Kelowna couple evicted from apartment after use of privacy screen on balcony

Evicted over privacy screen

Madison Erhardt

A Kelowna couple is being evicted for using a privacy screen on their apartment balcony.

Kevin and Linda Johnson moved into The Conservatory Luxury Apartments on Glenmore Road last summer and say they started experiencing issues with their building manager about a month in, after they placed a screen on the inside of their balcony.

"It's a material cover that goes over the rails so that light can't get through or dirt because it comes up from the road. It was just to protect my eyes from the glare of the light coming off the windshields or at night from the lights of the cars because I have had three surgeries to my left eye. It has glaucoma," Kevin said.

The Johnsons say they received a warning note to take down their screen from their building manager a few days later.

"They said take it down and we did right away."

They then tried some other options.

"Then we tried cardboard boxes while we were sitting out there just to block it, but one day we forgot to pull them in when we came inside and she saw them and said immediately get those off the balcony."

They also tried a lattice, but was told to remove that as well.

The couple then decided to order a cover for their barbecue to help block some of the light as well as a few patio chairs along the balcony.

Once again, they received an email that they were in breach of the building rules.

The Johnson' say when they first moved into their rental they were told they couldn't have anything big, bulky or flammable outside, but nothing was mentioned about a privacy screen.

Then on Friday, the couple walked up to their apartment to find an eviction notice posted on their door.

"There is no grounds for this. We have complied every time," Linda said.

"She has never ever come to talk to us in person," Kevin added.

According to the Johnsons, the building manager had offered them a different unit in the building to help resolve the issue.

"I said we don't want to move. I said this is the corner we like," Kevin said

"We have caused no problem, paid our rent on time, no problems whatsoever, but she doesn't like the way we keep the balcony. We are lost right now," he added.

"And we have nowhere to go," Linda said.

The pair are told they have to leave by Feb. 28, but they will be fighting the eviction through the residential tenancy board.

In an email to Castanet, Realstar Management senior vice president Mark Hales says they have "discussed this matter with the resident multiple times over the past few months and have offered several alternatives to accommodate his concerns."

"Out of respect for our resident’s privacy, we cannot discuss any details of this matter, however, we can confirm that it is being handled in accordance with the terms of the tenancy agreement and the provincial Residential Tenancy Act," Hales wrote.

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