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SPereira Legal Services

Paralegal, Commissioner of Oaths, Notary Public

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    Serious Impairment of Safety

    Order under Section 69 Residential Tenancies Act, 2006

     

    File Number: TEL-06998-19

    In the matter of:     

    Between:                 

                                Angela Sterling                                   

    Landlord

    and

    Valerie Henry, a.k.a. Valerie Henry Guillaume; Valerie Tsigi Guillaume; Valerie Guillaume; Val Guillaume

    Tenant

    Angela Sterling (‘AS’ or the 'Landlord') applied for an order to terminate the tenancy and evict Valerie Henry, also known by other names above identified (‘VH’ or the 'Tenant') because they, another occupant of the rental unit or someone they permitted in the residential complex: seriously impaired the safety of any person; have wilfully caused undue damage to the premises; and have substantially interfered with the reasonable enjoyment or lawful right, privilege or interest of the Landlord in a residential complex that has three or fewer residential units (N7 Notice). The Landlord has also applied for an order under section 89 of the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 requiring the Tenant to compensate the Landlord for the damage. The Landlord also claimed compensation for each day the Tenant remained in the unit after the termination date.

    This application was heard by videoconference on December 18, 2020.

    Only the Landlord and the Landlord’s Legal Representative, Shellyann Pereira (‘LLR'), attended the hearing. I was satisfied that the Board timely and duly served the Notice of Hearing to the parties. We waited until 9:15 am before commencing the hearing on an uncontested basis.

    Preliminary Issue:

    On December 16, 2019, the Board received a Request to Reschedule a Hearing filed by the Tenant. In that request, the Tenant requested a rescheduling but indicated there was no consent of the Landlord obtained for the request. The Tenant’s request was considered by Duty Member Lorraine Mathers, and the request was denied/refused which is consistent with Rule 21.1 of the Board’s Rules of Procedure. In Member Mathers’ endorsement, she directed the Tenant to attend this hearing (i.e. on December 18, 2020), or have a representative attend in the Tenant’s stead, to make the request for rescheduling/adjournment during the hearing.

    Despite the fact that no one came to represent the Tenant at this hearing, I raised the Tenant’s request to reschedule as a preliminary matter. I read the Tenant’s request which claims the Tenant is on a medical leave because she is “seriously ill and…unavailable to attend” the December 18th hearing. Further, the Tenant stated that she included medical documentation with her request, to support her claim of illness and inability to attend the hearing. I confirmed that another document – an email dated December 17, 2020 -- was submitted to support the Tenant’s claim, but that email was one the Tenant wrote herself, about herself. In other words, I confirmed the Board did not receive anything else from an arms-length party who would have medical knowledge of the Tenant’s condition (such as a doctor, or a hospital).

    I took in submissions from the Landlord. LLR submitted that they are not aware of any serious medical issue relating to the Tenant, and nothing that would prevent the Tenant from appearing at the hearing via a telephone or video link. LLR recounted the long list of scheduled hearings and adjournments since the first hearing had been scheduled for October 30, 2019. LLR submitted the Tenant is on social assistance but remains quite active on social media in respect of the Tenant’s self-published cook books and children’s books, which the Tenant sells online. LLR argued that the Tenant is simply trying to further delay an already over-lengthy process.

    I determined that the Tenant’s request for a rescheduling or adjournment be denied. On the face of the request itself, the supporting documentation claimed to be appended to the request was not there; instead, the Tenant wrote the evidentiary email about herself. In my view, this is not evidence to be relied upon, and therefore the Tenant’s claim of serious illness and being on a medical leave are totally unsupported. No one was at the hearing to represent the Tenant, to put forth the Tenant’s request for consideration. The fact that the Tenant submitted a request to reschedule also indicates the Tenant is quite aware of this scheduled hearing. All taken together, I proceeded to hear the merits of the L2 application on an uncontested basis.

    Determinations:

    1. The Landlord filed her L2 application on November 29, 2019, based on an N7 notice (with an attached addendum) that set out in sufficient detail the dates and claims of serious impairment of safety, wilful damage and substantial interference with the Landlord’s reasonable enjoyment and/or lawful rights.

    2. The Landlord confirmed that the Tenant lives in the basement rental unit which she shares with two other residents, while the Landlord lives upstairs.

    3. The Landlord stated she is 74 years old and is a cancer-survivor.

    4. The Landlord provided quite a bit of testimony in support of the N7 claims. The Landlord described incidents surrounding a rental unit window that the Tenant allegedly broke, the Tenant’s encounter with another basement resident in mid-November 2019, and the recurring interfering actions against the Landlord by the Tenant (including numerous complaints to the local Fire Department) concerning the Tenant’s obsessive but erroneous belief that someone is living in the laundry room.

