Here is my story of 11 months of renting in 201 Avenue Metcalfe. My first daughter was born during this period, and you would think that it would have been the best time of my life, but it wasn’t to be, and all because I gave in to long-winded ramblings of the real-estate agent I had at the time, David Perusse, about how great this particular owner/apartment was. Clearly, they had had dealing before, and I was just another hapless dummy. So here are the highlights of my 12 months in that apartment:
- After a few days of moving in we started noticing strange insect bites all over my pregnant wife’s body. A month later and it was getting worse. We started to research, and we found out it might be bedbugs. We laid out double sided tape, and to our shock found out that there were indeed bedbugs streaming out of wall sockets, and cracks in the walls/hardwood floor. This was strange, since we had been told that the apartment had had a complete makeover, and that the floor was brand new. I removed part of one panel, and under it, I saw nests of them. My wife was extremely scared and wanted to leave immediately, but eventually we informed Lyn Scott, the building manager. She started blaming us and out furniture. I reminded her that we hadn’t had any furniture when we moved here from Europe, and that all of it had been bought brand new from IKEA. Then she blamed IKEA! Eventually, she agreed to spray the place at her cost, but we had to evacuate the premises. Now imagine packing everything, and leaving with 8 months pregnant woman. We moved into a hotel, and we were never paid for the forced evacuation! Later I researched the internet and found out that there had indeed been reports of bedbugs (www.bedbugregistry.com) on avenue Metcalfe, and the other side of the same building which faces Kensington street.
- I had been told that the electric costs for our apartment (not included in rent) for heating, etc. would amount to an average of 50 CAD/month. This was a lie. I am very careful with our energy usage, but the apartment was so badly insulated that we ended up paying 150 CAD/month for a small 1 bedroom apartment.
- Washing and drying facilities were supposed to be available in the building, but most of the time, the dryers, and sometimes the washers were completely broken and non-operational. They would take your coins, spin for 5 minutes and breakdown! For a period of 1 month I had to wash and hang-dry my own cloths.
- The next surprise was when the weather started to warm up. An intolerable smell of burnt plastic started to ooze from the window insulations. We researched, and it turns out all the “renovated” apartments had the same problem in the building. It became so intolerable that at times we simply left the house because it was hard to breathe. By this time my baby girl had already been born!
- Eventually we decided that the baby’s health had priority. We moved out one month before the contract ended. Since the manager told us we would have to pay for the last month’s rent anyways, I decided to keep the keys anyways. She said, if I allow her to show the apartment, she might be able to return some money. I kept a set of keys, to be able to check my mail, and take some of the stuff I had left in the apartment. This turned out to be a lie. Two weeks later when I went to the apartment to pick up my things, it was in shambles! Wooden floor had been torn up, paint everywhere, and the toilet was ripped out! They were doing repairs on my time, while I was still paying rent, without telling me! And Ms. Lyn Scott, was on her 3 week vacation! Showing my a**! But the final blow came when I noticed all my stuff was gone! I inquired and no one knew where. I called Lynn, when she eventually came back and after playing me for 2 weeks, she said she doesn’t know where my stuff went, but since I cannot prove anything, she would be ready to pay me a maximum 50 dollars for the trouble!!! The things, I assume the workers threw away to make room for their work, had a value much higher than that, and they contained some of my notebooks, and writings!
All in all, this was the worst quality of life I have had, and I have lived through a war. The next time I meet Lyn Scott and Westmount Estate Management will be in court, and soon. I hope you think twice before dealing with these people. And if you have ended up in that building, and that’s why you are now reading this, I wish you a lot of patience and the best of luck.