Three months after fire forced them from their homes, residents of 80 Cosburn Ave. were finally able to return in late May.
But half the building did not return.
And many of those who have are not happy.
Resident Andrea Zachariou, 47, says she was afraid to return to her 10th-floor bachelor apartment, but did so as she had no other option.
“I’m not healthy enough to move,” said Zachariou adding that her respiratory problems inhibit her ability to perform strenuous activities, including cleaning.
Zachariou complains of fine drywall particles in the air from the renovation work and residual smoke damage makes it hard for her to breathe.
Her illness demands that she keep her place exceptionally clean and she says she’s doing her best.
“I keep dusting and an hour later it comes back,” she said.
The property management company at the time of the fire, Brown Group, had contractors to repair the electrical wiring, thought to be the cause of the blaze, but was not legally obligated to clean up the private apartments. However, Zachariou says they could have done the honourable thing and cleaned them anyway.
“Have a little class and respect,” she said.
In May, the Town Crier reported that a lawsuit by 80 Cosburn’s tenants against the former property manager, the Brown Group of Companies and the landlord, Hanard Investments was in the works.
Former tenant and acting spokesperson for the plaintiffs, Yasir Malik told the Town Crier that he and 45 others met with a lawyer, who agreed to take on their case. But now tenants say the lawyer, Brad Teplitsky, is dragging his heels as he has yet to file a statement of claim.
“We’re trying out a different strategy in terms of how we’re dealing with the landlord,” said Teplitsky, who is also working on a similar case following a fire at 200 Wellesley St.
Cosburn’s tenants are also upset about having to contend with new management. In the days after the tenants finished moving back in, Greenwin Management assumed responsibility for the property. Co-incidentally, Greenwin is being sued in connection with their management of 200 Wellesley St.
Malik thinks that with the switch, Brown Group has evaded their responsibility to the tenants and that Greenwin is getting off easy.
“They (Greenwin) don’t have to answer our concerns,” Malik said. “All they say is, ‘Sorry, we’re new.’”