Landlord in Canada told they can't evict tenants for making critical posts on social media
An arbitrator with British Columbia's Residential Tenancy Branch has decided that the landlord of a mobile home park in Williams Lake cannot evict tenants for slander on social media.
Arbitrator Adrian Denegar said that evicting tenants for social media posts contravenes the provinces Manufactured Home Park Tenancy Act. This also goes for imposing fines of $1,000 or more for disobeying the park's rules and not properly maintaining yards.
The decision comes after a new landlord, RJ De Ath Estates Limited, took over the Fran Lee Trailer Court - which is home to nearly 100 tenants - and attempted to implemented some new rules.
"Any resident(s) found/proven slandering on social media or anywhere else will result in termination of tenancy effective immediately," a notice to tenants stated.
"Yards that are not properly maintained will be fined $1,000-plus and will be cleaned up/mowed by our contractors without any warning or notices (all costs associated will be forwarded to that residents/tenants).”
"Fines of $1,000 and up for not abiding by all rules and regulations, issued without warning or notice."— Daggerville (@Daggerville) October 18, 2020
No warning or notice? WTF? Sounds like the landlord wanted a slush fund, little short on cash this month, FINES FOR EVERYONE! pic.twitter.com/IedCXezXYV
In the decision, though, Denegar called these new rules "draconian and unreasonable."
"While the landlord has every legitimate operational and business reason to maintain a well-run park, implementing draconian and unreasonable rules is not the best method for doing so."
Although the decision says that the landlord argued that he was "just trying to run a tight ship" and that the new rules were meant to "make a stern statement," a tenants' advocate said that they looked more like bullying.
As a result, the arbitrator ordered that the landlord remove the rules to comply with the Manufactured Home Park Tenancy Act, which does allow for landlords to establish, change, and repeal "reasonable" rules that govern a park.
However, in this case, the arbitrator said that the park's rules can't contravene the tenancy act's laws surrounding evictions and that the $1,000 fines were "wholly unreasonable."
Tenants went to the Residential Tenancy Branch after the new landlord tried to impose new rules to the park last July.
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