Province investigating eviction at Shuswap assisted living facility

Residential Tenancy Branch looking into situation affecting low-income senior residents

The province’s Residential Tenancy Branch has opened an investigation into the impending eviction of senior residents from a privately operated Shuswap assisted-living facility.

Responding to the news that approximately 34 residents, primarily low-income seniors, of Salmon Arm’s McGuire Lake Congregate Living have been informed they must be out of the building before Oct. 1, B.C.’s Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing told the Observer via email that the Residential Tenancy Branch’s Compliance and Enforcement Unit (CEU) is aware of the situation and is investigating.

The ministry explained it is the job of the CEU, launched earlier this year, to conduct investigations of repeated or serious non-compliance with tenancy laws or orders of the Residential Tenancy Branch, issue warnings to ensure compliance and, if necessary, administer monetary penalties.

On the morning of Friday, Sept. 13, live-in staff and residents at Salmon Arm’s McGuire Lake Congregate Living awoke to find a courtesy notice taped to several of the doors explaining the building they call home will be closed as of Oct. 1.

“Please note that this building will be closed as of Oct. 1. Utilities will be disconnected and the building will be sealed,” read the notice, posted by the owners of the building at 551 Trans-Canada Hwy.

Read more: Seniors at Salmon Arm assisted living facility shocked by Oct. 1 eviction notice

Read more: Eviction halted for B.C. woman deemed ‘too young’ for seniors’ home

“The tenant operating as McGuire Lake Congregate Living and Shuswap Grill Gourmet Burgary has been served a Notice of Termination effective July 29, 2019. The date for vacant possession has been extended until September 30 in exchange for an orderly exit.

“This notice is given as a courtesy to any occupants and/or sub-tenants renting from the tenant noted above as it has come to our attention that the tenant has likely not informed all occupants of the need to vacate.”

Later that morning, the building’s lessee and McGuire Lake Congregate Living operator Dan Shields met with the approximately 34 residents to explain the situation. He confirmed he had received notice from the building’s owners on July 29, stating the lease was being terminated immediately and asking him to contact the building owners’ lawyers. Shields said he also spoke with the Residential Tenancy Branch and was told the building couldn’t be closed as of Oct. 1 as stated in the notice.

“I have been on the phone to the Residential Tenancy Branch out of Burnaby and they told me to tell you guys this, he cannot do any of the stuff that’s on that letter…,” said Shields. “If he sold the building, he has to tell us he sold the building in which case he has to give us four months’ notice, or any major renovations to the building it’s four months’ notice. Otherwise, he could technically serve us with two months’ notice.”

The ministry also informed the Observer that as operator of McGuire Lake Congregate Living, Shields could pursue a dispute resolution through the Residential Tenancy Branch.

Lorenz Eppinger, representing the building’s owners, numbered company 951624 Ontario Ltd., told the Observer that Shields has been in significant arrears on his rent since 2014 and, over the last couple of years, was “repeatedly informed that payment was required or the lease would be terminated.”

Read more: Shuswap couple shocked by eviction notice for rural illegal suite

Read more: Study says B.C.’s housing policies mean drug users can be targeted for eviction

“(It came) to the building owner’s attention early last week that Mr. Shields had likely not informed commercial subtenants and clients at the congregate living facility that his lease has been terminated for non-payment and the need to vacate,” said Eppinger in an email to the Observer. “A call to Interior Health and one of the commercial subtenants confirmed our belief. Hence the “courtesy notice” was posted, which resulted in Mr. Shields finally acknowledging to his tenants and clients that he has been given notice.”

For its part, Interior Health says McGuire Lake Congregate Living is not an Interior Health facility and it does not oversee independent housing.

“As with any independent living situation, we would review the care needs for any individuals living at a location and receiving services to ensure that we continue to support the health-care needs regardless of where they are living,” commented Interior Health in an email to the Observer, adding, “This is an incredibly difficult situation – the BC Tenancy Board would be the right agency to discuss the legality of the eviction notice.”


@SalmonArm
newsroom@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Kelowna’s Gospel Mission to serve Thanksgiving dinner for the less fortunate

The dinner will be served from 12 p.m. to 6.p.m. and will include your traditional foods

Water Quality Advisory in effect for those living in Kelowna’s Glenmore-Ellison area

All taps being serviced from Mill Creek need to be shutoff or identified as dangerous to the public

Whisky lovers get another crack at purchasing prized Okanagan product

The Okanagan’s Laird of Fintry only releases their exclusive malt whiskey once a year

Chefs in the Classroom Initiative Set to Grow Thanks to Generous Support

The initiative teaches young children how to grow, cook and eat local foods

Chart-Topping Singer-Songwriter Leeroy Stagger to play Kelowna in November

Stagger will be playing songs off his new album “Strange Path”

B.C.’s rural paramedic program expands, with home support

Advanced care ambulance staff added for six communities

Heiltsuk Nation open first Big House in 120 years in northern B.C.

Opening means the community now has an appropriate space for spiritual and ceremonial events

Singh says NDP would form coalition with the Liberals to stop Tories

Singh was in a Liberal-held riding Sunday afternoon in Surrey where he was pressed about his post-election intentions

‘My heart goes out to the mother’: B.C. dad reacts to stabbing death of Ontario boy

Carson Crimeni, who was also 14, was bullied relentlessly, his dad says

BC Ferries filling up fast with post-Thanksgiving weekend travellers

Monday anticipated to be busiest day of the weekend

Morning Start: How old is the Canadian Thanksgiving tradition?

Your morning start for Monday, October 14th, 2019

‘Wham-bam out the door’: Surrey man’s front yard left ruined by scamming landscaper

Resident warns neighbours to be careful of door-to-door salesmen

Canadian Snowbirds plane crashes before air show in Atlanta

Pilot lands safely after ejecting from jet

Share crash data, private insurers tell David Eby, ICBC

B.C. monopoly makes drivers retrieve their own records

Most Read