In the spring of 2022, Tamara Bruce and her kin faced an unsettling demand; they were required to abandon their residency in North Delta. As per the ejection notice acquired by respectable local media, the proprietor, Sucha Randhawa, conveyed plans of he or his close kin inhabiting the housing unit.
Bruce revealed that they received frequent notices which presented quite an unnerving scenario, considering they had a young child. Living in the home for half a dozen years, the family felt compelled to retreat and anticipate better times rather than battle the looming situation.
Limited by fiscal constraints, the increasingly unaffordable housing market of Lower Mainland proved itself an insurmountable barrier. Hence, the family relocated several hours away to the tranquil confines of Barriere. However, suspicions about the veracity of Randhawa’s intent lingered within Bruce’s mind. Her doubts were confirmed months later when she chanced upon their former abode, offered for rent, in an online classified ad.
According to seasoned general counsel lawyer, Michael Golden, this practice is widespread. He elucidates, landlords often declare false intent of moving in, subsequently leading to tenants vacating the premises, thus enabling the landlords to rent out the property again.
Bruce decided to confront the matter head on, engaging the Residential Tenancy Branch (RTB). The result – a significant award equalling one year’s rent, roughly totaling $36,100. Despite the adjudication being issued in March, Bruce reveals that the financial recompense from Randhawa is still awaited.
In her pursuit of justice, Bruce made attempts to communicate with Randhawa and additionally sought assistance from his attorney – her efforts returned no results. Consequently, she chose to hire legal aid. Bruce lamented, “Essentially, we bear the financial burden while he capitalizes substantially by leasing the property on the coast.”
Golden further stated that the enforcement power lies beyond the reach of the RTB. To implement the order, tenants need to traverse the intricate legal tracts of the court system – a process that can be daunting when seeking to collect the due amount, regardless of it falling within Small Claims court jurisdiction or the Supreme Court.
After numerous unsuccessful contact attempts with Randhawa, local media managed to connect with a woman alleged to be his spouse. Claiming ignorance of any discrepancy with Bruce and her household, the woman stated that her husband wasn’t available.
Bruce spoke of her dissatisfaction with the legal proceedings, emphasizing the substantial monetary expense vested in legal charges, compounded with the emotional toll and invested time. Regrettably, she noted the lack of any enforceable role by the RTB post adjudication.
On a positive note, Bruce reported some headway with her attorneys in the ongoing dispute, specifically their initiative to place a lien on Randhawa’s estates. Encouragingly, other people with shared experiences reached out, validating Bruce’s belief in the presence of major system-shattering deficiencies.
Bruce shared her frustrations: “My landlord violated the law, yet reaps benefits carefree of his reckless actions.” Regardless, Bruce remains unfazed and unrelenting in her pursuit of justice. Despite financial compensation seeming a remote possibility, she firmly asserts her intent to persist.
In looking ahead, Bruce reflects on the emotional resonance of their former home, underscoring the intent to hold people accountable, no matter the duration or outcome. She concludes, “What they fail to realize was Delta was our home.”