One thing that has become clear in all of the discussions I have had with tenants and landlords over the past few months writing about parking issues and rentals is that many people who own property have little respect for those who praise.
A common comment from landlords is that because they pay property taxes, they should have more rights than tenants. Other landlords just can’t stand having tenants in their neighborhood.
Both views are heinous and must end – that’s part of the reason I keep writing about these issues.
The latest is that of JG, who shares a rental home with four other people in North Burnaby after being forced out of another rental after nine years in the Metrotown area.
JG exhibits a disturbing pattern of harassment from the new neighbors, who have made constant complaints to the City of Burnaby that are pretty much “just to exist” and because of “unbearable hatred” for them. The problem is, the city must investigate every complaint, no matter how baseless or stupid it may be.
âOur neighbors managed to make us feel unwanted in our house, in a place we thought was part of our community,â JG said. âWe have learned our lesson: we are YIMBY (Yes In My Back Yard) in a NIMBY environment. Wealthy owners only: Renters are not welcome hereâ¦ This neighborhood is full of expensive homes with owners, or relatives of owners, who live there. We don’t own, and therefore, we have to be looked down upon, even intimidated to just walk away. We don’t belong here. Nobody cares that we take care of the landscaping , snow removal and neighborhood watch. â
There has been a series of accusations. Neighbors accused them of operating an illegal kennel, which JG says is nonsense. They accused them of running a boarding house and JG says it’s because they have occasional guests at their house, but curious neighbors are watching everyone coming in and out of the house. Neighbors also called the town, claiming JG was carrying out illegal renovations.
âThe truth was, we had bought wainscoting for an unfinished room and someone in the neighborhood decided, without telling us, that we were doing something wrong,â JG said. âSo we stopped installing the panels and left all the pink insulation exposed in the room we were trying to finish. “
One of the issues is that the house the group moved into had piles of garbage in the yard and the neighbors reported it. For some reason, the tenants and not the landlord were tasked with cleaning things up, but neighbors made several complaints that the cleaning was not going fast enough.
The list goes on and on and the process of responding to all complaints with the city, including repeated inspections by city staff, has left the group feeling defeated.
JG has a simple message for the ârichâ and ârich in houseâ neighbors: âStop calling the city a tool to constantly harass us. “
Six months away from their lease, I somehow doubt that will happen.
Follow Chris Campbell on Twitter @ shinebox44.