Caught on camera: Vancouver landlord ignores cops in alleged illegal eviction

A Vancouver renter says home security video of an alleged illegal eviction is evidence that more needs to be done to protect tenants. The footage shows a team of men entering the unit, changing the locks and packing up his possessions while ignoring police knocking on the door.

Brandon Fielding said he spent six weeks living out of a suitcase before he was able to access his belongings, including a home security camera that captured footage of the men inside the apartment.

In the video, Fielding’s landlord Timothy Karajaoja is seen entering the apartment where he changes the locks and packs up contents. Fielding says he was outside the building with his one-year-old daughter at the time, and called police when he was unable to re-enter the apartment.

Karajaoja also spells his name Karajaoaj and Karajsoja in various documents reviewed by CTV Vancouver.

Surrey RCMP officers are heard knocking on the door, saying, “Open up, police!”

The team continues to move everything out, as the Surrey RCMP stand by, keeping the peace but not moving on Fielding’s allegations of theft.

“Oh, the cops are here. They’re right out front,” a man Fielding identified as Karajaoja says in the video. “I knew they would be coming. Another day of bulls***.”

“There was no decency or care taken with my belongings or my daughter’s,” Fielding told CTV Vancouver. “I need to know this isn’t going to happen again.”

Surrey RCMP Cpl. Elenore Sturko said the incident is a civil matter, and police are not pursuing charges related to Fielding’s allegations he was robbed.

The B.C. Office of Housing and Construction Standards’ Residential Tenancy Branch details in a flow chart on its website that states, a “landlord may never remove tenant or tenant’s personal property.”

Fielding was served with an eviction notice, but it was overturned by the Residential Tenancy Board.

Fielding has an order from the B.C. Office of Housing and Construction Standards’ Residential Tenancy Branch saying the landlord owes him more than $4,000 for his hotel bills and other expenses related to the eviction. But he doesn’t expect to see that money anytime soon, and says more needs to be done to protect others in similar situations.

“If I’m going to get paid, it’s probably still months down the road,” Fielding said. “I don’t want to see some other mom or dad or retired person or whoever thrown out on the street without their belongings because these guys decide they own the place so they have all the rights.”

With a report from CTV Vancouver’s Jon Woodward