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Burnaby landlord 'bleeding' cash waiting to oust tenants who stopped paying rent

Landlord in Burnaby says the Residential Tenancy Branch needs more staff to deal with complaints.
Burnaby landlords say the dispute process must be sped up. ThinkStock image

A landlord in Burnaby is speaking out about what she says is a painfully slow system for evicting tenants who just stop paying their rent.

Floare Farcas-Petrescu shared correspondence with the B.C. Residential Tenancy Branch, the governing body for renters, as she has sought quick action after the tenants stopped rent payments.

“The tenancy office is awful in speeding up an eviction and order of possession,” she told the NOW. “It enables rent scammers to multiply in B.C. and landlords lose lots of money.”

Farcas-Petrescu says she is already out thousands of dollars in unpaid rent so far, with $100 per day added on top of that as she waits for a possession order.

The landlord has tried to deal with the situation, but says the tenants don’t reply to her calls or messages and do not open the door. She has also been told that other people are living in the home without permission.

The main issue, as she sees it, is an overloaded system at the RTB.

“This is not fair for landlords that tenancy office takes so long to give landlords what they need,” she said. “Hire more people to do the job, so landlords are not bleeding financially by thousands of dollars a month, because it takes tenancy office too long for whatever reasons.”

And even if she gets an order of possession, then starts the process and extra costs to hire a bailiff to execute the eviction.

Other landlords have written to the NOW with the same complaint about the time it takes and the costs involved even if you get an RTB decision in your favour.

“It now takes that long plus then time to go to Supreme Court and hire a bailiff ($5-10k) to get a tenant evicted,” wrote one tenant. “Meanwhile, tenants can get away with not paying rent and causing all kinds of damage, even harassing and/or threatening landlords in some cases. So all told it’s likely going to cost landlords $10k+ (that is assuming rent owing is $5k or less which is unlikely) plus whatever the damages are.

“I have seen landlords whose homes have been completely destroyed and sure they can get a monetary order to recoup some of the costs but getting the money from these tenants is unlikely as they often leave without leaving a forwarding address and/or they have no income that can be garnished, and even trying to collect beyond sending them a ‘letter of demand’ as per the RTB, if they don’t voluntarily pay, then it can go to collections but this requires going to small claims and another lengthy process. The risk for landlords is at an all-time high.”

The RTB does not comment to media about specific cases.

Follow Chris Campbell on Twitter @shinebox44