Landlord tears off doors, windows to force delinquent tenants to leave

by Ephraim Vecina on 02 Sep 2020

Burdened by delinquent residents, a Halifax landlord has removed the doors, windows, and water tap of the overstaying tenants’ suite to force them to leave.

Adam Barrett said in an interview with CBC News that the tenants Melody Baldock and Laurissa Forrest have not been paying rent for months, with their lease having expired at the end of April.

Barrett said that he has offered to work with the tenants to resolve the arrears situation, but they failed to arrive at a mutually agreeable solution. The couple has also engaged in disruptive behaviour, picking fights with neighbours and vandalizing the building.

Community legal worker Fiona Traynor, who is representing Baldock and Forrest, condemned Barrett’s steps as a “strong-arming” tactic, especially considering the economic devastation brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.

“This type of behaviour, I don’t know if it’s common, but it’s definitely not unheard of by landlords in Halifax,” Traynor said. “This situation fell right in the middle of COVID-19. That has not helped these two young women to find a place.”

Traynor said that they are continuously searching for options, as Baldock and Forrest might not be able to count on Nova Scotia’s Residential Tenancies Act due to their expired lease. The law prohibits landlords from altering a suite’s doors without tenant approval.

Baldock said that she and Forrest have not found a new home even after months of searching.

“It’s a huge shock to come home and then find out basically your home was raided,” Baldock said.

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