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Wrongfully evicted Kelowna tenant fights back and wins $32,000 from former landlord

Image Credit: ADOBE STOCK

- This story was originally published May 28, 2022.

A former Kelowna tenant will receive $32,000 from her landlord after she was evicted on the basis that their family would move in but never did.

Keni Milne, who now lives in West Kelowna, filed a complaint with the Residential Tenancy Branch when her landlords gave her an eviction notice for her to leave as of Nov. 1, 2021, saying the home would be used for the new landlord’s family after the property was sold.

“If a landlord evicts you and they say ‘hey I’m evicting you because my family is moving in’ and then the family doesn’t move in you can… take it to the Residential Tenancy Board,” she said. “In that case, it’s just really black and white where they owe you your rent and that was a year of rent for me.”

Her landlords sold the house in downtown Kelowna to a property developer from Surrey and she was served an eviction notice shortly after the sale was finalized, she said, a home that’s going to be redeveloped.

“I was like that’s a lie, there’s absolutely no way you’re picking up your business to move to a landholding that’s going to get torn down,” she said.

In August, she was approached by the landlord’s real estate agent and offered a new agreement but declined, according to the Residential Tenancy Branch resolution.

The new landlord began renting the unit in January 2022, for $3,800. Milne was paying $2,650.

The landlord’s real estate agent claims the property was intended to be used for the landlord’s daughter while she was attending a local university but after visiting the property, they decided it was not suitable for her.

The tenancy branch ruled in Milne’s favour since the landlord failed to use the unit for its intended purpose and decided she was entitled to 12 months worth of her rent, or $31,900, including the filing fee for the complaint.

She wants to speak on the issue because she keeps seeing it happen in the Central Okanagan where people are evicted and then become homeless because they can’t find a place to live.

“I’m hoping if people start sticking up for themselves, maybe landlords will stop messing around,” Milne said.

Milne hopes by sharing her experience, more people will realize they can hold landlords accountable. She is also sharing her experience and advice with other renters, so they can be better informed on their rights.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Carli Berry or call 250-864-7494 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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