Court orders Burnaby couple to sell condo following ugly, long-running battle with neighbours

Couple forced to sell their condo
WATCH: A Burnaby couple is being forced to sell their apartment following an ugly, long-running battle with their neighbours that wound up in court. Geoff Hastings explains why they say they’re the victims.

A Burnaby couple is being forced to sell their home following an ugly battle with their condo board that ended up in court.

A Supreme Court judge found Ron Thibodeau and his partner in breach of an April 2016 injunction and ordered them to sell and vacate their home by June 3.

“We’re not horrible people,” Thibodeau said. “We made a little bit of noise and we argued with a couple of our neighbours.”

Lawyer Alex Chang, who represented the strata, said he believes it’s only the second time in B.C. history that “owners have been forced to sell units for breaches of bylaw and bad behaviour in a strata corporation.”

Chang noted that the court found the couple had “shown utter disregard” for the 2016 injunction.

“They found that they had been harassing their neighbours, causing a huge nuisance, noise, vandalized property,” he said. “The court made a number of a very specific orders that they were to stop doing that.”

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Thibodeau’s partner was also accused of smearing dog feces in a common area, an incident that Thibodeau said was misconstrued.

“What he was doing was he was bending down to pick it up and bring it to our condo so that he could flush it down the toilet,” Thibodeau said.

A judge found a pattern of harassment that targeted neighbours.

“I was singing while I was cooking supper, this was like six o’clock in the evening,” Thibodeau said about one of the judge’s findings. “Yes, my music was loud and I’m guilty of that.”

Thibodeau and his partner believe they are the victims. They allege they’ve been threatened and subjected to homophobic slurs.

“It’s interesting the respondents’ claim that the owners had it out for them and were biased against them… the court dismissed that argument,” Chang said.

If Thibodeau and his partner are not out by June 3, the strata will take over the sale and they face arrest.

— With files from Geoff Hastings