Family fights landlord on repairs after sewage back-up
Published Thursday, July 14, 2011 5:39PM PDT
A West Vancouver family is fighting to get their landlord to pay the bill after a sewage back-up caused serious damage and left them worried for their children's health.
Andy and Alia Chryssolor had just renovated the basement in their rental home when it flooded last week.
"We had sewage and dirty water coming from both the downstairs toilets, both the showers, and they leaked into the carpet and the play area where the kids play," Andy told CTV News.
The couple says their young daughters developed rashes and coughs after the flood, and the girls have been sleeping on the couch to avoid further problems.
Raz Depicciotto of 911 Restoration says that sewage back-ups this serious can cause major problems.
"When it comes from sewage, it can carry inside it things like E. coli, and those we know are very dangerous for our health," he said.
The Chryssolors contacted landlord Reza Morsheziam to ask for repairs, but he refused to fix anything.
Now the family is spending thousands to restore a home that already costs them $3,000 each month in rent.
"We're basically paying for the restoration with our money that we spend on food, so we've been living off fruits and vegetables for the last few weeks," Alia said.
But Morsheziam says the Chryssolors are to blame for the damage, and he shouldn't be on the hook for repairs.
"They put a whole roll of toilet paper in the toilet and the toilet was plugged. Now the responsibility is the tenants using the property," he said.
The dispute is heading to the Residential Tenancy Branch, where an arbitrator will decide who should pay for repairing the damage.
Nicky Dunlop of the Tenant Resource and Advocacy Centre says the tenancy branch will have to weigh several factors in making a decision.
"When you're looking at repairs, what's important is, is something broken because of regular wear and tear, or is something broken because of someone's actions or neglect?" she said.
For more information on tenants' rights and responsibilities, visit the TRAC website here.
With a report from CTV British Columbia's Bhinder Sajan