A dejected Curtis Lachance sits against the wall in the first floor hallway of Cityviews Village in Maple Ridge. He feels he was unfairly evicted from his apartment. (Ronan O’Doherty/ The News)

A dejected Curtis Lachance sits against the wall in the first floor hallway of Cityviews Village in Maple Ridge. He feels he was unfairly evicted from his apartment. (Ronan O’Doherty/ The News)

Cityviews Village property managers follow through with eviction of man over clerical error

Curtis Lachance, who is on mental health disability, was removed from his apartment Monday

A man with mental health issues has been evicted from his apartment of ten years due to a clerical error, his housing advocate argued.

Curtis Lachance was living in the Cityviews Village apartment building on 223rd Street in Maple Ridge until Monday afternoon, when he was removed from the bachelor suite by a bailiff.

Lachance tried to remain in the apartment – hoping a last-minute miracle could allow him to stay – but it was not to be.

“I kept the door locked, but [the bailiff] broke through the screen,” he said while sitting against the wall in the first floor hallway of the building waiting for a lift.

His mother, Joyce Lachance, and Listen Chen, who has been an advocate for homeless and low income people, stood nearby.

Everyone appeared downcast.

READ MORE: Tenants protest pressure tactics by new landlord at Maple Ridge apartment building

Joyce had discussed her son’s situation at a rally in front of the apartment building on Jan. 19.

A small group of tenants were protesting what they called “pressure tactics” by the new owners of the building to evict low-income renters.

She explained Curtis, who suffers from social anxiety disorder, was having his rent paid directly to the landlord by welfare.

After CWI Columbia Properties bought the apartment building in September, there was a mix-up with his rent check payments for October and November, as his welfare provider was unaware of the change in ownership.

So, when Curtis received letters from the new landlords explaining the rent had not been paid, he did not understand why.

His mother said he was never told he would have to switch payment information.

“The more stuff you put on him, the more stressed he gets,” Joyce said.

As soon as she discovered the mix-up, Joyce paid the two months rent, but Curtis was still served with an order of possession over failure to pay rent, signifying he was to be evicted.

In an email to The News on Jan. 20, property manager Bill Mitsui said, “I hope we can help the tenant resolve this issue ASAP.”

His mother said the owners of Cityview Village were uninterested in reversing the eviction order.

She, and Chen met with them on Friday, Jan. 29, but Joyce insists nothing was resolved.

She said the property managers offered her $100 for moving expenses, but did not offer to allow Curtis to stay in the building.

“We didn’t get anywhere,” she said.

Curtis now has to live with his parents in Port Coquitlam.

“We don’t have the room, but what are you going to do?”

“He can’t be outside with the homeless people,” she said. “He’s got to be with us.”

Curtis was paying $618 a month for his bachelor apartment, and it is unlikely he will find something in that price range again.

“I’m stressed,” he said.

“I’ve been trying hard just to keep myself calm.”

Chen said they tried to help Curtis through legal channels with the Residential Tenancy Branch, but nothing worked.

“We did apply for a review of the decision that allowed the landlords to get that order of possession, even though he had already paid his rent in full,” Chen said.

“The problem with those direct requests is that tenants are not invited to come, so we have no idea what the landlord said to get this possession.”

The application was past the deadline, and the RTB adjudicator flatly dismissed it, Chen noted.

“Because the rules require that you have to have exceptional circumstances – like if you’re in a hospital for 15 days straight – so there’s no wiggle room for people who clearly have barriers to accessing the law to make those applications, which Curtis does,” Chen said.

The housing advocate explained they will be the filing complaints with the BC Human Rights Tribunal, as well the Office of the BC Ombudsperson.

“Those are the two legal avenues, but the eviction itself is a done deal,” Chen said.

Mitsui said he feels sorry for Curtis in an email to The News.

“[I] regret that things have been dealt with this way,” he wrote. “This was not what we expected and wanted.”

He said the company was “hoping to help the tenant resolve the issue ASAP,” but noted a difficulty in arranging a meeting with Curtis’ family.

