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)

South Surrey RV 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.”

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 Lamontagne 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.

READ MORE: Mobile home tenant rules offer more compensation

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,” 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)

Jim Whittaker outside his RV at the Parklander Motor and Trailer Court. (File photo)

Jim Whittaker outside his RV at the Parklander Motor and Trailer Court. (File photo)

Just Posted

After twice have their wedding plans altered due to COVID-19 restrictions, Suzanne Schmidt and Andrew Sturgess got married in Bakerview Park last weekend, with the only guests being their two daughters, Zoey (foreground) and Tessa. (Darren Ripka photo)
From New Zealand to Bakerview Park, South Surrey couple weds in ‘backyard’

Twice scaled-down wedding ‘proof that good things still happen during bad times’

Wickson Pier in Crescent Beach is closed to the public, as work to replace and repair piles continues. (Susan Richards de Wit photo)
PHOTOS: Repairs to Crescent Beach pier complete

$180,000 Wickson Pier project included pile replacement, says City of Surrey parks manager

Steve ‘Elvis’ Elliott performs for residents of Amica White Rock. Exercise-to-music programs that led to a threat of city fines due to a noise complaint are to resume next week. (Contributed file photo)
COVID-19 outbreak declared at Amica White Rock

Peace Portal Seniors Village outbreak declared over

B.C.’s parliament buildings in Victoria. (Photo: Tom Fletcher)
Surrey gets two cabinet ministers, a parliamentary secretary and government whip

Premier John Horgan’s NDP MLAs were sworn in on Tuesday and the cabinet was revealed Thursday afternoon

The Festival of Lights; Jingle Bell White Rock; and the Lighted Boat Parade all helped light up the White Rock waterfront on Saturday, Dec. 7. (Aaron Hinks photo)
White Rock Festival of Lights postponed

While event founder remains optimistic, the future of this year’s display is uncertain

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry update the COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. sets another COVID-19 record with 887 new cases

Another 13 deaths, ties the highest three days ago

Arthur Topham has been sentenced to one month of house arrest and three years of probation after breaching the terms of his probation. Topham was convicted of promoting hate against Jewish people in 2015. (Photo submitted)
Quesnel man convicted for anti-Semitic website sentenced to house arrest for probation breach

Arthur Topham was convicted of breaching probation following his 2017 sentence for promoting hatred

Langley School District's board office. (Langley Advance Times files)
‘Sick Out’ aims to pressure B.C. schools over masks, class sizes

Parents from Langley and Surrey are worried about COVID safety in classrooms

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

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

The baby boy born to Gillian and Dave McIntosh of Abbotsford was released from hospital on Wednesday (Nov. 25) while Gillian continues to fight for her life after being diagnosed with COVID-19.
B.C. mom with COVID-19 still fighting for life while newborn baby now at home

Son was delivered Nov. 10 while Gillian McIntosh was in an induced coma

B.C. Premier John Horgan, a Star Trek fan, can’t resist a Vulcan salute as he takes the oath of office for a second term in Victoria, Nov. 26, 2020. (B.C. government)
Horgan names 20-member cabinet with same pandemic team

New faces in education, finance, economic recovery

A new ‘soft reporting’ room is opening inside the Ann Davis Transition Society offices on Dec. 1, 2020 which is thought to be the first of its kind in B.C. (Ann Davis Transitional Society/ Facebook)
New ‘trauma-informed’ reporting room opening next week in Chilliwack

It’s a space for reporting domestic violence, sexual assault, or gender-based violence to police

Most Read