Parklander resident Merlin Kober returned from breakfast Tuesday morning to find a man in the process of towing his RV and truck away. (Aaron Hinks photo)

Parklander resident Merlin Kober returned from breakfast Tuesday morning to find a man in the process of towing his RV and truck away. (Aaron Hinks photo)

Lower Mainland RV and mobile home residents dispute legality of eviction

Parklander resident says property owners ‘treat us like garbage’

A pair of South Surrey families are searching for a place to live after a dispute with the Parklander Motor and Trailer Court came to a head Tuesday morning.

The 36-site RV and mobile home park is the latest to be eyed for redevelopment. The Seacrest Motel and RV Park, at 864 160 St., closed down last year.

Residents of two Parklander sites, came home Tuesday to a tow-truck operator preparing to remove their home from the 16311 8 Ave. property.

Both homes ultimately left the property, however, others are staying put while they await a Residential Tenancy Branch ruling or a decision from B.C.’s highest court.

“I came back from having breakfast and there they were hooking up to the truck,” said Merlin Kober, who has been a permanent resident at the site for several years. He told Peace Arch News that he paid the contractor $250 to unhook his property on the condition that he would remove it by 5 p.m. Tuesday.

“They were taking the truck and the trailer,” he added.

Several Surrey RCMP officers were on site during the eviction.

Cpl. Elenore Sturko said officers were there to keep the peace for a civil matter, and “the information I have is that there is an eviction taking place.”

READ MORE: Mobile home tenant rules offer more compensation

Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing media relations officer Lindsay Byers told PAN that the ministry cannot discuss cases that may be before the Residential Tenancy Branch (RTB).

“In general, police may be involved in an eviction if a court-approved bailiff has asked them to attend to keep the peace. A landlord needs to follow specific steps, including serving an Order of Possession and applying to the BC Supreme Court, before a bailiff will assist them in evicting a tenant,” Byers told PAN by email. “We trust that all parties are acting within the law.”

However, several residents allege the eviction was illegal. Long-term resident James Whittaker told PAN neither the bailiff, police or property owner showed the tenants an order of possession or any type of documents before attempting to tow mobile homes off the property.

Whittaker said a locksmith “broke into” one resident’s fifth-wheel unit while he was at work, to prepare it to be towed away.

“They didn’t have any paperwork, I know that for sure… All they had was (the owner) saying ‘they’re trespassing, this is a campsite, and they’re trespassing, I told them to leave,’” Whittaker said.

A woman who identified herself as the property owner, but did not provide her name, told a PAN reporter to leave the property Tuesday and threatened to involve police. She had no comment on what was taking place. Another woman, who Kober identified as “the boss” of Parklander, also told PAN she had no comment.

According to information on the City of Surrey’s website, the property is subject to a development application to allow the construction of 40 townhouse units within a hazard lands/sensitive eco-system development permit area.

“But nothing has passed yet, as far as I’m aware,” Kober said. “They got turned down for a big townhouse thing because of the stream and fish behind. I haven’t heard anything since. I don’t know what’s going on, exactly.”

Surrey planning manager Jean Lamontange confirmed to PAN Wednesday that there is an active development application for the site, which is still under review and has yet to be ready for council’s consideration.

Kober said he’s received four eviction notices since last year, but that they were not provided on an official RTB form.

“I think we’re going to go down to the Peace Arch (RV Park) and see if there’s a spot there. Sometimes this time of the year, a lot of people head to the states and there might be a spot there.”

Not all Parklander residents were forced off of the property Tuesday.

Whittaker is allowed to stay because his right to live there is now before the B.C. Supreme Court.

The Parklander took Whittaker to the RTB earlier this year and argued that his mobile home does not fall under the jurisdiction of the Manufactured Home Park Tenancy Act (MHPTA), which gives Whittaker more rights as a renter.

The RTB sided with Whittaker, and ruled June 11 that his home does fall within the MHPTA’s jurisdiction.

According to the Act, the landlord may end a tenancy agreement only if the landlord has all the necessary permits and approvals required by law. The notice must be at least 12 months.

The Parklander filed a petition in the Supreme Court in August, asking the court to set aside the decision made by the RTB.

In its reasoning, the Parklander petition notes there are decals located on Whittaker’s mobile home that describe it as a recreational vehicle; Whittaker does not pay taxes on assessed value; the unit has a B.C. licence plate; and the unit is on a recreational-vehicle site.

In a response filed the following month, Whittaker disagrees with all orders of the Parklander’s petition.

