Landlord tries to claw back $46K eviction payment over daughter’s mental health

A landlord went to the BC Supreme Court to argue that he shouldn’t have to pay his former tenant 12 months’ rent after he had evicted the renter and his daughter had failed to move in.

Ali Shigani made William Taylor vacate his North Vancouver home in November 2022, saying he and his daughter planned to move in.

But neither the daughter nor the landlord ended up moving in within six months, and Shigani argued he should be exempt from paying Taylor $46,000 because his daughter’s mental health declined to the point where she couldn’t live on her own.

Taylor had won a $46,000 compensation order at the Residential Tenancy Branch, but the landlord asked the Supreme Court to review its decision because he believed it didn’t consider his family’s extenuating circumstances. He brought medical records to the judicial review, saying his daughter’s condition worsened and her medication schedule changed after he’d given notice for Taylor to leave.

On the other hand, the tenant believed the landlord wanted to get him out and do extensive renovations — after the family told him in 2022, when they purchased his home of three years, that they wanted to demolish it and build a new house.

“Although the arbitrator did accept that [the daughter’s] medical conditions did worsen, she was not persuaded that they amounted to extenuating circumstances to excuse the landlord from meeting the statutory requirements set out,” the judge wrote in the June 6 decision.

The judge empathized with the family’s difficult decision to choose the best living situation for the daughter but said it ultimately didn’t amount to an exemption from tenancy law.

“The legislation … is relatively rigid and intended to be so,” the judge wrote. “The established compensatory regime was the product of Bill 12 and was specifically designed to improve the protection of tenants’ rights.”

In the end, the request for judicial review was dismissed. The landlord must still pay the tenant $46,000.