Surrey family victims of 'demoviction,' yet home remains standing
A Surrey family is owed thousands of dollars after being evicted from their home, which their landlord said was going to be demolished, but wasn't.
Just weeks after they moved out, the home was not only standing but also occupied with new tenants.
In May 2018, Vera Canning, her husband and three sons received a notice of eviction from the 92 Avenue duplex they had lived in for 12 years. The notice stated the home would be torn down.
The family moved out in August and was forced to find a new home. They’re now paying an extra $1,000 per month.
Canning said they can no longer be foster parents in their new home and that her blood pressure has risen with the stress. Sadly, their elderly dog wasn’t able to make the move with them and couldn't be re-homed.
“It was quite hard because you weren’t able to find a place to live let alone have animals so we to put our dog down, which our son is still suffering from depression because of it,” explained Canning.
A few weeks after moving out, the family visited their old neighbours only to discover the house was standing and that there were new tenants.
The Cannings took the issue to the Residential Tenancy Branch and in February 2019 an arbitrator ruled in favour of the family.
“Instead of taking steps to accomplish the stated purpose for ending the tenancy, the landlord promptly sold the rental unit,” stated the ruling.
The arbitrator ordered the homeowner, Joginder Bratch, pay the Cannings $21,000, the equivalent of 12 months rent.
“We still haven’t received compensation for being put out,” said Canning.
A lien was placed on two of Bratch’s homes including the one once rented by the Cannings. While Joginder owns the house, the Cannings said her son, Kevin, acted as landlord.
CTV News Vancouver reached out to Joginder and Kevin Bratch but did not receive any response.
Canning said she hopes to receive her compensation and that her experience serves as a warning to others.
“I think the most important thing is that people need to start speaking up about these landlords that are doing this and getting away with it, because we do have rights as tenants,” said Canning.