B.C. Supreme Court favours landlord in email dispute with renter

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      A B.C. Supreme Court ruling contains an ominous message for tenants who bombard their landlords with emails.

      On March 4, Justice Miriam Gropper dismissed West End renter Traysea Stelmack’s application for judicial review of a Residential Tenancy Branch decision ending her tenancy.

      The problem arose after Stelmack placed an ad in February 2012 seeking a roommate to defray costs. The person who responded, Fiona Lee, paid a security deposit and two months’ rent, but the two women got into a 10-minute argument on April 19, 2012.

      The landlord, Commonwealth Holding Co. Ltd. then issued a notice of eviction, according to Gropper’s ruling. A Residential Tenancy Branch dispute-resolution officer upheld the order in part because Stelmack “had unreasonably disturbed the landlord with a large volume of emails”. Subletting the unit and interfering with other tenants’ enjoyment of the building were also cited as grounds.

      “I find the DRO’s conclusion that the volume and tone of Ms. Stelmack’s e-mails to the landlord constituted an unreasonable disturbance of the landlord reasonable,” Gropper wrote in dismissing Stelmack’s appeal.

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      3 Comments

      Strett

      Mar 6, 2013 at 6:13pm

      These unelected judges are kooky. The "volume and tone" of "emails" can constitute an "unreasonable disturbance"? Clearly we have a fascist judiciary that reaches ever further into inanity.

      Anon

      Mar 7, 2013 at 8:12am

      Let's not forget the Res Ten Branch DRO (government) also ruled for the landlord - which means the volume and tone of the emails must have been REALLY unreasonable.

      Bob Webber

      Mar 7, 2013 at 2:23pm

      The best part of having an unelected independent judge make a decision is just that, he's unelected, independent and not beholden to any party line. Further, at this level the judges decision can be appealed. If it was grievously wrong. There are several legal advocates ready and willing to help tenants in landlord disputes. Community legal aid Association in downtown Vancouver fights for tenants on a daily basis.
      There are lots of bad landlords, far too many for that matter, but for this most part landlords is simply trying to earn a living just like everyone else. They taken hard-earned money and invested it in the hopes of getting a return. Tenants abuse the landlord's property far more than an abusive landlord tramples on the rights of tenants
      the residential tenancy act and the people that oversee it are independent. They were forms and put into place to make sure that there was a dispute hearing process and the landlord and/or tenants could not abuse each other's right.
      You have to respect this process, it's not perfect but is far better than any alternative that I've heard of so far. The cost for a landlord to evict a tenant is outrageous. Very rarely does there ever an opportunity for a landlord to recover the high cost associated with the residential tenancy eviction.
      The landlord after getting the order must use a Court Bailiff. He cannot use any other means. The landlord in certain situations must look after the tenants goods. All of this is very expensive.