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B.C. court rejects allegedly abusive neighbour's eviction appeal

The landlord alleged "aggressive, profane, hostile, belligerent, unacceptable, increasingly threatening, and wholly inexcusable behaviour."
An eviction notice was served after the landlord received "numerous documented complaints."

B.C.’s Court of Appeal has rejected an attempt by an allegedly abusive tenant to have her eviction overturned.

Ellen Campbell had initially sought to have her April 2021 eviction overturned through the Residential Tenancy Branch (RTB). Court documents show Campbell lived in a building operated by The Bloom Group.

Justice Peter Voith’s decision for the unanimous three-judge panel said the landlord evicted Campbell after numerous complaints from other tenants regarding her allegedly verbally abusive and discriminatory behaviour at the residence. 

Several days after the eviction notice arrived, Campbell applied to the RTB to have the notice cancelled.

The landlord, The Bloom Group, presented video evidence to the RTB arbitrator.

“In my view, the actions by the tenant are unquestionably intentional, unnecessary, and a deliberate attempt to antagonize these people who were more likely than not in the lobby even before the tenant arrived,” the arbitrator said. “I find that the tenant’s behaviour depicted in this video is consistent with the landlord’s documentary evidence that supports why the notice was served.”

The arbitrator found Campbell “purposefully engaged in a clear, consistent pattern of aggressive, profane, hostile, belligerent, unacceptable, increasingly threatening, and wholly inexcusable behaviour.”

Campbell had initially requested an adjournment, saying her hearing was inadequate for a phone hearing. She said she had problems when someone spoke quickly.

The arbitrator denied the request and found Campbell was able to fully participate in the hearing; moreover, the arbitrator expressed skepticism about whether the request was merely a delay tactic.

"The appellant (Campbell) argues, however, that the adjournment request played a 'crucial role' in the arbitrator's assessment of her credibility. She argues this was fundamentally wrong, whether assessed from the point of view of patent unreasonableness or procedural fairness," state court documents. 

Voith dismissed that ground of appeal, leaving the court to decide on Campbell’s assertion that the arbitrator’s use of the adjournment request in his credibility analysis was procedurally unfair.

Campbell argued it was unjust for a person’s request for an accommodation due to disability to play a role in an adjudicator’s credibility assessment.

Voith said, “a litigant who asserts they have a physical disability is not insulated from having that assertion challenged or tested by another party.”

“I do not consider that he [the arbitrator] acted unfairly in arriving at that conclusion and I would not accede to this ground of appeal,” Voith said.