Homeless Couple, 3 Dogs, Lived In Garden Shed

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This Kelowna garden shed was rented out to a homeless couple and their 3 dogs for $200 a month. (City of Kelowna) | Handout

A B.C. woman has been fined $500 for renting out a garden shed to a homeless couple and their three dogs.

A power cord that ran from the woman’s house in Kelowna, B.C., supplied electricity to the small metal building, for which she was charging rent of $200 per month.

It's not clear how long the people and pets had been living in the shed. Bylaw officers warned the owner two weeks ago it was not suitable accommodation, but the advice was ignored, said city spokesman Stephen Fleming.

Fleming described the small building as "a standard type of metal garden shed that you'd get at your local hardware store. It certainly doesn't look like a place for people to be living in."

Fleming said that with winter approaching and overnight temperatures dipping below freezing, the electrical cord would be a potential fire hazard and it’s been getting very cold.

“We didn't want anything to happen to the occupants because of where they were living, because it was substandard," he said.

Fleming said the homeowner could rent a room in her house to the couple or they could stay at a local shelter that has a place for animals.

A caseworker at Kelowna Gospel Mission said that the couple and their dogs are welcome at their shelter.

Calls from CBC News to the woman renting the shed were not returned.

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