A B.C. renter felt a little too comfortable in his own skin while sharing common space with other tenants — and that wasn't the only issue.
While it is illegal to be naked in a public place (such as a common living area), you might think anything goes as long as you are in the comfort of your home. But as it turns out, you can't stroll around your pad in your birthday suit if the neighbourhood has a front-row view to a show they didn't ask to see.
According to the Canadian Criminal Code section 174, no one can be nude, without lawful excuse, in a public space or on private property while exposed to public view; it doesn't matter if the property is their own or not.
Anyone who is nude in public view is "guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction."
Vancouver criminal lawyer Kyla Lee told Vancouver Is Awesome in a previous interview that people who have windows that are visible to the public need to ensure they are not spotted in the nude. It doesn't matter if the windows are a couple of storeys high, either.
Someone who quickly walks from a bedroom to the bathroom is likely not to attract scrutiny or charges, notes Lee.
"Typically it's the folks who stand in full exposure staring outside that are the ones who get charged or calls from police."
According to B.C.'s Residential Tenancy Act (RTA), landlords are responsible for providing quiet enjoyment to all tenants. Upon getting a disturbance complaint from a tenant, the landlord must take steps to fix the problem. For example, a landlord may need to speak to a tenant about noise if it bothers neighbouring tenants.
Tenants must make sure they, their guests and their pets don’t unreasonably disturb other occupants.
If there are disturbances like unreasonable noise, excessive second-hand smoke or harassment from a neighbouring tenant of the same landlord, the tenant should speak to the landlord about the issue.
He didn't want to "bother" putting on clothing to take out the trash
The agent for the landlord in one B.C. dispute stated that the tenant in question frequently walked around the common areas, such as the hallway, completely naked. While the landlord allegedly requested that he refrain from this behaviour "several times," the man continued to appear nude.
But the tenant didn't disagree with these accusations. In fact, he said that he "does occasionally walk naked in the hallway" and that he didn't "want to bother putting clothes on if he is just going to the garbage."
The tenant's nudity wasn't the only issue, however. The landlord stated that he also played loud music that disrupted the other tenants. Many individuals complained about the noise, and the landlord kept a log of all of the complaints.
In one incident, the landlord's witness said they went to the tenant's unit to tell him to turn his music down but he became angry and clenched his fists. The witness added that the tenant also "poked him several times in the chest," but the tenant claimed he did that because he felt threatened.
The landlord produced five letters signed by different renters that declared they were disturbed by the tenant. The letters specifically mentioned the loud music, nudity in the halls, verbal abuse, smoking cigarettes in the halls, and drinking alcohol in the halls.
This dispute seemed like a "no-brainer" for the Residential Tenancy Branch. They found it compelling that so many people witnessed the nudity and aggressive behaviour and heard loud music. The landlord was therefore allowed to end the tenancy with cause.