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A landlord in B.C. removed the doors and the majority of windows from one of his rental houses after a tenant fell behind on her payments for the months of July and August, according to CTV News.
Jamie Hemson lives in the house with her two children and says it's been a tough year as she recently got out of an abusive relationship and has struggled to find work during the pandemic.
When Hemson noticed that the windows were missing, her first thought was that someone had broken into the house but she later learned that it was the landlords doing.
“We were short rent the month of July and my landlord has decided to come in when I wasn’t home and remove all of the windows, and doors, on the exterior and the interior,” said Hemson.
“There was no notice, he didn’t tell me it was coming. He waited until I was gone. So, I feel very violated.”
Hemson added that she was scared for her family’s safety as her children are 5 and 13. She then hired a person to board up the home.
“I actually had to borrow that money (to pay for it),” she said. “I’m a woman. I don’t really feel safe sleeping with my windows and doors open.”
Hemson’s landlord arrived at the house while she was being interviewed by CTV News.
“I think if she moves out it’s better and won’t give me too much trouble,” said her landlord, Tiger Zhang, who admitted to removing the houses windows and doors.
Renters are not able to be evicted under the current State of Emergency in B.C. for late or unpaid rent. Hemson’s landlord is not legally allowed to remove the doors and windows.
“There’s nothing in the law that allows that landlord to do so,” said Rocco Triguero’s with the Vancouver Tenants Union. “A landlord cannot destroy a door in order to make a tenant leave a premise. This is absolutely wrong.”
Zhang admitted that he is not very familiar with the Residential Tenancy Act
“This case I think is really a lesson to teach me how to find the right way to fix a problem.”
Zhang and Hemson have both been in contact with the Residential Tenancy Branch
“I’m just waiting for our story to get heard and expedited with the Tenancy Branch and we’ll go from there,” Hemson said.
She says she’s currently trying to find a new home to rent but has been having trouble doing so.