Judge to decide on Humber Road tenant/landlord spat

Gary Kean
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Whether Janet Ma owes her former tenant Paul Greene anything is now in the hands of a judge.

Green was one of the eight tenants, including a restaurant, displaced from the property ran by Ma at 27 Humber Rd. last February after provincial inspectors shut the building down.

Citing numerous code violations with regard to the electrical service in the apartment building, the tenants were given short notice to vacate the premises on the evening of Feb. 7.

Greene alleged that many of his personal belongings were either damaged or went missing by the time he was able to go back to the building and move them out weeks later. In his statement of claim filed with small claims court in Corner Brook, he also stated Ma owed him for a partial rent payment and for a damage deposit.

In all, Greene sought nearly $1,100 in losses and court costs.

Ma refused to settle the claim and it went to a hearing before Judge Catherine Allen-Westby in provincial court Friday morning.

Greene took the stand first, telling the judge that items such as new tires and rims and a stainless steel meat grinder had vanished when he went to retrieve his belongings. He also said an antique couch of his had been left outside in the elements and that his clothing and other items had been covered in vinegar and bleach and placed in garbage bags also left outside.

Ma, who said the building was actually owned by her daughter in Ottawa, took the stand and denied every single one of Greene’s accusations, calling him “a liar.”

She told Allen-Westby that Greene never had any money, let alone some of the items which he claimed had gone missing.

She also claimed that she had been paying Greene $500 a month to do work around the apartment building for her.

Greene said he never received any money from Ma and performed some superintendent duties, including doing repairs and evicting unwanted tenants, for a $100 break on his own rent. Greene said he gave up those duties a month before the building was shut down.

Allen-Westby said she needed some time to review the evidence presented in court and the Residential Tenancies Act. She will make her decision Sept. 30.

Geographic location: Humber Road, Corner Brook, Ottawa

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