Calgary lawyer claims eviction of Midfield trailer park residents breaks the law
A lawyer claims the city has broken the law by evicting residents from the Midfield Mobile Home Park in northeast Calgary.
“The reason this feels unfair is that legally, it is,” barrister and solicitor at Guardian Law Group Mathew Farrell said Wednesday. “The reason it feels wrong is legally, it is.”
LISTEN: Calgary lawyer says the city’s decision to evict residents from Midfield Park is a violation of the mobile homes act
The city-owned park, located just off the Trans-Canada Highway, is slated to close on Sept. 30.
Farrell said his team filed an emergency application at the Court of Queen’s Bench on Wednesday morning that is scheduled to be deliberated on Monday. He admitted the issue could be delayed.
“I imagine that this is going to stir up a bit of a hornet’s nest and there are going to be some discussions and it might get delayed.”
Farrell said a landlord – and that includes the city – has to have a valid reason to evict a tenant and that the legal arguments for doing so are “limited.”
A tenant can be evicted, he said, for breaching the terms of the lease, or if a landlord wants to move in or use the land for another purpose. A landlord can also evict a tenant, he said, if they need to fix up the property.
But Farrell said the city’s reason for evicting the Midfield Park residents falls short.
“There’s a section in the Mobile Homes Act that says you can evict people if utilities are going to be installed, repaired or improved… they’re not going to be doing any of these things,” Farrell said. “What they’re going to be doing is removing the utilities. So, that’s quite different and doesn’t fall under the provision of the act.”
WATCH BELOW from Aug. 23: The city wants everyone out of Midfield trailer park byt eh end of September, but as Gil Tucker reports, some say they’re not going anywhere.
He said the city could also force residents to move if it were to use the land for an alternate purpose, but that it can’t be “way off in the distant future.”
“It has to be an immediate need,” he said.
Farrell said the grounds for eviction under the Mobile Home Sites Tenancies Act have not been met.
However, Farrell cautioned that residents who’ve already left the mobile home park may not be able to legally contest the eviction order, depending on the language of the waiver they’ve signed with the city.
News Talk 770 reached out to the city but did not receive a response by publication time.
Mayor Naheed Nenshi declined to comment.
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