A Burnaby renter is considering their legal options to deal with a landlord who is always drunk – leading to multiple confrontations.
B.T. told me his landlord’s drinking has been a problem for about a year. There have been incidents in which the landlord has started arguments over trivial issues due to intoxication, as well as making unfounded accusations about such things as not paying the rent.
“I have to walk on eggshells all the time because he drinks constantly,” B.T. said.
But B.T. has finally had enough after an incident over the holiday season in which his landlord apparently came home from a night of drinking (thankfully getting a ride home instead of driving) and ended up in the tenant’s basement suite.
“There is a connecting door that locks but my landlord has the key,” B.T. said. “He must have unlocked it thinking he was in his part of house. I woke up to find him lying next to me passed out and snoring. I tried to wake him up but he was just out. I’m shaking him and thinking, ‘I’ve got to get out of here.’ But why should I have to disrupt my life because he has a booze problem.”
The landlord apologized the next morning, swore to cut back drinking and even didn’t accept any rent for January as a goodwill gesture.
B.T. was thankful for that, but still worries about this happening again.
According to B.C.'s Residential Tenancy Act (RTA), landlords are responsible for providing quiet enjoyment to all tenants. Upon getting a disturbance complaint from a tenant, the landlord must take steps to fix the problem. For example, a landlord may need to speak to a tenant about noise if it bothers neighbouring tenants.
But how does the Residential Tenancy Branch deal with a complaint when it’s the landlord that’s the one ruining the quiet enjoyment of the tenant?
- With additional reporting by Elana Shepert, Vancouver Is Awesome
Follow Chris Campbell on Twitter @shinebox44.