Condo foreclosure traumatic for surprised renter
A shocked Red Deer tenant arrived home recently to find the locks changed on her rental condo and foreclosure notices slapped on the door.
As her cats mewed helplessly from inside, Bailey Coltman tried to text her two daughters not to come home from school until she could explain the problem. But the teens were still “traumatized” when they discovered they had been locked out of their home.
It was a sad introduction to the holiday season for Coltman and her kids.
The local school bus driver and home support worker and her 15-year-old daughter are now staying at the Central Alberta Women’s Emergency Shelter until they can move into a new apartment later this week. Coltman’s 13-year-old daughter is staying at a friend’s house, while the family’s cats are housed temporarily at the SPCA.
“This has totally split up our family,” said Coltman, who maintains her landlord — the condo’s former owner — never told her the residence at 5502 58A St. in Riverside Meadows was being foreclosed by the mortgage holder, Home Trust.
Although the condo owners she was renting from since 2011 had known about the pending foreclosure since October, Coltman didn’t find out about it until she was actually locked out at 2 p.m. on Nov. 30.
In fact, Coltman said when she dropped off the $800 rent payment for November with the landlord’s daughter, nothing was said about them not owning the condo anymore.
“I left them my cellphone number, thinking they might call me to return the rent if they had any shred of conscience,” said Coltman. To date, she hasn’t heard from the condo’s owner, Julie and Kim Tuong Tuong Mac.
The couple also did not return a call from the Advocate to give their side of the story.
After explaining her predicament to the new property manager, Coltman got brief access to the condo to move her cats and personal belongings out.
“I was very worried about where we would go. I didn’t assume the women’s shelter would have room for us,” said Coltman. While she’s happy the facility did temporarily take them in, she said being locked out of her home was a very traumatic — especially at this time of year. “I sincerely hope this is not a new Christmas tradition for us.”
Coltman said she wanted to go public about her experience to try to prevent a similar thing potentially happening to her former landlords’ other tenants, since they own other rental properties.
“The moral of this story is: Pay your bills,” she added.
According to Service Alberta, there’s nothing about foreclosures under provincial tenancy legislation. Even if there was, a court order would override legislation, said assistant public affairs manager Mike Berezowsky, who noted the court order issued on Oct. 23 should have specified who should be notified of a foreclosure.
Berezowksy wonders if Home Trust knew there was a tenant in the condo. A representative from the trust company could not be reached for comment.
If the landlord did not tell the court about her tenant and is keeping the November rent money, he encouraged Coltman to seek resolution through a civil court suit or through the provincial Residential Tenancy Dispute Resolution Service.
“I hope there is some resolution for her because nobody should be without a home right before Christmas,” he added.