Despite winning a months-long extension of their stay in a court ruling, the residents of a Langley Township-owned home have packed up and moved out.
Maureen Brown and her roommates had been living for several years in a home on 80th Avenue just north of the Langley Events Centre.
When the Township bought the land as part of plans for future expansion of the LEC and other sports and cultural projects, the tenants were given an eviction notice. They had been fighting it since November of last year, with the assistance of activist group the Eviction Defense Network.
The original eviction date was to be on Jan. 31 of this year.
Brown and her fellow residents had argued for an extension to allow them to stay longer to find housing amid the pandemic, and they had asked for Township assitance in covering some of their moving costs.
In a June 3 hearing in New Westminster Supreme Court, a judge handed down a stay on the eviction notice – pausing an attempts to evict the tenants – until as late as Sept. 30.
But that delay was only on the condition that the tenants pay their full rent owing to the Township – $1,600 a month. They hadn’t been paying since the end of January as the dispute over the eviction began.
Despite winning in court, the group didn’t have the funds at hand to pay the five month lump sum of rent, and they moved out the week of June 14, according to Cecile Revaux of the Eviction Defense Network.
In May, the parties both filed claims with the court, with Brown alleging the Township cut a lock off a gate on the property and used “physical force” on one of the tenants.
The Township, in its legal response, denied any such use of force and said RCMP were present when Township staff visited because there had been “ongoing issues with the persons residing at the premises” including 23 times when police had attended that home in the previous 13 months.
None of the claims were tested in court.