Is there anything I can do about this neighbour?

I live in Vancouver, BC and I rent. About 2 years ago, this azzhole moved in the basement. He and the landlord are both German and they became friends. Apparently he goes to the landlord's house on weekends to help with renovations he's doing. There were problems with this guy the day he moved in. As he was moving in, he shut my laundry off and left it in a tub of hot water. Of course I turned it back on and he complained to the landlord. Now we can't do laundry after 6pm. (and because of work, that means starting laundry in the morning, and finishing it the next morning) He does everything he can to make things difficult for us. I live with two other women. If a man lived here, I'm sure things would be very different. He has the breaker box in his apartment. When the breaker blows, he would just have to go to one side of his apartment and flip a switch, but that would be to easy. A few months ago, the breaker blew and I had no electricity on the top floor of my house. It took three days and several phone calls to the landlord for him to finally fix it.

Yesterday, I was cooking on the stove and using the microwave at the same time. The breaker blew and my stove stopped working. He was home downstairs, so I went down and asked if he could fix the breaker. He said sure, but after 2 hours, he still hadn't. So I went back down. He said it's not his problem, he already did it once and he's not a woman so he can do it right the first time and if I need anything, to call the landlord. (I told you he's a jerk) After a few more hours, I finally got in touch with the landlord, who eventually called my neighbour. He actually fixed the breaker and my stove started working again. I finally managed to make some food around 8pm last night. Problem solved - Or so I thought. When I woke up this morning, the stove was off again. I'm sure he turned the breaker off before he left for work. It was fine before I went to sleep and it's off this morning. I've been calling the landlord all day with no answer. Even if he did answer, he wouldn't be able to do anything since he doesn't have a key to downstairs. I don't know what I can do about this, I wish I could move, but I can't afford it.

Any advice is very appreciated. I don't like living in such a hostile situation. If I do anything to him, he'll just flip the switch on the breaker and turn my lights off. The landlord wont be much help, since they're friends. Is there someone else I can appeal to, without jeopardizing my home?

3 Answers

  • Anonymous
    10 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    There are three things I recommend you do:

    1. Read the British Columbia Residential Tenancy Act. It will tell you exactly what your rights are and what your landlord's legal responsibilities are.

    2. Contact TRAC. This is an organization located in Vancouver that advocates on behalf of tenants. They will be able to give you good advise. They can be reached in the Vancouver Area at


    3. Contact the Residential Tenancy Branch. For the lower mainland phone 604-660-1020. The Residential Tenancy Branch provides landlords and tenants with information and dispute resolution services. Here you can file a formal complaint against the landlord. A hearing will be scheduled after the papers are served and a dispute arbitrator will hear your complaint and make a ruling to resolve your concerns. The fee is $50 but if the ruling is in your favor the landlord will have to pay.

    The electrical system which your cooking facilities are dependent upon would be deemed an emergency. There are specifically stated obligations the landlord must comply with in the Residential Tenancy Act of B.C. regarding emergencies. He must have clearly posted in writing an emergency number that you can contact 24/7. Someone must be accessible at this number 24/7.

    If you have contacted the landlord and had no success you have the authority to get the necessary repairs done by an authorized contractor repair person and then be reimbursed by the landlord. The problem however is gaining access into someone else's residency. The residential dispute officer needs to hear this so he can order the landlord to provide a satisfactory solution should the problem arise again.

    Do not be fearful that the landlord will try to evict you for filing a complaint against him. This is what would be called "retaliatory" eviction. It is against the law and the landlord would face severe penalties if he tried to do this.

    There may also be an harassment issue in your case. As a tenant you have a right to peaceful enjoyment of your premises by law. If you suspect and it can be reasonably determined that the other tenant is deliberately turning off your power during the day then this might be interpreted as harassment and the landlord would be ordered to deal with the situation.

  • 10 years ago

    Your place is wired badly - the stove should be on its own breaker. Tell the landlord that if the breaker trips again (especially when it is not being used!), you will call your local building inspector to see if it is up to code. It sounds like it may not be a legal rental, in which case he cannot legally collect rent from you. You also ought to have your own breaker box, not a shared one for two units. Is this a one-family house that was divided into two living units, or a duplex? Does the landlord have a certificate of occupancy for both units?

    You should never be without electricity for 3 days because of a breaker. The landlord has a key to the other unit, or can get one. He is the landlord. Tell him if it happens again you will hire a locksmith and deduct it from the rent. Each and every time. Probably not legal, as it is not your unit, but seriously - enough is enough.

    Also, shared laundry facilities should be available until at least 9 pm. There is no reason for a 6 pm cutoff - when does the other guy do his laundry? Legally, you can do your laundry anytime, unless it is specified in your lease that you cannot do laundry after 6 pm. But then you would have to sit down there with it so the other guy doesn't vandalize it. He would probably then shut your electricity off.

    If your electricity "mysteriously" goes out again, I would take the landlord to court and seek damages. You are not receiving the full use of the property for which you are paying rent. I would also sue the other tenant for punitive damages. He can't just turn the electricity off like that whenever he wants. This is clearly a substandard rental. Unfortunately, your only recourse to this harassment is a civil court action; being an @ss is not illegal, so the police can't do anything.

  • 4 years ago

    do no longer you have a city ordinances concerning to those themes. plainly the city supervisor or city council ought to have an answer to handle this concern. i'd examine with them in case your neighbor refuses to cooperate. maximum cities have a time while residential factors are meant to be quiet. And if those issues are occurring, then the police can interfere as they are hectic the peace at 3 a.m. additionally, you have sources rights and that they are for sure violating them. I hate to circulate down the criminal avenues while coping with issues would desire to be finished in a properly mannered way; although, if it fairly is that undesirable, touch those in authority that be attentive to the regulations governing those themes. sturdy luck.

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