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