New documents from the NWT’s rental office set out what happened to a Yellowknife 82-year-old threatened with eviction this year because of the state of her apartment.
The woman, identified only by her initials in a February rental office ruling, was told to thoroughly clean her home by March 31 or face eviction.
The rental unit was said to be littered with garbage, food, dirty dishes and other debris “effectively burying any furniture that is present,” rental officer Adelle Guigon wrote at the time.
In 2018, Guigon said, the unit was so unclean that maintenance workers couldn’t get in to fix a water leak.
She concluded that her ruling, allowing an eviction if immediate action was not taken, “gives me no pleasure” but was a last resort after various attempts to resolve the situation.
Even so, seniors’ advocates were concerned at what might become of an 82-year-old with an apparent hoarding condition asked to vacate her home.
“This is a serious issue,” Suzette Montreuil, executive director of the NWT Seniors’ Society, told Cabin Radio in March.
“There’s no assessment of the individual’s ability to take care of themselves, to do housework, to manage the task. You don’t want to see someone being possibly evicted if they’re incapable of doing what is being asked of them. I find it troublesome.”
Ordinarily, there would be no way to discover what happened after the end of March. Rental office rulings provide only the initials of those involved and no other identifying information, and evictions carried out by landlords are not generally made public unless either of the parties chooses to do so.
However, in this instance, a follow-up application to the rental office involving the same woman was made in May and heard in July.
The new file provides an update on what happened.
Janice Laycock, another rental officer, notes in the new file that after the February ruling was issued, “steps were not being taken to comply.”
Laycock states that the 82-year-old’s family, who were not mentioned in the previous ruling, chose that moment to step in and help their relative.
Family members “came up from British Columbia to assist their elderly relative,” Laycock wrote, moving the woman and the majority of her possessions from Yellowknife down to BC.
The tenancy was terminated and, on April 7, the woman and her family handed the premises back to the landlord – the city’s housing association.
What happened to the woman after that is not known.
However, the rental office found her liable for $2,314.57 in expenses related to repairing damage and cleaning up after she moved out.
A fresh ruling ordering her to pay that sum was issued in July.