A Burnaby tenant says he’s sick of hearing about renters “from hell” because local landlords are far worse.
William contacted me after reading my series of columns that include landlords relaying horror stories about terrible tenants.
William shared an awful tale of a “sneaky” landlord who left some information out before he moved into a basement suite in South Burnaby.
The renter said he had visited the suite twice and managed to convince the landlord to let him move in and not the many others who were competing for the place. Things appeared good with the suite, although the rent was high – a common situation in Burnaby, the third most expensive city in Canada for rents, according to many surveys.
“I gave the landlord the money and signed the lease,” William said. “I couldn’t move in for another couple of weeks. Between that time and when I moved in is where things went wrong.”
William dropped off a load at the house and his buddies started moving in the furniture while he drove off to pick up more of his things.
“I get this call from my friend asking why I was moving into a suite that had such a ‘weird smell,’” William said. “I told him I didn’t know what he was talking about. So I drive back and come in and that’s when I could smell this really musty smell. It was really bad in one corner of the suite. The smell definitely wasn’t there when I had previously looked at the suite. I could feel my head ache the longer I stayed in there.”
William immediately started calling the landlord and leaving messages, but it was several hours before he finally heard back. William demanded an explanation but the landlord feigned innocence. When the landlord showed up, he acknowledge the smell.
“I cornered him and that’s when he admitted that there had been a flood in the suite a week before I moved in,” William said. “He said he had a restoration company clean the place up but admitted that the smell was there. I showed him black spots that were mold and demanded he deal with this.”
William was furious, but didn’t have any options. He couldn’t go back to his former place because that had already been rented out. He considered biting the bullet and putting his stuff in storage and then sleeping on a friend’s couch, but decided to stay.
It didn’t work out.
“The landlord finally brought someone in to clean again, but the smell didn’t completely go away,” William said. “I told him the place should be painted and the flooring replaced, but he refused that. I ended up moving out and then had to fight to get my deposit back because I didn’t give notice. I didn’t think he deserved to get notice. He finally paid it but the entire thing was a disaster.”
William is thankful he didn’t have to go to the Residential Tenancy Branch and eat up more of his life fighting this landlord.
Follow Chris Campbell on Twitter @shinebox44.