Family evicted from rental over noise from toddler, dad says
A New Westminster, B.C. father and his son have been ordered out of their rented condo after neighbours complained the toddler was making too much noise.
Matt Astifan's three-year-old son Marcus is the light of his life.
"He's so good and he listens so much. I'm amazed at how good of a kid he is," Matt told CTV News Tuesday.
So the father was surprised when downstairs tenants at his rented New Westminster condo made formal complaints that little Marcus was too loud.
"He's not noisy. The challenge is that the building is a wood-frame building," Matt said.
"You can hear Marcus walking around sometimes. He grabs a toy, chases a cat or drops a car. So of course there's noise – I'm not denying there's noise – but I'm doing my best to keep it down."
After three warnings, and a final eviction notice, Matt took his case to a Residential Tenancy Branch arbitrator.
"She sided with them completely on all counts," he said.
In the ruling released Monday, the arbitrator said "ongoing noise is from running, stomping and banging" and it "significantly interfered with or unreasonably disturbed another occupant."
The arbitrator found that the landlords "have made every reasonable attempt to resolve the issue… and the only option left… is to end the tenancy."
"She gave us 10 days' notice, so Jan. 31, we're supposed to be out," Matt said.
He believes evicting a family over a noisy child sets a terrible precedent.
"You cannot police them to the point there's no noise," he said.
Now he's looking at legal options and new apartments where neighbours don't mind the sound of little feet. In the meantime, he's planning to put his possessions in storage and move in with his mother.