City of Montreal removes tenants from mouldy building
Published Friday, November 11, 2011 7:47AM EST
MONTREAL - One of Montreal's more notorious landlords lost the tenants at his building on Stuart in Part Extension Thursday as the city ordered residents out due to the poor condition he has allowed the units to fall into.
Claudio Di Giambattista stood by cursing and watching disapprovingly as tenants moved their items out of the apartments they had been renting.
Tenants were shocked on Thursday to see city inspectors come to their door wearing filtration masks, and were upset about being ordered to move without notice.
Di Giambattista, who has repeatedly courted trouble with housing authorities due to his frequent refusals to repair his apartments, blamed the tenants for his woes.
"Oh! Madame," he said to CTV Montreal's Maya Johnson. "I am a good man, honest to God. People don't pay the rent, you see?"
The residents, many of them immigrants, were brought to temporarily stay at the YMCA building on Tupper St.
The ordeal has been particularly painful for tenant Malik Ali and his family. Their apartment was beset by moisture-related issues including mould and corroding plaster.
The father of four says his children and his wife feel cramped, and are finding it hard to adjust to their new, temporary living space at the Y.
"I can't stay here with my children to see everything. My god," said a distraught Ali.
"Right now, we are like in jail."