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Landlord nearly set our house on fire + other tenancy issues

EliminationElimination Registered User regular
edited August 2010 in Help / Advice Forum
Alright so, i have a question because for the life of me i cannot find the answer in casual research and it is a pretty weird situation going on here.

Short version of it is that i am moving out of my current place because my landlady keeps partying all the time in the middle of the week on work days, and in the mornings and is pretty much drunk off her ass 85% of the week, every week. It's like living under a night club. Annoying yes.

Fast forward to last night, she decided i guess at like 2am she wanted to make food, so she decided hey, lets put a pile of food on the stove top, crank it to full and then i dunno...go to sleep? So the stuff started to catch on fire at about 3am, i work at a bar so i come home pretty late and was just going to sleep at this time. Well i start smelling smoke, and i hear the fire alarm go off above me.

Well i knew it was food, so i tried to wake up the landlady, banged on the front door, the door inside that goes from my suite to the upstairs, tried to call her twice and got zero response from her. So, figured she wasnt home and i couldnt get up there and the smoke was getting worse. So i ended up calling the fire department, 911 to get something done about it. Oh and not to mention i am staying with my SO right now and she has a 2 year old son.

So here we all are, standing outside at 3am as a fire truck rolls up, sirens blazing. Firemen break into our house to put the fire out. Guess what, the landlady WAS home, she slept through the fire alarm, the smoke, the banging on her doors, the phone calls, and the firetruck. The fireman said he had to physically wake her up because she was passed out DRUNK.

Now, since we were moving we gave our months notice for august. We wont actually be staying in this place for august mostly because of situations like this. Is this situation grounds to break the tenancy agreement and not pay our last months rent? She could have killed us, herself, and a 2 year old had we not been on the ball and called the FD. It appears to be a reckless endangerment charge at the very least. Also child endangerment. Possibly negligence, and due to the partying i think there is the "quiet enjoyment provision" law as well. We can obtain records of pretty much all of this, even a noise complaint filed to the local PD and of course the 911 to the FD would also be on their file.

Also this is all in British Columbia, Canada.

Elimination on
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MechWarrior Online: Khyber Pryde

Posts

  • SiskaSiska Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    One thing I can think of is contact the fire department and talk to the fireman you spoke with last night. Ask him if he would be willing to sign a statement that says he found her passed out drunk while the alarm was blaring and the apartment was filling with smoke smoke. Hopefully that will be enough to demonstrate that it is not a safe place to live, if your landlady decides to make problems with you breaking the lease.

    Call and ask today, if he agrees, type up something short and precise for the fireman to sign and get it done while he still remembers. I am sure he gets to save drunks from their burning dinner all the time and may not recall this one of you wait.

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  • CorvusCorvus Caw? VancouverRegistered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Go here and start reading up on what your rights may or may not be:

    The Residential Tenancy Branch of the Ministry of Housing.

  • WiseManTobesWiseManTobes Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    You may even be able to hit her extra hard because of your location, BC is 0 tolerance for other fire situations lately ( 500$ fine for being near a campfire, even if not yours. same for smoking anywhere near basically anything flammable lately)

    Echoing the above, Get your statements asap, before it's too late, from the firemen and such.

  • EliminationElimination Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    You may even be able to hit her extra hard because of your location, BC is 0 tolerance for other fire situations lately ( 500$ fine for being near a campfire, even if not yours. same for smoking anywhere near basically anything flammable lately)

    Echoing the above, Get your statements asap, before it's too late, from the firemen and such.

    Thats right, i kind of forgot about that. Fire charges are huge here.

    Really though what we want to do is try to get it so we dont have to pay her for living in a place that is obviously not safe for us to be in for this last month, and to at least attempt to make sure she can't get anymore tenants here because by my moral compass she should not have tenants here if she is so irresponsible as to endanger herself and those living under her tenancy due to being in a drunken stupor all the time.

    MARKIISIGFORUMSIZE_zps17defe18.png
    MechWarrior Online: Khyber Pryde
  • HelloNaniHelloNani Registered User
    edited August 2010
    I think she should have to go to AA meetings. She should NOT be allowed to have anyone under her tenancy, because she is not only an endangerment to herself, but also my child. The life of my son comes before my own, always. And if I have to worry about his safety, well, then I will also fight for it if need be.

    I don't want her to be able to be so reckless and negligent to anyone else. Ever again.

    LoveistheAnswer.jpg
  • TrillianTrillian Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    You may even be able to hit her extra hard because of your location, BC is 0 tolerance for other fire situations lately ( 500$ fine for being near a campfire, even if not yours. same for smoking anywhere near basically anything flammable lately)

    Echoing the above, Get your statements asap, before it's too late, from the firemen and such.

    Thats right, i kind of forgot about that. Fire charges are huge here.

    Really though what we want to do is try to get it so we dont have to pay her for living in a place that is obviously not safe for us to be in for this last month, and to at least attempt to make sure she can't get anymore tenants here because by my moral compass she should not have tenants here if she is so irresponsible as to endanger herself and those living under her tenancy due to being in a drunken stupor all the time.

