Dawson Creek homeowners get no help with squatters

No rental agreement, squatters paying no rent and destroy couples' home and family heirlooms. "No one is helping us."

Wes and Joanne Wilkinson find themselves with a pair of squatters in their second home - with nowhere else to turn and no help from any official body beyond service in British Columbia court of law.

“In May we were contacted about renting out trailer out - only a house away from where we live,” says Wes Wilkinson

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"Before we signed anyone to a lease, they had moved in."

The couple says the problem, in addition to the squatters, T and M, destroying the home and not paying any rent, is that he says RCMP are not much help.

“We are fed up – we do not know what to do other than attempt to take them to court. But if they don’t care about breaking laws and Criminal Code now, what will court do,” Joanne asks.

The couple adds at some point a "We have COVID-19." sign was fashioned and nailed to their front door in an attempt to keep authorities and more away. 

"Rental agreements made between a landlord and a tenant; whether made verbally or in writing, fall under the jurisdiction of the Landlord Tenancy Branch, not the RCMP," said Dawson Creek RCMP Staff Sgt. Damon Werrell.

"These types of matters are not criminal and must be addressed through the Landlord Tenancy Branch. The police do not have authority to determine colour of right to a property when a tenancy agreement has been made between the involved parties."

Wilkinson says it is not a civil problem - as the couple were never renting from the Wilkinsons.

“They tell me it is a civil problem, not criminal. Even though they are squatting, trespassing, and with the amount of stop by traffic at the house, we think it is dealing going on."

The couple don't mean card deals or cut prices on toilet paper. Their kidnapped home sits at 1120 121st Street in Dawson Creek, two doors away from the home the Wilkinsons live in.

We ask - who is to help these people? Any business or person could purchase the home for dollar, and present the RCMP with the bill of sale. 

This won’t get the Wilkinson’s their investment money back, nor family heirlooms in the house not removed before the squatters took over.

The interloping couple, T and M, have destroyed the home, and now live in a recreational vehicle of the property still owned by the Wilkinsons. They are well known personalities and problem tenants on various Dawson Creek online landlord and property owner groups. 

"We are told if we get the RV towed we will be charged with theft," say the Wilkinsons.

“You’d think event a landlord reporting a drug dealer would get the RCMP’s attention,” says Wes Wilkinson.

RCMP officials note they investigate; fully, any drug information which is received by the DC office. The local detachment has executed in excess of 20 drug warrants this year on various properties throughout the Dawson Creek area.

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