Vancouver strata council wins order to enter alleged hoarder’s condo with “heavy rodent activity”

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      An East Vancouver strata council that has been dealing with an alleged hoarder for years may soon be able to address the situation.

      The condo building has experienced rodent infestation, which the strata blamed on the supposed hoarding of one of the owners, Patricia Faith.

      A B.C. Civil Resolution Tribunal ordered that the council could enter the condo of Faith with fire and pest infestation experts.

      If those experts determine that Faith’s unit continues to be a fire or pest hazard, Faith is to clean up her home at her own cost.

      CRT member Trisha Apland issued the orders after determining that the woman’s strata lot was “likely the source of rodent infestation” in the building.

      “This conclusion is consistent with a common understanding that rodents are generally attracted to open garbage and food, which the photographs show were littered throughout Ms. Faith’s strata lot for several years,” Apland wrote in her reasons for decision.

      At the proceedings, Faith argued that while she may not be the best housekeeper, she is not a hoarder.

      As Apland related, the woman said that she “uses her bedroom for a closet and stores her items in storage boxes”.

      “She says she also stores extra food in the boxes that she donates weekly to charities,” the tribunal member related.

      “Ms. Faith says this is ‘unconventional’ but it is not what she views as hoarding,” Apland continued.

      The tribunal member cited a March 23, 2021 report by Maria Ornopia, employee with the Local Pest & Wildlife Control (Local) company, which noted “clutter, lack of sanitation, and evidence of heavy rodent activity”.

      “They determined Ms. Faith’s strata lot was the source of the pest issues throughout the building and would continue to put other strata lots at risk of infestation,” Apland wrote.

      Faith, for her part, “asserts that the rodents were entering through holes in her walls, Local’s reports are fabricated, and it will ‘tell anyone whatever they want to hear’”.

      “However, Ms. Faith provided no support for her assertion that its reports are fabricated, and I find no reason Local would fabricate its reports,” Apland noted.

      The East Vancouver strata is a low-rise building with 24 residential units and one commercial strata lot.