Skip to content

Criminal who duped Burnaby landlord with fake name is out of jail and terrorizing tenants

Tenant exposed another tenant but landlords refuse to act
domestic abuse
A Burnaby tenant says a drug dealer who lied about their real name is abusing other renters.

Based on the hundreds of emails I have received in recent months about Burnaby tenants and landlords, those renting out their homes seem to fall into two categories.

One is made up of landlords who overreach in the kind of personal information they force tenants to give up if they have any hope of landing a place to live, and who set up strict rules that are unreasonable.

Then there are the landlords who don’t seem to do their due diligence and who don’t seem to have any understanding of how the provincial tenancy rules work and what their responsibilities are.

They seem to think their job involves just collecting rent.

According to B.C.'s Residential Tenancy Act (RTA), landlords are responsible for providing quiet and safe enjoyment to all tenants. Upon getting a disturbance complaint from a tenant, the landlord must take steps to fix the problem. For example, a landlord may need to speak to a tenant about noise if it bothers neighbouring tenants or if a tenant feels unsafe for any reason.

Tenants must make sure they, their guests and their pets don’t unreasonably disturb other occupants. If there are disturbances like unreasonable noise, excessive second-hand smoke or harassment from a neighbouring tenant of the same landlord, the tenant should speak to the landlord about the issue.

Tara has done that already because one of the other tenants who rents an illegal suite in their Burnaby home is not just noisy – she’s terrifying.

Tara documented to me how one of the other tenants is actually a convicted criminal who used a fake name to con the landlord into letting her move in. Tara was suspicious because of all of the shady people coming by and so she investigated the situation, discovering her real name. Tara also found out that this tenant deals drugs and has a violent criminal history.

But even after exposing this tenant and her fake name, the landlords are too lazy or too scared to do anything about.

The drug-dealing tenant was arrested and landed in jail, letting Tara breathe a sigh of relief. But then the jailbird was recently released and is back home and terrorizing the other tenants once again with threats and more drug deals.

And, so, Tara – who lives in the basement suite with her mother - let her concerns be known yet again to the landlords, who have also ignored issues like no hot water and power outages.

What did the landlords say?

“Stop complaining so much,” was the response.

“My mother and I are the innocent parties here and the stress that this situation has caused (and is now continuing to cause) is all really beginning to affect my mother’s health, both mentally and otherwise, as well as my own health,” Tara said. “I have seen her at her lowest point, and I have frankly never seen her this upset, and it is deeply concerning to me. I really hope (they) take into consideration how all of this can affect people - especially tenants who have done absolutely nothing wrong.”

Imagine being a landlord and finding out that your tenant committed fraud to secure a lease and then not doing anything about it.

I mean, it’s not like there’s a shortage of good renters looking for a home.

Follow Chris Campbell on Twitter @shinebox44.