Tenants of 80 Cosburn sue landlord

Tenants of 80 Cosburn Ave. have filed a $1.2 million class action lawsuit against the landlord, Hanard Investments, and the former property manager, the Brown Group of Companies following a February fire that forced them from their homes.

The lawyer representing the tenants, Brad Teplitsky, filed a statement of claim to the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in June.

Approximately 200 tenants were left scrambling for shelter and were barred from returning to their units until early June, when post-fire renovations were wrapped up.

Spokesperson and former tenant Yasir Malik reports that about half of the building has joined the suit. Malik is named as the plaintiff in the statement, which paints a picture of destitute and vulnerable tenants left to fend for themselves, an suffering for no cause of their own.

The high-rise sustained considerable damage after an electrical fire broke out on the fifth floor. The electrical system badly needed upgrading, tenants claim.

“People were having issues with the heating system. The apartments were always cold,” said Malik. “Almost everyone complained. Sometimes they shut off the water and the fire alarm system wasn’t working properly.

“It was always something. Does it sound like they were doing a good job maintaining the building?”

In the statement filed to the court, tenants say they had to sign a waiver releasing the defendants from liability before retrieving their personal belongings.

“It made things even more uncomfortable for everyone. People were having a hard enough time getting their lives back on track.”

Spokesperson for the defense Danny Roth said he would not comment, until a decision has been made in court.

Teplitsky confirmed that the plaintiffs have yet to respond to the statement but have retained a lawyer.

Allegations in the statement of claim are unproven and have not yet tested in court.