When they were finally able to meet face-to-face, Mitsui acknowledged the company offered $100 towards the move, and said he thought Curtis was planning to move out.

“I have the impression that both parties wish to let the tenant relocate to another place before Feb. 2021,” he wrote.

He also reiterated the company only heard about Curtis’ mental health issues recently, and said, “The property managers at this building were not trained/licensed to deal with patients with mental health issues.”

“We proceeded with Supreme Court Bailiffs services on Feb. 01, 2021,” he wrote.

“Again, I feel sorry for Curtis Lachance and regret that things have been dealt with this way.”

Is there more to the story? Email: ronan.p.odoherty@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Housingmaple ridge

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Bears are starting to come out of hibernation, coordinator of Maple Ridge division of WildSafeBC warns. (Ross Davies/Special to The News)
Bear sightings in Maple Ridge

Coordinator of WildSafeBC Maple Ridge warning residents to eliminate attractants

Karen Bolingbroke just recently moved to Maple Ridge and has done a bit of exploring. “This is a beautiful area and I’ve captured a few picutres at Cliff Falls.” (Special to The News)
SHARE: Maple Ridge resident explores Cliff Falls area

Send us your photo showing how you view Maple Ridge or Pitt Meadows, and it could be featured soon.

Information for Phase Two of vaccinations to come out Monday, March 1 (Black Press Files)
Phase 2 vaccination information coming March 1

Maple Ridge - Pitt Meadows Community Services committed to helping seniors get the jab

The WLA has released a summer schedule.
Maple Ridge Burrards announce lacrosse schedule

League has 12-game schedule to start in June, pending health orders lifting

One of 24 felines trapped and brought to Katie’s Place from a local business. (Magda Romanow/Special to The News)
Maple Ridge cat shelter turns 20

Katie’s Place has taken in thousands of felines among other small animals

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
B.C. reports 10 additional deaths, 395 new COVID-19 cases

The majority of new coronavirus infections were in the Fraser Health region

The last three wild northern spotted owls live near the Spuzzum Watershed outside of Hope. The province recently ordered a halt to logging for at least a year to give the owls a chance to survive.  (Photo/Jared Hobbs)
Logging halted in northern spotted owl habitat near Hope

Halt will last at least a year, gives time to formulate survival plan for Northern Spotted Owl

Several BC Ferries sailings are cancelled Friday morning due to adverse weather. (Black Press Media File)
Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay ferry sailing cancelled due to high winds, sea state

Adverse weather causes cancellations across several BC Ferries routes

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The BC Prosecution Service announced last year that it was appointing lawyer Marilyn Sandford as a special prosecutor to review the case, following media inquiries about disclosure issues linked to a pathologist involved in the matter. (Black Press Media files)
Possible miscarriage of justice in B.C. woman’s conviction in toddler drowning: prosecutor

Tammy Bouvette was originally charged with second-degree murder but pleaded guilty in 2013 to the lesser charge

A kid in elementary school wearing a face mask amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Metro Creative)
Union asks why an elementary school mask rule wouldn’t work in B.C. if it does elsewhere

B.C. education minister announced expansion of mask-wearing rules in middle, high school but not elementary students

A pharmacist prepares a COVID-19 vaccine at Village Green Retirement Campus in Federal Way on Jan. 26. (Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing)
Canada approves use of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine

The country joins more than a dozen others in giving the shot the green light

A new survey has found that virtual visits are British Columbian’s preferred way to see the doctor amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Unsplash)
Majority of British Columbians now prefer routine virtual doctor’s visits: study

More than 82% feel virtual health options reduce wait times, 64% think they lead to better health

Carolyn Howe, a kindergarten teacher and vice president of the Greater Victoria Teachers’ Association, says educators are feeling the strain of the COVID-19 pandemic and the influx of pressure that comes with it. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Stress leave, tears and insomnia: B.C. teachers feel the strain of COVID-19

Teachers still adjusting to mask and cleaning rules, pressures from outside and within

Most Read