Untidy apartments are a common source of strife in residential tenancy disputes — but a couple of cases truly stand apart from the rest.
While it's one thing to leave a few towels on the floor or have a couple of dishes in the sink, one Vancouver renter allegedly made some dangerous choices in her abode.
According to Section 32 of the Residential Tenancy Act (RTA), landlords are responsible for providing and maintaining their residential properties in a state that complies with the health, safety and housing standards required by law. In other words, they need to keep your pad pest-free or deal with pest issues as they arise.
But tenants also bear a responsibility to uphold the cleanliness of their rental units, too.
In a 2012 dispute, the Vancouver landlord was filing for a notice to end the tenancy because they claimed the renter put their property at risk and caused extraordinary damage to the unit.
According to the landlord, the tenant continually created problems by accumulating debris and cast-off items. Further, they claimed the renter started a fire by burning newspapers that her puppies had peed on. They said the carpet caught on fire this way.
Vancouver Fire and Rescue conducted an investigation and determined the conditions to be a fire hazard. The landlord stated that they tried to help the tenant fix the conditions but they would not comply.
The landlord stated that they also involved the city's Hoarding Task Force to try to help the tenant.
In addition to the mess, the landlord said the tenant also had two dogs removed from the property and destroyed by animal control because they attacked a neighbour. The landlord then instructed the renter not to get any more dogs but she got two new puppies.
In response to the allegations, the tenant said she had cleaned the unit to the point that she could "move around the living room." Additionally, she noted that she did not have a working stove or fridge.
Later on, a city inspection said that the dogs had caused significant damage to the unit because the dogs were permitted to defecate and urinate freely. The landlord had photographic evidence of this damage.
Despite the extraordinary uncleanliness, both parties reached an agreement that included dates for follow-up inspections and required that the renter not bring any more animals into the unit.