Halifax tenants to pay landlord $1,500 in rental dispute

A disgruntled group of tenants in central Halifax will pay their landlord $1,500 after what they said was a nightmare period spent dealing with various issues at their rental property on Duncan Street.

Mediated settlement also includes apology to landlord Steven Metlege Sr.

A disgruntled group of tenants in central Halifax has agreed to pay their landlord $1,500 after what they said was a nightmare period spent dealing with various issues at their rental property on Duncan Street.

In a mediated settlement, three tenants have agreed to pay their former landlord — Steven Metlege — $1,500 by the end of the month. Metlege is also allowed to keep a $1,000 security deposit and interest.

Devon Berquist, one of the tenants in the settlement, was interviewed by CBC News last month and complained about unhealthy and uncomfortable living conditions at 6204 Duncan St.

At the time she said mould and a rat infestation had forced her and her roommates out of the house earlier than their lease allowed. They were hoping to break their lease without financial repercussions.

The tenants' troubles also prompted a rally at Grand Parade the following week, as protesters demanded tighter controls on landlords in the city.

The settlement, dated March 6 and mediated by Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations, does not mention the tenants' original complaints of mould, poor maintenance or the rats they say they trapped in the house.

"We opted for the financial settlement to avoid further stress as the situation had already severely negatively affected many aspects of our lives," Berquist said in an emailed statement to CBC News.

The settlement also included a signed apology from Berquist, retracting "any comments attributed to me and reported in the media or online that the Metleges are 'slumlords.'"

She also apologized for "any harm to the reputation and character of my former landlord, Steven Metlege Sr., caused as a result of such comments."

According to the settlement, both parties have agreed there will be no further claims against either party.

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