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Unlawful Eviction Notice Served 22 May 2020

This blog is without prejudice:

So, where do I begin? I want this story told, because the other side isn't being truthful.

When I rented this building in June of 2018 it was as a residence and a place to have music events. My landlord was fully aware of that fact. I was told that if I put money into the building to create a living quarters that the landlord would reimburse me when I was done. I didn't get this in writing but other people witnessed the conversation.

A ten year lease was signed, of which I have a copy, although my landlord states that the document doesn't exist. I have the document with the landlords signature on it. It is shown below:

I was told at the time that I would be paying rent of $500 however if the CIBC bank was to call to tell them I was on a two year lease at $750 a month. See the email below.

Name and email removed Wed, 11 Jul 2018, 12:41 to me FYI If CIBC calls you, you are on a 2yr lease at $750/ mth. Love "Landlord" Love God with your whole heart, lean not on your own understanding and do not be wise in your own eyes!

Then a short time later I received the following email from my landlord asking me to pay $750 so it showed going into their bank account.

Name and email removed Sun, 29 Jul 2018, 08:59 to me Hey Bro, With the financial stick handling I am doing right now....the bank needs to see the $750 come from you into my account.....can you do me a transfer for July 31 and I will give it right back to you...or I give you the cash and then you do the transfer? Love "Landlord" Love God with your whole heart, lean not on your own understanding and do not be wise in your own eyes!

I complied and sent the $750, my bank records can confirm this.

I began renovations on the building located at 3622 Erickson Road, now known as The Venue. Further down in this blog you will find that I checked with the RDCK at the time to ensure we were able to do what we wanted to do with the building.

Come December 2018 when I have completed the renovations I asked to be reimbursed for the renovations and was told that wasn't the agreement. I would be reimbursed if and when the building sold. That was not what I was originally told nor do my witnesses recall that being told to me. The understanding was when you're done the renovations you will be reimbursed. I would never had put money into the building if I had known I would be paid back some undetermined time in the future when the building might be sold.

As you will have read in previous blogs RDCK decided that the building did not meet code for it's use. Making the building to code for use is NOT the responsibility of the tenant, that is the responsibility of the landlord. When I asked the landlord to make the improvements this is the letter I received:

Name and email removed 5 Mar 2019, 19:12 to me Hi Rick, I met with the architect at 4:30 and did a walk through. She knows her stuff and projects herself as reasonable and knowledgeable. The biggest issues with the building is “fire separation” from main floor to lower level. Here is point form what is generally needed ( not fully inclusive) * bathrooms downstairs will be included in main floor “occupancy capacity” *occupancy is based on number of bathrooms and how efficiently people can exit the building in a non-chaotic fashion in the event of an emergency *Architect will be away from Mar 13 forward, her assistant will take her place and be responsible for drawings and schematics of what is needed throughout whether mechanical rooms, fire vents ,code analysis, etc ( approx $5000) plus a Permit fee quote * what is required first is a hazmat inspection, a fellow from Cranbrook will come out to complete that( unsure of fee at this time)maybe $2000 *fire doors and emergency door push bars are required on all doors *emergency lighting and green/white emergency exits are required * mechanical rooms with fire doors are required around furnace and electrical panels * emergency exit will need to be added to the north wall close to the stage *can be absolutely no mention of a living suite as this would then make the building dual occupancy which creates problems, bed will have to be made to look like not a functional bed if that is possible *entire lower floor ceiling will need to be stripped, fire panels installed and 5/8 Type X drywall installed *handicap washroom may have to go where office is?? *fresh air intact is required at furnace * a fire wall with fire door will be required at bottom of stairs to separate  the 2 floors, where lower level will be classified as “lower occupancy” *there are 2 large cracks - one in foundation at south corner and one inside coming down north wall, need to try and determine what is causing this? *certified contractors are required Couple points to note: My interest in this project is nil, I have mentioned that to you from the onset. My only interest from the onset has been in supporting you in providing an opportunity for you to make a “go” of your dream music house. It is my opinion you have been so keen on this opportunity and project that you have “jumped the gun or put the cart before the horse “ so to speak on this project. I would have liked to see you work steady for a year and get some funds behind you, and/or actual financial commitments from others or grants before jumping in. All the decisions and commitments to bands/events or other persons that have cost you monies have been your sole decisions and responsibility. To cast any responsibility onto me has been inappropriate and unappreciated. Should this continue in any way you may find yourself without any support from me whatsoever. Rome was not built in a day you know. I will commit to paying the architecture fees, permit fees and hazmat fees at this time. Please confirm if you wish for me to proceed with Hazmat inspection? Landlord :) Love God with your whole heart, lean not on your own understanding and do not be wise in your own eyes!

