A B.C. man is angry with Edmonton police because they wouldn’t evict a man who refused to leave a house that had just been sold.
Sonny Ghai had power of attorney to buy a house in west Edmonton for a Vancouver man.
When he tried to get into the house on March 31, the previous owner was still inside even though it was 10 days after the possession date.
“He said if we try to move him out or force him, then he will burn the house down and the only thing we'll find is the ground,” Ghai alleged.
Figuring he had a trespassing case on his hands, Ghai called the police. He says they wouldn’t help.
“They just simply said this is not a police issue. Call the sheriff. We call the sheriff. He said you should get the bailiff involved,” Ghai said.
“The bailiff sent us back to police and police said we can't help you."
Ghai went to court the next day. The judge ordered the old owner to leave, and said Edmonton police should help with the eviction.
The bailiff ended up evicting the man but it's not clear if police ever showed up.
Ghai is frustrated that he had to go to court for an issue that could easily be resolved by police.
“We have to spend more money on the lawyers, spend a couple of extra days here, as I’m from B.C.,” he said. “It was a big hassle for me.”
In his 30 years of doing real estate transactions, lawyer Stan Galbraith says he has run into this situation a couple of times.
He says former owners usually refuse to leave when a house is sold in a distress sale.
“When someone has no skin in the game, or in other words, they have no equity left in the house, they don’t have as much to lose and so they will sometimes be a little more difficult to deal with,” he said.
Galbraith says some situations can drag on for weeks, if not months.
Edmonton police have not made anyone available to comment on Ghai’s complaints.