    Yeah she would have taken out the whole neighbourhood if you weren't there.
    The houses, grass and trees everywhere will go up like a torch!
    If she's half as bad as you say then find a new place to live, don't pay her anything, and press some charges!


    They cast a shadow like a sundial in the morning light. It was half past 10.
  • HelloNaniHelloNani Registered User
    edited August 2010
    It's such a tricky situation. I don't want to be in breach of our contract by not paying rent.. though I think she is the one to be doing that by not providing us with a safe environment to live in. And I am not just talking about something like maintainence and repairs, no.. but her own self causing the danger. It feels complicated.. and it doesn't help that it is a statutory weekend. Ugh.

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  • EliminationElimination Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    We already are moving to a new place. It's just by the agreement we still have to pay till the end of this month because of the whole "we have to give a months notice" thing. We don't want to pay her though, not after this. We were doing it as a courtesy but now shes gone so far overboard we don't even want to give that courtesy at all.

    If we take her to a hearing she will most likely lose if we put all our stuff in order. I just dont see how we should still have to pay her right now after what shes done. It should be grounds to just ditch out right then and there but i can't seem to find any information on similar situations.

    MARKIISIGFORUMSIZE_zps17defe18.png
    MechWarrior Online: Khyber Pryde
  • HelloNaniHelloNani Registered User
    edited August 2010
    Because this situation is just not common. It's usually the tenants who play the loud music and cause fires. WTF!!
    The only thing I know is that we really cannot take the law into our own hands. We will need help regardless. Perhaps if we can show her the proof from the fire department and the statement.. she will give up and we can negotiate with her.. otherwise it's to court we go!

    LoveistheAnswer.jpg
  • CorvusCorvus Caw? VancouverRegistered User regular
    edited August 2010
    So, this looks like the place you could call for help and advice:
    TRAC Tenant Resource & Advisory Centre is an educational charity that provides information about residential tenancy law in BC.

    Vancouver Area
    604.255.0546

    Outside the
    Lower Mainland
    1.800.665.1185

  • EliminationElimination Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    We're not in the Vancouver area though, close, but not close enough...at least i dont think so.

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    MechWarrior Online: Khyber Pryde
  • CorvusCorvus Caw? VancouverRegistered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Ahem
    Corvus wrote: »
    So, this looks like the place you could call for help and advice:
    TRAC Tenant Resource & Advisory Centre is an educational charity that provides information about residential tenancy law in BC.

    Vancouver Area
    604.255.0546

    Outside the
    Lower Mainland
    1.800.665.1185

  • EliminationElimination Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Corvus wrote: »
    Ahem
    Corvus wrote: »
    So, this looks like the place you could call for help and advice:
    TRAC Tenant Resource & Advisory Centre is an educational charity that provides information about residential tenancy law in BC.

    Vancouver Area
    604.255.0546

    Outside the
    Lower Mainland
    1.800.665.1185

    Derp :lol:

    MARKIISIGFORUMSIZE_zps17defe18.png
    MechWarrior Online: Khyber Pryde
  • mullymully Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    I've talked to those folks before, they are plenty helpful - make sure you have all of your points written down so you don't forget anything, so they can get all the details in one shot -- the "Oh, and I forgot, THIS happened" later on can completely change a case, or it can make you look like you're adding things in for fun.

    Good luck!

    Also, interesting about the campfire charges.. :( I want to go camping with a campfire SO BADLY AUGH.

  • Dropping LoadsDropping Loads Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    ...snip... Well i start smelling smoke, and i hear the fire alarm go off above me.

    Well i knew it was food, so i tried to wake up the landlady, banged on the front door, the door inside that goes from my suite to the upstairs, tried to call her twice and got zero response from her. So, figured she wasnt home and i couldnt get up there and the smoke was getting worse. So i ended up calling the fire department, 911 to get something done about it....snip...

    I know this isn't your main issue at this point, and it's awesome that you were alert and got something done, but if you find yourself here again always call the fire department FIRST. A wooden house/ structure fire can double in size in under a minute. It would have been really easy for the fire department to not get there in time to help. Worst case scenario is the fire department goes home, and at least they can legally break into the other apartment in order to check it out.

    Best of luck to you getting out of there.

    Sceptre: Penny Arcade, where you get starcraft AND marriage advice.
    3clipse: The key to any successful marriage is a good mid-game transition.
  • EliminationElimination Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Well we are already out there. But the lady from that place was still forcing us to pay her rent for that last month, despite her putting all our lives in danger, something about that REALLY seems wrong.

    My girlfriend went on the net and filed a report with that tenants rights board or whatever. But i am not sure what to do next, should we be trying to take her to small claims court for the rent money back plus damages for the time we have to take to do so? We moved out because the place was unsafe and she constantly partied all the time and was always drunk off her ass. There must be something we can do to get our money back after this incident. Just for that last month since she actually did endanger all of us.

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    MechWarrior Online: Khyber Pryde
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