B.C. Human Rights Tribunal refuses to dismiss complaint by senior fighting eviction
The B.C. Human Rights Tribunal has refused to dismiss a complaint filed by an 83-year-old woman who claimed that she was discriminated against by her landlords.
According to the decision penned by tribunal chair Bernd Walter, the complainant, Audrey Bray, and her late spouse rented a mobile-home pad on a property owned by Gordon Liske and G & M Liske Development Ltd. since 1989. By the time Bray’s spouse died in 2010, she was suffering from physical disabilities and was unable to care for herself.
According to Bray’s version of events, her landlords gave permission for her three daughters to look after her, and eventually, one of them, Brenda, became her full-time caregiver. However, in August 2011, the landlords objected to this arrangement and they started eviction proceedings against Bray. According to Bray, the landlords disliked Brenda.
The respondents offered a different version. According to them, they had been regularly advised by Bray that none of her daughters were living with her.
When Brenda became a permanent resident of the property, they asked her to fill a tenancy application and submit to a criminal record check. However, according to the landlords, Bray’s daughter refused. They also claimed that they received complaints about the behaviour of Brenda and her boyfriend.
The landlords also told the tribunal that another daughter of Bray informed them that Bray was being neglected and not being properly cared for, her savings had been depleted, and that Brenda was observed using drugs. They also claimed that their move to evict Bray was taken in order to rescue the latter from the alleged abuse of her own daughter.
It appears the tribunal is the only remaining avenue of appeal left for Bray. The Residential Tenancy Branch has ruled that the eviction was valid. This ruling was upheld on review by a panel under the Manufactured Home Park Tenancy Act. The B.C. Supreme Court dismissed Bray’s application for a judicial review.
The tribunal decision noted that Bray was ordered to vacate the property by September 30.
Walter declined the landlords’ application to dismiss Bray’s complaint even though the RTB and B.C. Supreme Court have made rulings in connection with her tenancy.
Walter explained that the RTB arbitrator did not have jurisdiction over the human-rights issues raised by Bray. The chair emphasized that residential-tenancy hearings deal only with landlord and tenant issues. With respect to the B.C. Supreme Court, Walter noted that it dealt only with a procedural issue, which was the timeliness of Bray’s challenge. According to Walter, only an evidentiary hearing before the tribunal will resolve Bray’s complaint.