Fast forward to a month or so ago. Else where in this blog you will find the information in regards to the RDCK not approving the building for what we are using it for, I will forego that discussion here as you can read it in that post. When COVID-19 shut everything down I emailed my landlord with the following request:

Richard Brown <>Thu, 2 Apr, 13:23 to "Landlord" 02 April 2020 "Landlord": I was looking forward to March and April as ‘catch-up’ months with the number of bands we had booked but the RDCK and COVID-19 put an end to that. With no money coming in from venue activities I have exhausted my emergency funds and am seriously overextended financially. Complicating matters is the fact that I have exhibited COVID-19 symptoms - fever, sore throat, pain and phlegm in my chest. The hospital won’t test me, so I decided to self-isolate as a precaution. The bills I have for the work I’ve done {meaning the renovations I had completed which the landlord had agreed to reimburse me for} in the building are my only asset at this time, I will continue to pay rent by subtracting $600 a month from the total amount thereby reducing your liability when you sell the property. The total I have is $12,117.35 but I will have my accountant confirm that amount. Sincerely Rick Brown

I was answered back with this email:

Name and email removed 2 Apr 2020, 13:47 to me Hi Rick, Thanks for your memo. I am sorry to hear of you not being well. These are difficult times for everyone. I too have financial commitments and am afraid I am unable to except your proposal for rent. Your $600 rent is owed on the first of every month. By not paying rent on the 1st of every month in accordance to our agreement , you are in breach of that agreement. The government has offered financial relief to those affected by COVID 19. I would encourage you to make application to BC housing to see if you qualify for rent relief. And would also encourage you to come up with other means of seeking out some part time work once you recover , to ensure you are fulfilling your rental commitments.  "Landlord" Love God with your whole heart, lean not on your own understanding and do not be wise in your own eyes!

So, I followed my landlord's advice. I called BC housing to see what could be done. I explained the situation in full and their suggestion was the following:

  • file a Dispute Resolution for the amount owing me by the landlord

  • submit receipts and photos for work done

  • continue subtracting the monthly rent from the amount owed

  • submit monthly evidence showing the declining balance on the amount owed by the landlord

I did all of the above and a hearing was set for August 11 via phone. Each month as rent is due I submit an invoice to my landlord showing the declining balance and I submit the evidence as required to BC Housing Residential Tenancy Branch.

So yesterday I received the following email:

Name and email removed May 21, 2020, 10:13 AM to me Attention to Richard Brown:1 bedroom rental suite at 3622 Church Rd,Creston,BCC/C RDCK Creston:  Brandon Vigne BC Residential Tenancy Board Creston RCMP Note: A Director’s Order has been issued for the length of the state of emergency allowing parties to use EMAIL  to give or serve documents in order to minimize interactions between people. Richard Brown you are hereby given reasonable advance notice that once temporary COVID 19 legislation is lifted you will be required to vacate the 1 bedroom rental suite located at 3622 Church Rd,Creston, BC.  Richard Brown you are hereby given notice, effective immediately that the FREE use and access to the remaining areas of the old church building located at 3622 Church Rd, Creston, BC are no longer available to you. Should you have any personal belongings in these areas you are required to remove them immediately. Richard Brown you are hereby given notice effective immediately that you have no permission/consent to use the  1 bedroom suite or any other areas of the old church building located at 3622 Church Rd, Creston, BC for any commercial use or non-profit organization activities as this is in direct violation of the zoning/classification for this building. Signed Landlord

So, there you have it. If we can't purchase the building then The Venue will cease to exist. Please note, I have removed any reference in this blog to the identity of the landlord, their address or phone number. Where the landlord's name appeared I have simply put Landlord and I have removed their name and email address from any emails they sent.

So, has The Venue seen it's end? I cannot say, I only know that I do not have the ability to purchase the building and I'm not sure the landlord would sell it to me if I did as there is bad blood and tension there. If The Venue is to survive it will take massive community support and I know that now, in these bad economic times that might not be feasible. All I can say is I gave it my best shot but thanks to the actions of the landlord and the RDCK we may have to close our doors. 2019 was a very successful year for The Venue, 35 bands from across Canada played here and people in the Creston Valley love it. The bands loved playing here as well. There is only so much one person can do and I feel I have done that. If you want to help or know of a way we can make it happen, otherwise ... adieu my friends ... adieu.

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