Matt Astifan and his son, Marcus. (Facebook)

B.C. man says he was evicted due to ‘personal vendetta’ against his toddler

Matt Astifan says he has tried to do what he can but a young child will always make some noise

A New Westminster man has 10 days to get out of his apartment after what he calls a “personal vendetta” against his two-year-old.

Matt Astifan, who lives in a family-friendly apartment with his partner, Mary, and his son, Marcus, is frustrated with a Rental Tenancy Board decision allowing eviction for the noise made by the young boy.

In a Facebook post on Jan.21, Astifan says the issue started on in January 2018, after management complained their toddler was running in the hallways at night to “burn off his energy” before bed.

Astifan says they stopped letting Marcus run outside their apartment.

Nine days later, Astifan’s downstairs neighbour complained about “ridiculous” noise.

In a letter from management, the neighbour noted “stomping with shoes, dragging of things (toys) across the floor, continual running… and banging that disrupts us every single day and into the late evenings.”

Astifan says management seemed somewhat sympathetic, and he added rugs in the unit, kept shoes off inside, and didn’t allow playing with toy cars on the hardwood floor.

In July, a new set of downstairs neighbours complained about Marcus running around late at night.

“Why a three-year-old is up and running around past 9:30 p.m. is beyond me, but as these are the second neighbours bringing up this issue. You’ll need to find a solution,” Shoreline Building Manager Serge Rondeau wrote in an email to Astifan, which he provides access to in the Facebook post.

“I will be issuing written notices from now on, and it’s not because you guys are not good tenants, as you are, but because I need to do what I can to make new tenants comfortable.”

Astifan says he told Rondeau not to expect any significant changes “since there isn’t much more we can do about it.”

His partner, Mary, wrote a letter saying the family does not want to escalate, but that under the Residential Tenancy Act, children have the right to make a reasonable amount of noise.

“We have the right not to be harassed and threatened with eviction and notices for regular child noise like walking, trotting, playing and running,” she said.

“We try to put him on schedule and sleep before 8 but yes, [toddlers] do stay up after 9:30 sometimes because he is not a robot, he has tantrums, moods and sometimes refuses to sleep.”

Noise complaints and written notices continued until Nov. 27, when management sent an eviction notice requesting Astifan and his family move out by Jan. 31.

“We have been targeted and harassed by the building managers for months now, through their abuse of power as our property managers, they are trying to force us out of our home,” Astifan wrote.

“They have ignored our complaints regarding the tenant below us banging on his ceiling, screaming at me from his patio and smoking on his patio, while taking massive action against our family to the point of this unsubstantiated eviction notice.”

READ MORE: North Delta renters fight eviction over pets

READ MORE: South Surrey RV residents dispute legality of eviction

Astifan appealed the notice with the Residential Tenancy Branch, which found the landlords have made every reasonable attempt to resolve the issue and could evict the family.

“The landlords in this matter have other families living in the building, which have not been evicted for children playing,” wrote arbitrator A. Wood in their Jan. 21 decision.

“The landlords have relocated a previous occupant due to the ongoing noise from the tenant’s rental unit and have even offered the tenant living accommodation more suitable for the tenant’s family, which was not accepted by the tenant.”

Astifan cannot appeal the decision.

A request for comment from the apartment management company has not yet been returned.


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Cariboo-Prince George candidates give take on drugs, crime

Answers revolved around affordable housing and getting to the root cause of the problem

Forestry Ink: Replanting badly battered forest landscapes in B.C.

Regular columnist Jim Hilton writes about the potential for using drones in tree planting

Upcoming Sarah Hagen concert combines classical music, student artwork and The Story of Babar

This show opens the Quesnel and District Community Arts Council Children’s and Family Concert season

Fall at the Quesnel Farmers’ Market

The second-to-last outdoor market of the season featured the annual Giant Pumpkin Contest

Quesnel Community Living Association launches Empties 4 Abilities program

There are three new donation bins around the community

VIDEO: Trudeau plays defence in Maritimes today while Scheer fights for seats in Quebec

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, whose party has been on the rise in recent polls, is campaigning in Toronto

‘Rather mild’ winter expected in B.C. this year

Northwestern B.C. will be the worst hit

Court action in Trail acid spills may take years

B.C. court case involves a number of defendants and a number of plaintiffs

In the news: Sprinting to the election finish line and anger amid Manitoba storms

First Nations residents forced to evacuate their Manitoba homes after a recent snowstorm

BC Ferries sees steady traffic of post-Thanksgiving weekend travellers

Ferries filling up fast, sailing waits at some terminals

‘Save the kids!’ Dorian survivor tells the harrowing story of his Canadian wife’s death

Family held a funeral and placed Alishia Liolli’s remains in a niche at a cemetery in Windsor, Ont.

Okanagan woman, 91, votes at advance polls despite broken hip, shoulder and wrist

Angela Maynard has voted in almost every election during her lifetime

Heiltsuk Nation open first Big House in 120 years in northern B.C.

Opening means the community now has an appropriate space for spiritual and ceremonial events

Singh says NDP would form coalition with the Liberals to stop Tories

Singh was in a Liberal-held riding Sunday afternoon in Surrey where he was pressed about his post-election intentions

Most Read