REPORTING · 13th July 2015
On Monday, June 29th, one of the residents of Vista Village, Marie Turner, came before Council to request the Council to delay the date of her property taxes. She expressed she is a pensioner on a limited income who has lived in the park for 15 years. She explained never once been late in paying her rent.
“Lee Ann Wolfin has tried to evict me three times in the past 15 months, of which I’ve won all three arbitrations,” said Turner.
She claimed the third time Wolfin, tried to evict her, she sent an order of possession which was not legally enforceable. Wolfin had sent her a letter telling her she was going to send someone to forcibly remove her from her home, then tear it down and make Turner pay the expense.
The arbitrator in this instance, Arbitrator Molnar, stated on January 13th: “I find that the landlord breached the tenant’s covenant of quiet enjoyment. There can be no more fundamental breach of that covenant in its classic sense, than to deny the tenant’s legal right to exclusive possession of the site and with it, the right command an assignment of that right to a buyer and not disqualified by any of the listed reasons in the Act and Regulations. […] On the facts before me there is the aspect that the landlord acted willfully to pursue the tenant’s eviction knowing the order of possession was of no effect and knowing and intending to cause this tenant distress.”
Turner, told Council Wolfin was now attempting to sue her for over $8000 back pad rent back from before Wolfin owned the trailer court. Turner expressed this has taken up a majority of her money.
Turner explained she has attempted to sell her trailer twice, but Wolfin has tied up two of her sales and hired a lawyer to prevent a further sale.
“I can’t rent my trailer because she does not allow any subletting. I can’t sell my trailer because she denies the people that are trying to buy it, and it’s hard to live there. Basically, I feel like I’m stuck in a trap,” said Turner.
She asked for a delay in her taxes due to the extenuating circumstances. She is trying to sell her trailer to get the money, but there are not many people lining up to buy it due to the parks reputation.
Paul Lagace, the Kitimat Housing Resource Specialist added there was another pre-eviction notice given to Turner the previous week. It suggested she has illegally sold her trailer, which was another prevention tactic to hold up her selling the trailer.
Having heard her story, Councillor Larry Walker stated that if he had the power, he would take Wolfin’s business license away, although he pointed out this might have the unintentional side effect of evicting everyone.
Under questioning from Council, they were informed there was nothing they could do, because they had to be fair to the rest of the community. Councillor Mario Feldhoff made a motion to get information on Provincial Government deferment options for Turner.
Councillor Rob Goffinet expressed Council needed more information about how people can sell their property so they could move into a home. He said it should be an easy thing to do but it may not be simple. He wanted to know what the result of the arbitration is.
He was told there were three coming up, one was to be filed later that week.
Mayor Phil Germuth wanted to know about other people who may be going through arbitration. They were informed there may be others, but hers was a big one, because if the sale is blocked, the trailer is destroyed and Turner is out $14,000 for the value of her home.
“Anybody who has challenged Mrs. Wolfin, anybody who sits on the home owners association is blatantly targeted with evictions,” said Lagace. He explained in his own terms, these tenants see ‘harassing notices.’
He added this includes people who are associated with the homeowners association, has fought certain things or taken Wolfin to arbitration. The Kitimat Housing Resource Workers were expecting another round of arbitration following pictures being taken of the exteriors of trailers in the park.
There were no further questions so the motion was called and carried.
The lawsuit for the $8000 went to arbitration on Friday, July 10th. We were informed there will be a decision within 30 days. We were also informed someone in the community came forward to pay her taxes.
Comment by wonderwhy on 15th July 2015
From the stories I have heard, it seems unbelievable that someone can accually get away with all that she has dished out. Yes she should be stopped.
Comment by Dwight Magee on 13th July 2015
It's a damned shame that collectively there is no one able to stop this continued blatant harassment from the owner of this trailer court. Her apparent unjustifiable tactics are outright disgraceful and it's time this community stepped up and throw some of this harassment back at her. Wishful thinking I know but too bad we can't evict her instead.