“The unit was already in place on the Site, on blocks and skirted, when the respondent purchased it. The respondent has never moved the unit from the Site,” the response states, adding that Whittaker has lived there since 2009.

“At no time has the respondent used the Unit as a recreation vehicle.”

The response says that the RTB arbitrator considered all evidence at the hearing, even if not referenced in the decision.

Whittaker said that he, as well as other tenants who have RTB hearings scheduled, were protected from Tuesday’s eviction.

He said it’s not fair that some of his neighbours were evicted, while others were allowed to stay.

“This is just money, greed, throw us away. Treat us like garbage, out on the streets, leave,” Whittaker said Tuesday.

“Everybody that lives here, this is their home.”



aaron.hinks@peacearchnews.com

Visit us at Facebook and follow us on Twitter

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

 

Surrey RCMP officers were at the Parklander site to “keep the peace” Tuesday. (Aaron Hinks photo)

Surrey RCMP officers were at the Parklander site to “keep the peace” Tuesday. (Aaron Hinks photo)

Parklander resident Merlin Kober returned from breakfast Tuesday morning to find a man in the process of towing his RV and truck away. (Aaron Hinks photo)

Parklander resident Merlin Kober returned from breakfast Tuesday morning to find a man in the process of towing his RV and truck away. (Aaron Hinks photo)

Just Posted

,,
Abbotsford’s Run For Water transforms into Upstream Challenge for 2021

Throughout the month of May participants can take on a number of different activities in the Valley

Commercial trucks head south towards the Pacific Highway border crossing Wednesday (April 14, 2021). The union representing Canadian border officers wants its members to be included on the frontline priority list for the COVID-19 vaccine. (Aaron Hinks photo)
CBSA officers’ union calls for vaccine priority in B.C.

Border officers at ports including South Surrey’s Pacific Highway should ‘not be left behind’

Cannabis plants visible under bright lights inside a large facility at Shxwha:y Village on July 6, 2018. The reserve was home to the licensed producer for Indigenous Bloom, which opened up a dispensary on the Kwaw-Kwaw-Apilt reserve. On April 12, 2021, Shxwha:y announced Health Canada approval for a licensed production facility at the village. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Chilliwack’s Shxwha:y First Nation approved for cannabis cultivation and processing facility

It will be the first majority-owned Indigenous on-reserve licensed facility in Western Canada

The Fraser Valley Bandits chose Brandon University’s Anthony Tsegakele in the first round of the 2021 CEBL Draft. (Submitted)
Fraser Valley Bandits reveal 2021 CEBL Draft choices

Abbotsford-based club selects Quebec’s Anthony Tsegakele in first round

Demonstrators at the legislature on April 14 called on the province to decriminalize drug possession and provide widespread access to regulated safe supply across B.C. (Jake Romphf/News Staff)
Rally calls for decriminalization, safe supply on 5th anniversary of overdose emergency declaration

From 2016 to the end of February, 7,072 British Columbians died due to overdose

Surrey RCMP are seeking the public's help to locate three puppies stolen from a South Surrey home on April 10. (Surrey RCMP photos)
UPDATE: 1 of 3 puppies stolen from South Surrey returned to owner

American Bulldog puppy recovered after being sold at Mission car show

Two women walk past ‘The Meeting’ sculptures in White Rock’s Miramar Plaza Wednesday afternoon. (Aaron Hinks photo)
New public art in White Rock faces criticism as the ‘two Michaels’ remain in China’s custody

‘I would encourage people to go out and enjoy it’ said Vancouver Biennale founder

(Government of Canada)
Liberal MP caught stark naked during House of Commons video conference

William Amos, in Quebec, appeared on the screens of his fellow members of Parliament completely naked

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Feb. 1, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count jumps to 1,168 Wednesday, nearly 400 in hospital

Now 120 coronavirus patients in intensive care, six more deaths

Moss covered branches are seen in the Avatar Old Growth Forest near Port Renfrew on Vancouver Island, B.C. Thursday, Sept. 29, 2011. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. blockades aimed at protecting old-growth forests reveal First Nation split

Two Pacheedaht chiefs say they’re ‘concerned about the increasing polarization over forestry activities’ in the territory

Everett Cummings in a tribute video posted to dignitymemorial.com.
Mechanic’s death at Fraser Surrey Docks leads to $200K fine for company, union says

Photos of rally outside Surrey court posted on ILWU’s ‘Kill A Worker Go To Jail’ Facebook page

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

Most Read