Home Featured Landlord granted immediate repo of rental unit after unauthorized occupant threatened maintenance worker with physical harm

Landlord granted immediate repo of rental unit after unauthorized occupant threatened maintenance worker with physical harm

by HR Law Canada

The Office of Residential Tenacies in Saskatchewan ordered the immediate repossession of a rental unit in Saskatoon after an unauthorized occupant threatened maintenance staff at the building.

The conflict began on Dec. 7, 2023, when a maintenance worker encountered an aggressive individual at the property owned by Northland Asset Management Company.

“On that date, a maintenance worker for the Landlord was in the building when he encountered an unknown individual,” the Office said in the ruling. “When the worker questioned this person, the person became very rude, aggressive and hostile, subjecting the worker to significant verbal abuse. This individual threatened to physically harm the worker if the worker did not move on. The person then used a key to enter the rental unit.”

The landlord’s agent subsequently learned that the tenant, who was not present at the hearing, had vacated the property and had apparently allowed his brother and another individual to occupy it without authorization.

In seeking possession of the unit, the landlord cited a violation of health, safety, and rights of others under sections 68 and 70 of The Residential Tenancies Act, 2006. The tenant, despite being properly notified of the hearing via email, chose not to attend, leading the adjudicator to proceed in his absence.

The hearing officer determined that the landlord’s claim was proven on a balance of probabilities. However, the issue of proper service to the tenant, who was only notified by email, was also addressed. The Act typically requires personal service or posting of documents on the rental unit’s door, in addition to electronic or regular mail. Despite this, the officer deemed the email service sufficient, noting the tenant’s prompt response to a previous email and the fact that he had not resided in the unit for several months.

The ruling underscored that the tenant, though no longer residing at the property, had the right to dispute the service sufficiency and request a rehearing. However, in the absence of any contrary evidence and considering the urgency of the situation, the hearing officer found it just and equitable to grant the landlord immediate possession of the property.

For more information, see Northland Asset Management v Douglas, 2023 SKORT 3508 (CanLII).

You may also like

About Us

HR Law Canada is dedicated to covering labour and employment news for lawyers, HR professionals and employers. Published by North Wall Media.