Skip to content

Burnaby landlord is trying to evict her for refusing to ‘date’ him

Tenant says trumped-up infractions alleged for eviction notice
A Burnaby tenant says her landlord is making up infractions for an eviction but it's really because she spurned his advances. Getty Images

A Burnaby woman who rents a basement suite in the Edmonds area says her landlord is trying to evict her using “bogus claims” about noise and being late with the rent that are really about her refusing to go on a date with him.

Sarah (she doesn’t want her last name used so future landlords can’t identify her) spoke with the NOW about her frustrations with being sexually harassed by male landlords.

“I’m hoping other women who are looking to find rental accommodations will read my story and be very wary about moving into a home being rented out by a man,” she said. “Because this isn’t the first time.”

Sarah moved into the suite early in 2021 because the person who vetted her was a woman and she thought that’s who the actual owner was. It turns out, the real homeowner is R - a 50-ish man and the uncle of the woman who handled the rental arrangements.

R came around after a few months and introduced himself to Sarah, who is in her 40s and works close to where she rents to save money on transportation costs in an expensive city.

“I knew from the first time I met him that this could be trouble,” she said. “He looked me up and down slowly, like he was staring at his dinner. He tried to be charming and funny and kept asking if I was single. I told him that was none of his business. Maybe if I had told him I had a boyfriend he would have backed off but I try not to do self-blaming.”

R started coming around a lot during the summer months to “pretend” to do work around the house, especially if Sarah was relaxing in the backyard. Sarah said his comments started to become more aggressive until he finally suggested they go out to dinner to “get to know each other better.”

“I flatly refused and said it wouldn’t ever happen,” Sarah said. “I tried to be nice about it and say I was flattered. This is what women do to not trigger a man. But it didn’t help.”

Once R finally got the message, his manner turned cold towards her. Late in 2021 she received several written complaints alleging a number of infractions, from noise to damage to the outside of the home. Sarah pays by a cheque that R collects but on Jan. 1, 2022, he wasn’t around that day to collect it. A couple of days went by and she received a notice alleging that she hadn’t paid the rent on time, in violation of their rental agreement.

“That’s when I realized he was trying to build a case to evict me,” Sarah said. “I’ve had a lawyer look all this over and have been assured that he doesn’t have a case. The lawyer actually said it was ‘laughable’ what he was trying to do, but now it’s created an uncomfortable situation at a time when I just want peace.”

Sarah said that she is awaiting an official eviction notice that she will fight, but she also plans to find a new place to live – on her own schedule.

Follow Chris Campbell on Twitter @shinebox44.