Following a lengthy dispute between tenants and property owner Stonecliff Properties, the Port Edward trailer court was to be shut down on Aug. 31.
“Stonecliff continues to work with the tenants and the Residential Tenancy Board and expects that everyone will provide full and peaceful vacant possession and occupation of all sites as required by law on Aug. 31, 2015. It should be noted that while Stonecliff can retain the services of a bailiff (by filing its orders of possession with the BC Supreme Court), this is seen as a last resort for only those tenants who refuse to obey the law,” read a statement from company solicitor Michael Gemmiti.
“Stonecliff did not intend or foresee this unfortunate result when it purchased the park in 2013.”
Stonecliff gave notice of its intention to shut down the park on Aug. 22, 2014, claiming the property was losing between $10,000 and $15,000 per month. While Stonecliff had “underwent considerable expense to develop a plan to renovate the park with minimal interruption”, those plans were met with staunch opposition from tenants. Members of the Port Edward Manufactured Home Owners Association said demands to move their private property to facilitate the work, as well as issues with the landlord taking rent payments and plans to restrict access to the site, were unacceptable. As well, tenants alleged harassment regarding rent was causing significant stress.
When Stonecliff announced its plans to shut down the trailer court, citing an inability to repair critical infrastructure, relations between the two groups were even further stressed, with several tenants challenging the eviction notice.
“In three separate hearings, involving a joined action application (multiple tenants) and two separate applications, the RTB dismissed every application, upheld the 12-month notice and awarded orders of possession to the Landlord,” explained Gemmiti.
“Every tenant was aware of the consequences of not allowing the required repairs so that Stonecliff could provide proper health and safety standards and meet community by-laws for the benefit of the existing and future tenants. Each tenant received due process under the law. There are no further appeals that can be made.”
Stonecliff now plans to begin decommissioning of the site quickly and notes that “deteriorated infrastructure and debris” will begin to be removed after Aug. 31.