Snubbed tenant seeks contempt charge against landlord
An acrimonious housing conflict has intensified as a Montreal tenant has filed to force his landlord to respect a Rental Board decision or possibly be charged with contempt of court.
Tenjinder Singh and his family moved into the apartment in 2011, and soon every member of the family fell ill.
Mould in multiple locations was just one of many problems.
"Cockroaches here, and cockroaches over there, and all the mould over there," said Singh.
He contacted a local community group for help, and soon city of Montreal inspectors looked and the building and found the conditions at 7905 Querbes Ave. were so terrible the building had to be evacuated.
Singh and his family were supposed to be able to move back in after the emergency renovation work, but that never happened.
Instead, the landlord rented the apartment to another tenant which prompted Singh to take legal action.
A Rental Board decision, recognizing the conditions in the mould-infested unit, had also ruled that the landlord Kujtim Canaj must fix the premises and pay Singh $3,000.
However landlord Canaj flouted the ruling, failing to make the payment and also eventually renting the now-rehabilitated apartment to someone else.
Singh, who said that he has been forced to live in a similarly-insect infested apartment in the same Park Extension area, has patiently waited to return to his old home.
“It's still my apartment and I have a lease that is continuing with me,” Singh told CTV Montreal Thursday at the Montreal courthouse.
“We’re fighting for Mr. Singh but Mr. Singh is also fighting for all of the tenants of Park Extension,” said tenants rights' activist Andre Trepanier, who said that poorly-maintained apartments and abusive landlords are commonplace in the area.
A decision on whether the case will go ahead is expected to come down on February 18.