    5. I found the Landlord’s testimony regarding the Tenant’s direct assaults on the Landlord to be the most persuasive.     It was for these direct assaults that the Landlord was able to provide clear, consistent testimony about events that she herself experienced and witnessed first-hand. To be clear, I focused mainly on the Landlord’s claim relating to serious impairment of safety, which is set out under section 66 of the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 (the ‘Act’).

    6. The Landlord testified that in June and July 2019, the Tenant threatened to kill the Landlord, once in the backyard area, the second time in the laundry room. The Landlord recounted in anecdotal fashion how the Tenant physically confronted the Landlord, threatening to get a knife and kill her. The Landlord described how she has become terrified of the Tenant who she considers to be quite physically strong. The Landlord explained that the police were called but they did very little to resolve the situations.

    7. The Landlord affirmed that since the filing of the application, the Tenant’s behaviour has gotten worse.

    8. In March 2020, the Landlord testified that due to a severe knee problem she suffers from, she thought it might make sense to try sleeping one night in one of the rooms of the basement apartment. She thought that living on a ground level might reduce the amount of climbing/wear-and-tear on her knee. The Landlord described how she came into the kitchen to prepare some food when the Tenant came out from her bedroom carrying a can of the Tenant’s urine. The Landlord testified that when the Tenant saw the Landlord there, she threw the can at her. The contents of the can sprayed onto the Landlord, her food and the stovetop. The Landlord described how she felt violated.  The Landlord called the police, but they only ended up taking statements from both parties.

    9. The Landlord testified that in May 2020, she was watering newly purchased plants on her balcony when some of the water dropped below and apparently hit the Tenant. The Landlord described how the Tenant screamed, and how the Tenant rushed up the stairs, took a stool that was nearby and threw it at the Landlord. The stool hit the Landlord. The Landlord said then ran into her unit, with the Tenant following her inside. The Landlord said she did not know what to do but found a knife on a table and picked it up. She then told the Tenant to leave the Landlord’s unit, and only then did the Tenant turn away. The Landlord called the police who advised the Landlord to go to the hospital for the bruise and small cut suffered from the thrown stool, but the Landlord declined saying she could treat the injury herself; the Landlord did not want to go to hospital during the covid-19 shutdown.

    10. In final submissions, the Landlord re-emphasized the fear she has been living in, all because of the Tenant’s actions toward her.

    11. Based on the Landlord’s submissions, I find on a balance of probabilities that the Tenant’s actions have seriously impaired the safety of the Landlord, and these acts occurred in the residential complex.

    12. I make no other determinations regarding wilful damage or substantial interference claims, but I find that my determination concerning serious impairment of safety claim to be sufficient for granting the Landlord’s requested remedy of tenancy termination. It is quite evident that the Tenant seriously impaired the Landlord’s safety, and has continued to do so, as happened in March and May 2020. The Tenant’s assaults are extremely serious in nature and they cannot be allowed to continue or escalate; thus I believe the tenancy needs to end.

    13. I asked the Landlord and Landlord's Legal Representative for any circumstances of the parties involved that might postpone or prevent termination.

    14. I have considered all of the disclosed circumstances in accordance with subsection 83(2) of the Act, and find that it would be unfair to grant relief from eviction pursuant to subsection 83(1) of the Act.

    It is ordered that:

    1. The tenancy between the Landlord and the Tenant is terminated, as of January 15, 2021.

    2. The Tenant must move out of the rental unit on or before January 15, 2021.

    3. The Tenant shall pay to the Landlord $175.00 for the cost of filing the application.

    4. If the Tenant does not pay the Landlord the $175.00 owing on or before January 11, 2021, they will start to owe interest. This will be simple interest calculated from January 12, 2021 at 2.00% annually on the balance outstanding.

    5. If the unit is not vacated on or before January 15, 2021, then starting January 16, 2021, the Landlord may file this order with the Court Enforcement Office (Sheriff) so that the eviction may be enforced.

    6. Upon receipt of this order, the Court Enforcement Office (Sheriff) is directed to give vacant possession of the unit to the Landlord on or after January 16, 2021. The Sheriff is requested to expedite the enforcement of this order.

    7. If the unit is not vacated on or before January 15, 2021, then the Tenant shall also pay to the Landlord $18.08 per day for compensation for the use of the unit from January 16, 2021 to the date they move out of the unit.

    December 29, 2020

    Date Issued                                                                     

     

    Alex Brkic

    Member, Landlord and Tenant Board

    Toronto East-RO

    2275 Midland Avenue, Unit 2 Toronto ON M1P3E7

    If you have any questions about this order, call 416-645-8080 or toll free at 1-888-332-3234.

    In accordance with section 81 of the Act, the part of this order relating to the eviction expires on July 16, 2021 if the order has not been filed on or before this date with the Court Enforcement Office (Sheriff) that has territorial jurisdiction where the rental unit is located

     

     

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