An RCMP standoff on Jan. 10, 2020 at a house on Lynn Valley Road in North Vancouver owned by Jason Rivero. Rivero couldn’t get out of his rental agreement with his downstairs tenant, Alexander Tanasescu, even though Tanasescu is in jail. (Twitter/ @molly_n_max)

B.C. landlord can’t serve eviction notice because tenant is in jail

Homeowner baffled at arbitrator decision based on notice of hearing not being served properly

A North Vancouver landlord is baffled by a Residential Tenancy Branch decision that won’t allow him to evict a convicted killer who destroyed his suite and was arrested in a police standoff in January.

The reason Jason Jaguar Rivero can’t end the tenancy agreement with his renter, Alexander Dinu Tanasescu?

Alexander Dinu Tanasescu killed a fellow inmate at Fraser Valley Correctional Centre in 2010. (Facebook)

Because Tanasescu is in jail so Rivero could not personally serve him with information about the hearing in accordance with the Residential Tenancy Act.

“This person killed somebody in jail,” Rivero told The Progress. “He threatened me and my family.… After what I told them, after all the pitfalls, they decided I couldn’t end the tenancy because I couldn’t serve the required documents personally to Mr. Tanasescu who was in jail and unreachable.”

Tanasescu did indeed kill a fellow inmate at Fraser Regional Correctional Centre in 2010. He beat the man to death in an MMA-style attack after his victim called him a “goof.”

• READ MORE: Man who once killed a fellow inmate convicted of threatening guard at Kent

Tanasescu was in Chilliwack provincial court on Nov. 13 for sentencing on a conviction for uttering threats against a correctional officer at Kent Institution in 2017.

It was during this sentencing that Rivero became part of Tanasescu’s, story even though he didn’t know it. As part of a conditional sentence, Judge Wendy Young asked why electronic monitoring was not being considered. His lawyer explained that because monitoring requires a technical suitability report be prepared, that would require interviewing the landlord who would then find out about Tanasescu’s past, which could have jeopardized his housing.

Crown did not push for the electronic monitoring so Rivero never knew who he was renting his ground floor suite to.

“This was a really bad move from the court,” he said. “Why is this person on the streets? Its is not normal. He is not a normal person.”

Rivero said the tenancy was fraught from the start, and that Tanasescu was paranoid and acted bizarrely.

Then on Jan. 10, 2020, there were some odd sounds coming from downstairs. Rivero went to check it out and after a few minutes of knocking, Tanasescu came to the door. He had created a fort-like structure out of couches in the unit, and was acting strange. That’s when Rivero spotted the handgun that looked like a .45-calibre pistol in his hand.

“‘You are never going to take me out of here alive,’” is what Rivero said Tanasescu said to him.

Rivero left, called 911 and so began a six-hour standoff that blocked Lynn Valley Road in North Vancouver, culminating in the RCMP’s Emergency Response Team launching a tear-gas canister through the window before removing Tanasescu.

With a six-month rental contract in place, Rivero then tried to cancel it. He went to the Residential Tenancy Branch on Jan. 13 and a dispute resolution hearing was held on Jan. 20.

Tanasescu, who is back in jail, obviously did not attend the hearing. Rivero said the RCMP told him that Tanasescu was unreachable, so notice of the hearing was posted on the door of the suite.

Because the tenant was not served in person as per the law, the arbitrator would not cancel the rental contract.

“I explained several times to the arbitrator but she did not accepted my explanations and dismissed my claim. At this point Mr. Tanasescu is still my tenant,” Rivero said.

The decision is baffling to Rivero, but at least the contract is up in April and, needless to say, won’t be renewed. Rivero said he wanted to talk about the situation to let people know how stubborn bureaucracy can be at times.

“I want people to know how bureaucrats act in situations like this,” he said. “There is no criteria for these people. They are robots. They might as well substitute them with a computer program.”

Tanasescu remains in custody and is next due in court March 10 facing the charge of breaching his conditional release order.

• RELATED: Education, enforcement aimed at B.C. landlord, tenant infractions


Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:
paul.henderson@theprogress.com

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Alexander Dinu Tanasescu killed a fellow inmate at Fraser Valley Correctional Centre in 2010. (Facebook)

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