British Columbia

Loathe thy neighbour: strata wins fight over 'unacceptable' conduct

A Burnaby couple who made their condo neighbours feel like 'prisoners in their own home' have been ordered to stop harassing members of their strata.

Judge orders couple not to utter abusive, obscene or threatening comments at their neighbours

A B.C. Supreme Court judge has ordered two Burnaby men to stop uttering abusive, obscene or threatening comments at the members of their strata council. (CBC)

One couple claimed the two men in suite 109 made them feel like "prisoners in their own home".

Another resident of the Burnaby building swore she lost full nights of sleep to the "yelling, screaming, swearing, singing" and dog barking coming from the apartment occupied by Ronald Thibodeau and Barry Linden.

And yet another said she started taking anti-anxiety medication after Linden handed out leaflets calling her a "whore" at the strata's annual general meeting.

Now, after considering evidence of incidents from 2003 to the present day, B.C. Supreme Court Justice William Ehrcke has essentially ordered Thibodeau and Linden to be quiet.

"I am satisfied that the extensive affidavit evidence supports the conclusion that the respondents have frequently caused excessive noise and engaged in harassing conduct that has unreasonably interfered with the rights of their neighbours to quiet enjoyment of their own units," Ehrcke wrote.

"Their conduct remains unacceptable."

'Well-liked' by other residents?

Ehrcke specifically ordered Linden and Thibodeau not to communicate, visit with or utter obscene, abusive or threatening comments at members of the strata corporation, their families or guests.

They're also restrained from listening into other lots in the 95-unit building, vandalizing common property, yelling, screaming or singing past 8 p.m. and from leaving dog feces anywhere on the strata's common property.

According to the decision, Thibodeau, who is the registered owner of the condo, appeared in court to claim he and Linden are "well-liked" by other residents of the building who didn't file affidavits.

But Ehrcke said neither man filed any evidence to that effect.

The complainants, on the other hand, swore numerous affidavits detailing their complaints.

A First Nations resident claimed Linden called his wife a "squaw." The president of the strata council claimed the two men sat at the entrance to the building and insulted her on her return from work.

Linden has been fined for smearing dog feces on the carpet, an act Ehrcke noted was caught on the strata's security camera.

And the building's caretaker claimed the police had to be called after the two men surrounded his office, yelling obscenities and kicking and pounding on the door and window.

Ehrcke also ordered the two men to pay $3,400 in unpaid fines levied against them by the strata.

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