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‘Satan’s tenant’ in Burnaby left ‘stink bomb’ behind after eviction

Landlord told the tenant to smoke outside and got punished for it
smell stink smelly diffuser
A modern essential oil diffuser was used to spread caustic chemicals.

According to B.C.'s Residential Tenancy Act (RTA), landlords are responsible for providing quiet 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.

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.

Which is what happened to “Todd in Burnaby” – a local landlord who was doing is best to address a tenant complaint.

In return, Todd had his rental unit destroyed by a “stink bomb” that took months to repair.

The Burnaby landlord rents out units in his house to multiple tenants, which isn’t always easy because renters don’t always get along with each other. In this case, one tenant had filed numerous complaints, ranging from excessive noise to smoking, which isn’t allowed in the home. The smoke was seeping through the walls of the older South Burnaby home and making life miserable for the other tenants.

“So I was just trying to protect some of my tenants,” Todd said. “I was doing my job as a landlord. And I got punished in return.”

Todd went through a lengthy process, which started with “polite” conversations with the offending tenant.

“I basically begged him to just follow the rules so we wouldn’t have to escalate things,” Todd said. “He didn’t listen.”

It eventually ended with Todd having to evict the tenant, an exhausting process.

“When they finally left, they did it without paying money that was owed, but they also took some of the furniture that wasn’t theirs and left some sort of homemade stink bomb that included what I think were caustic chemicals. He put this stuff into one of those essential oils diffusers, set it off and then disappeared. Nothing dangerous, but the smells attached to everything. The walls, the carpet and the furniture that remained – everything. The smell also leached into the other units so my other tenants got punished as well. It took a long time to fix and replace things. A damage deposit doesn't cover this kind of cost. Like I said, we all got punished all because he couldn’t be quieter and smoke outside. We all call him ‘Satan’s tenant.


Follow Chris Campbell on Twitter @shinebox44.