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Opinion: Burnaby renter ‘hounded’ by strata for leaking water out of the tub – he proved them wrong

Strata accused him of being too frisky in the tub
A local renter was accused of splashing water out of the tub. iStock photo

Life for renters in Burnaby is generally good – if you can afford it.

The city has plenty of good landlords, but as renters have told me in recent weeks, and shared in a series of columns, there are some terrible situations that leave tenants vulnerable to harassment.

Now comes an interesting tale from Reg, who says he’s seen bad situations as both a renter and a landlord.

As a renter, he was harassed – accused of causing leaks in a building due to being splashy while in the tub.

Not so, says Reg. 

“After reading numerous articles on the subject of renters’ rights and landlord rights, I feel like responding,” he wrote. “Suffice to say, stories of injustice run both ways. I rented after arriving in the Lower Mainland. As a tenant, I was hounded by the strata for leaking water issues. I was accused of spilling water out of the bathtub every day. Upon investigating this myself, a very warm soggy piece of common area Gyproc revealed presence of leaking. Turned out a main feed hot water pipe had crimped and leaked after the building settled. Fixed in no time. Did an apology or thank you arrive for being disturbed and harassed just because said feed pipe ran near my unit’s front door, or finding the problem for them? Nope.”

This story brought back some nightmare memories of a landlord who accused me of being noisy because he kept hearing the “clacking” noise all winter. It turned out to be the wind making a piece of metal on a string hit the side of the house, but the landlord never did apologize.

As for Reg, he ended up becoming a landlord and saw things from a different point of view.

“As fate, fortune, and diligent money management go, I have bought a home and a rental condo since that time,” Reg says. “So far, three tenants, first one late on rent payments a couple times, plus issues with far too many folks living there at any given time. On move out, required professional cleaning to ready it for the next tenant. But gave a partial refund, minus cleaning fees. The second tenant struggled to meet financial contractual obligations on a regular basis and had a pet despite no pet promise per agreement. Then, after passing away in the unit, again professional cleaning plus biohazard deep clean. As it turns out, RCMP were called to check on him, requiring a locksmith to enter. Following this, a notice of intent was sent to us indicating City of Burnaby via RCMP wanted to bill us for the RCMP services and locksmith services because someone, not us, called them.  “Refused that and referred them to the B.C. tenancy act around this unfortunate scenario. As the owners, we were the last to be notified of any of this. During the pandemic, entering the unit every three months for inspection was put off. The only return on a rental property might be a bit of appreciation on this property when sold. So yes, the injustice doors swing both ways.”

Follow Chris Campbell on Twitter @shinebox44