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B.C. trailer park ex-resident to pay $3,360 for destroying neighbour's property

The resident was eventually evicted.
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The mobile home park built a temporary rear staircase and landing following the discovery of the removed materials.

B.C.’s Civil Resolution Tribunal has ordered a woman to pay $3,360 to her ex-neighbour for destroying a landing, stairs and fence he had added to the exterior of his mobile home.

Alexander Munro claimed $5,000 in damages for the cost of replacing the improvements and for the risk to his family caused by their removal. Shelley Bolster argued that the improvements were on her property and poorly maintained.

“I infer she argues that means she was entitled to remove them,” tribunal member Christopher Rivers said in a June 28 decision. “She asks me to dismiss the applicant’s claim.”

Both parties owned mobile homes and rented pads from the park.

Photos submitted to the tribunal showed a small stairway with railings and a perimeter fence separating Munro's lot from Bolster's. Bolster contended the previous owner built the improvements in 2008 and had sought her permission. However, the tribunal found no proof that such permission was required.

The park manager stated that pad rental includes three feet of property around each mobile home. While many renters share this space, some fence it off, the ruling said.

The mobile park owner confirmed that Bolster rented additional space up to 3.5 feet from Munro's mobile home. Bolster did not dispute the improvements' location but claimed she rented the property right up to Munro's home. The tribunal found no evidence supporting her claim.

On April 5, 2023, Bolster removed the improvements and disposed of the materials. Munro discovered this on April 7.

Bolster said she only allowed the former owner to build the improvements for use as a fire exit. She told the tribunal she removed the improvements because “they were on her rented pad, poorly maintained, and used for reasons other than emergencies.”

On April 17, the park manager marked off the boundary around Munro’s home and 11 days later he began building a new staircase.

He said his insurance required him to have a second exit from the mobile home. However, as he was measuring for the work, Bolster and her partner confronted Munro, the ruling said.

Munro “stopped planning the improvements”

Instead, the park built Munro a temporary rear staircase and landing.

The park ultimately sought, and received, a Sept. 21, 2023 order from the Residential Tenancy Board (RTB) evicting Bolster.

“The RTB cited the respondent’s damage of the applicant’s property as a reason, along with the respondent’s physical aggression and verbal abuse,” said Rivers.

Munro obtained a quote for $3,360 to replace the improvements, which the tribunal found reasonable. Bolster's claim that the original construction cost was under $100 was unsupported by evidence.

The tribunal concluded that Bolster must pay Munro $3,360 for the destroyed items.