residence park in Williams Lake combating in opposition to a landlord who tried to impose new guidelines shortly after taking possession.
In his choice, arbitrator Adrian Denegar stated imposing fines of $1,000 or extra for disobeying the park’s guidelines and never correctly sustaining yards, in addition to evicting tenants for slander on social media, contravenes the province’s Manufactured House Park Tenancy Act.
“Whereas the owner has each respectable operational and enterprise cause to keep up a well-run park, implementing draconian and unreasonable guidelines isn’t the perfect technique for doing so,” Denegar wrote.
The choice says the owner argued he was “simply attempting to run a decent ship” and the brand new guidelines had been meant to “make a stern assertion” to cope with some critical points. However the tenants’ advocate argued the principles are imprecise and punitive, and “appear like bullying.”
The arbitrator ordered the owner to adjust to the Manufactured House Park Tenancy Act and take away the principles.
‘We have now our rights’
“I used to be very blissful to listen to that we gained,” stated Trent Martens, one of many two tenants within the choice. “You recognize, we now have our rights.”
Paul Lagace, a poverty advocate who usually represents tenants in cellular residence parks and was straight concerned on this case, stated the hefty fines and strict guidelines made the case uncommon.
“I’ve seen some fairly loopy stuff through the years of doing this, however this simply tops every little thing,” Lagace stated.
The house owners did not reply to requests for remark by deadline.
Almost 100 tenants affected
In line with the choice, the owner, RJ De Ath Estates Restricted, bought the manufactured residence park final yr.
The earlier house owners had run the park, named the Fran Lee Trailer Court docket, for 27 years. There are practically 100 tenants on the park.
Two of the tenants, Martens and his neighbour, went to the Residential Tenancy Department after the brand new proprietor tried to make all of the tenants comply with the next new park guidelines final July:
All complaints needed to be made in writing and supported by proof. Fines of $1,000 and up for not abiding by all guidelines and rules, issued with out warning or discover. Fines of $1,000 and up for yards not correctly maintained, plus prices for cleanup and mowing completed by a contractor, issued with out warning or discover. Termination of tenancy efficient instantly for residents discovered slandering on social media or wherever else.
Solely the final three guidelines had been contested within the choice.
‘Cheap’ guidelines allowed
The Manufactured House Tenancy Act does enable for landlords to ascertain, change and repeal “cheap” guidelines that govern a park so long as it protects and preserves the situation of the park, promotes comfort or security of the tenants or regulates entry to a service or facility.
Tenants in cellular residence parks are usually required to handle routine yard upkeep.
However on this case, the arbitrator stated the $1,000 fines had been “wholly unreasonable” and “unconscionable.” The choice factors out that the tenancy act does not allow landlords to challenge fines for breaching the principles.
As for the owner’s rule about posting unfavorable feedback on social media, the arbitrator stated the park’s guidelines cannot contravene the tenancy act’s legal guidelines governing evictions.
‘We’re simply attempting to run the park’
In line with the choice, the house owners stated they did not intend to implement the principles, which had been meant to “preserve folks in compliance.”
“We’re simply attempting to run the park, and we would like it to be well-run park,” the owner was quoted as saying within the choice.
The arbitrator agreed that though manufactured residence park landlords have the appropriate to verify their tenants abide by the park’s guidelines, any disputes needs to be filed via the Residential Tenancy Department.