The owner of a Waterloo apartment building plagued with mould and electrical problems could have solved the issues months ago if he contacted an insurance company promptly after a roof leak occurred in January, says the building's property manager.

"If [the owner] had called his insurance company in early January and jumped on it at that point in time, he probably could have had the leak fixed, and it wouldn't have damaged as many units as it did, and it could have been dealt with by the end of January," said Rob Pearce, general manager of William Squibb and Daughters Property Management, which oversees the property at 154 Erb St. E. in Waterloo.

The damage was felt acutely by tenants in at least three units this week, all of whom had to leave their homes following an inspection by the Electrical Safety Authority, which inspected sections of the building last week and found faulty and potentially dangerous electrical systems in their apartments.

The ESA will conduct an inspection on some other areas of the building Wednesday. The results of the inspection could lead to further power disconnections for some units or, if the problem is severe, the entire building, said spokesperson Kathryn Chopp.

The leak also led to mould in the building, said Jim Barry, director of municipal enforcement for Waterloo.

This is why tenant Paul Chahor has had to leave. He moved into the building in January when all the problems seemingly began.

 "If it's been an issue since January, why are they kicking me out now?" asked Chahor. 

The roof leak caused additional damage to the parquet flooring in Chahor's apartment. 

Floor damage in tenant Paul Chahor's apartment at 154 Erb St. E. in Waterloo

The flooring at Chahor's apartment was damaged as a result of the leak. (Tiffany Pope/CBC)

Bylaw violation

Chahor said an emergency order was posted on doors Friday stating the building is in violation of the city's property standards bylaw.

Barry said the issue would go to the courts if the owner does not make the repairs. As of Friday, owner Terry Good was cooperating with the city, Barry said.

A contractor hired by owner Good said in January he had to wait until the weather was better before repairing the roof, said Pearce.

At that time, Pearce said he suggested Good repair the roof through his insurance company. But Pearce said Good decided not to.

Under the terms of his agreement with Good, Pearce said he had no authority to call the insurance company on the owner's behalf. Pearce said the roof was finally repaired around the end of March or early April. 

Pearce said Good recently approached him, and the two agreed to end their contract as of August 31. Pearce said his company has been instructed by Good to stay away from the property. 

The CBC has been unable to get in contact with Good despite repeated attempts..