Two businesses are disputing allegations made in a letter to the editor in the Northern View last week that exorbitant fees were being charged to evict trailer park residents in Port Edward.

Businesses dispute letter author’s accusations

Two businesses named in a letter to the editor in the Northern View are seeking to clarify what they say are false statements

Two businesses named in a recent letter to the editor in the Northern View (Owner of Port Ed trailer park at fault, Dec. 7, 2016) are seeking to clarify what they say are false statements made by the letter’s author, Paul Lagace.

Daniel Fulmanti, of Big Dan’s Move It Services, said last week that his business earned approximately $12,000 less than the $37,194.68 stated by Lagace in his letter to the editor. The amount Lagace stated was what Stonecliff Properties president Victoria Beattie purportedly charged tenants for services while evicting them from the Port Edward trailer park last year.

Fulmanti said that his team comprised of 13 employees worked 30 hours [390 man-hours] executing the writs of possession — not the 30 working hours total as stated by Lagace.

“I don’t know where [Lagace] got his information sourced but the amount that was stated that my business earned was [$12,000 less],” Fulmanti said.

“We had to go to court [versus Beattie for $5,000], and if we had not gone to court, we would have lost money on the job,” said Fulmanti.

Beattie also said that Lagace’s information was incorrect on a number of fronts, reporting that Fulmanti originally had billed for approximately $37,000 but she worked to reduce that bill down to $25,000 at the expense of $7,000 of legal fees.

“I did not pass any of those legal fees on [to the tenants],” Beattie said.

She also maintains that she attempted to reduce the moving fees so the cost being passed to the tenants wasn’t so high.

“I had to reduce it at great expense. These legal fees flying around were not cheap … It made no difference to me because this money all has to be collected from the debts. I could charge them anything I wanted. I didn’t have to go to court and fight for [the tenants] but I did go to court and fight for them,” Beattie said.

According to documents, the Stonecliff president sent seven payments in December 2015 (due to bank e-transfer limits) totalling $19,530, with two more payments made this past June after the court hearings totalling $5,000 for a total of $24,530 paid to Big Dan’s.

Beattie alleges she was quoted a much lower price if she paid in advance of the work ($19,530), which she said she did pay and that the final invoice was almost double the price.

The Stonecliff president also took issue with Lagace’s mention of a tenant who established a monetary claim from Stonecliff of approximately $2,500 (12 months pad rent) as compensation for being required to vacate his trailer, with the trailer still standing.

Beattie said that each tenant that moved out of the park and took their trailer was paid that money by Stonecliff and is a Residential Tenancy Branch (RTB) requirement.

“The one [Lagace’s] talking about actually owes us after the fact of the $2,584.50 for the cost of removing the trailer.

“The cost of removing them is at the tenant’s expense. We haven’t done it yet and we’re trying to reduce the cost,” she said, adding she also had to fight to reduce the North Central Bailiff’s bill, because of a trainee that was brought with the bailiff was charging Stonecliff a full bailiff rate.

The 20 outstanding cases yet to be heard Beattie said could be wrapped up in January after RTB finishes its processes.

The property owner said that the trailer park would still be open had the tenants allowed them to get on the property to make repairs to water, sewer and power lines to meet code. Despite alleged threats to contractors and their equipment on-site, Beattie said she offered to clean it up for those who couldn’t pay at her expense, but workers were continually not permitted on the premises by the tenants.

“We couldn’t understand why they didn’t want us to do the repairs … I would never do that to hurt somebody. I did everything I could, I offered them money to help clean up. This is the first time in my career, and I am 63 years old, I have ever evicted a residential tenant so far,” she said.