Canada Refugee families settle fight with landlord over bedbugs

21:06  17 may  2018
21:06  17 may  2018 Source:   thestar.com

Bedbugs lead to legal woes for Syrian refugee families

  Bedbugs lead to legal woes for Syrian refugee families Bedbugs lead to legal woes for Syrian refugee familiesSoon after Khaldoun Anijleh and his family moved into their first home in Canada, they started to get itchy red bumps and painful blisters on their bodies. Anijleh’s two kids, Samer, 8, and Joudi, 11, would be up all night crying and scratching.

[….] With help from caseworkers from Wesley Urban Ministries, the community group assigned by the government to help with their settlement , Anijleh and 11 other newly arrived Syrian refugee families said they repeatedly asked the landlord at 221 Melvin Ave. to deal with the pests — bedbugs and in

A dozen Syrian refugee families have complained to the Landlord and Tenant Board about their anguish over having to deal with bedbugs in a “We had no idea what a bedbug was because we had no bedbugs in Syria,” said the 32-year-old butcher, who settled in Hamilton’s east end in


The Syrian families have settled their bedbug complaint with their former landlord.© Provided by Toronto Star The Syrian families have settled their bedbug complaint with their former landlord. Twelve Syrian families embroiled in a landlord-tenant dispute in Hamilton over bedbugs have settled their complaints against their former landlord.

On the eve of Wednesday’s scheduled hearing before the Ontario Landlord and Tenant Board, the complainants resolved their dispute with Melvin Apartments Inc. over a bedbug infestation the tenants claimed they endured while living in a Hamilton apartment building in 2016.

“Our clients are happy to have reached a settlement with Melvin Apartments on terms that are satisfactory to both parties,” said Ali Naraghi of the Hamilton Community Legal Clinic, which represents the 12 families, totalling almost 60 people, many of them young children.

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Syrian refugees take U.S. landlord , government to court over claims of filthy housing. The other refugee families suing also live in buildings owned by the same landlord in the run-down neighborhood, complaining of leaking ceilings, cockroaches, mice and bedbugs .

The other refugee families suing also live in buildings owned by the same landlord in the run-down neighbourhood, complaining of leaking ceilings, cockroaches, mice and bedbugs . Due to the pest-filled housing, “the kids have a lot of anxiety,” Hend Elburi

Naraghi said Michael Klein, an officer and director of Melvin Apartments Inc., “expressed his desire for the refugees to feel at home in Canada and to feel that they have been treated fairly,” .

The complainants, who were sponsored by the federal government under the Syrian refugee resettlement program, were initially housed in a Toronto hotel upon arrival in Canada. They claimed their problems with bedbugs began soon after they moved into 221 Melvin Ave. in Hamilton.

They said they had complained repeatedly to the landlord and the management company, Diamond International Management, but the pest problem remained despite treatments by a pest control company hired by the landlord to clean up the units. As a result, the Syrian tenants moved out of the highrise before their 12-month leases expired.

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As a tenant, you are responsible for cooperating with your landlord 's efforts to control bed bugs . Family members, friends, neighbours or community members may be able to provide additional support with the preparations.

In 2016, Hamilton dedicated million over three years to attempt to fight bedbugs within the metropolis. Klein mentioned administration for the condo has contracts with provincially licensed pest management corporations. “Sadly, the refugees didn’t adjust to correct preparation necessities” and

In their complaint to the landlord and tenant tribunal, the families said bug bites left them with itchy red bumps and painful blisters on their bodies and they had to throw away their government-supplied mattresses, sheets, clothing and furniture. In total, they sought $63,666 in compensation for the losses and a partial refund of rent paid during the infestation.

Meanwhile, Melvin Apartments Inc. sued the 12 tenant families in small claims court for rental arrears for the months remaining on their leases and for repairs related to alleged damage to their rental units. The company claimed the families broke their leases and moved out without proper notice.

Hearings were to be scheduled in Hamilton later this year.

Both Naraghi and Klein refused to disclose the terms of the settlement due to a confidentiality agreement, however the landlord told the Star that the parties have also settled the matter at the small claims court.

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