B.C. landlord replaces windows, doors he removed during rent dispute after province steps in
A Maple Ridge woman paid to have her house boarded up, after her landlord removed the doors and windows when she fell behind on rent.
VANCOUVER -- A landlord has replaced the windows and doors he had previously removed from a rental house in Maple Ridge after the tenant fell behind on the rent.
Jamie Hemson said she returned home one day last week to find all of the exterior doors and most of the windows on the house missing.
She quickly learned her landlord, Tiger Zhang, had taken them, leaving the house, where Hemson says she lives with her five and 13-year-old children, wide open.
Hemson said she was short on her monthly rent payments for July and August.
She had to hire someone to board up the house because she didn’t feel safe living there without windows and doors.
After a CTV News report about the situation aired on Saturday evening, the Residential Tenancy Branch’s Compliance and Enforcement Unit contacted both the landlord and the tenant to help broker a resolution.
On Monday, Hemson told CTV News the landlord replaced the original doors and windows that had been on the home.
“I am aware of the situation in Maple Ridge and was pleased to see the swift response of our Compliance and Enforcement Unit (CEU) to address this issue with the tenant and landlord,” Housing Minister Selina Robinson said in a statement.
“I encourage any landlord and tenant who has a dispute to reach out to the Residential Tenancy Branch to understand their rights and obligations and to never take actions that could affect the health and safety of those that live in tenanted properties.”
The province created the Compliance and Enforcement Unit in 2019 to investigate allegations of repeated or serious infractions of tenancy laws, and it has the power to issue fines of up to $5,000 per day.
Hemson said she’s relieved to have the windows and doors back on the house, and has been in touch with a renter’s advocate to figure out her next steps in her dispute with Zhang.
Both the landlord and tenant previously told CTV News they had complained to the RTB and both want a hearing to settle the issues that led to this drastic action.