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Renter was entitled to move out after being told she would have to share a shower, B.C. tribunal rules

Shower head (Shutterstock) Shower head (Shutterstock)

A woman who was surprised by the news that she would be sharing the shower in a suite she rented was justified in moving out immediately, B.C.'s Civil Resolution Tribunal has ruled.

Tara Morshedizadeh told the tribunal that she rented the room from Chaesun Lim in December of 2022 with the understanding it came with a private bathroom, according to a decision posted online Friday.

"The applicant says when she moved in, the respondent’s partner told her the person living in a trailer on the property would be sharing the applicant’s shower. So, the applicant says the respondent misrepresented the rental," tribunal member Megan Stewart explains.

Morshedizadeh was seeking $1,000 in reimbursement for the one month's rent she paid and a $500 refund of the damage deposit.

Lim said they kept the money because the sudden nature of Morshedizadeh's departure made it impossible to find a new roommate who could move in that month. No explanation was given for failing to return the damage deposit, the decision notes.

The tribunal found that the evidence showed that Lim "undisputedly" advertised a private bathroom. The decision also notes that Lim did not dispute that their partner told the new roommate the shower would be shared.

However, the tribunal also found that the information about the sharing of the shower was the result of a "misunderstanding" between Lim and their partner.

"I find the misunderstanding means the respondent likely did not negligently or fraudulently misrepresent the rental to the applicant," Stewart wrote.

In spite of this, the tribunal found that it was reasonable for Morshedizadeh to rely on the information provided by Lim's partner – even if it later proved to be wrong.

"I find the respondent fundamentally breached the agreement when their partner, acting as their agent, told the applicant she would be sharing the bathroom with a third party, after the applicant and the respondent had agreed the bathroom would be private," Stewart wrote.

"The applicant was entitled to move out immediately and seek damages," she continued.

Because Morshedizadeh only occupied the room for a few hours, the tribunal said she was entitled to be reimbursed for the $1,000 in rent she had paid.

Damage deposits, the tribunal points out, can only be withheld if and when damage is caused.

"The respondent does not say why they are entitled to keep the damage deposit, and specifically, they do not say the applicant caused any damage to the room, so I find they are not entitled to keep the damage deposit," the decision says.

In addition to the $1,500, Lim was ordered to pay $70.53 in interest. Top Stories


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