A Regina landlord who was renting out an office building as apartments has been ordered to pay close to $20,000 to a group of tenants evicted in December.
Fourteen of the 19 tenants evicted from the building at 2060 Halifax St. south of downtown have been awarded a total of $19,474, according to a decision released Tuesday by the provincial office of residential tenancies.
They were forced to leave the building Dec. 7 after fire inspectors found their building did not meet fire codes. The building didn't have fire alarms, fire doors or windows that opened.
There was also no fire insurance on the building, which had previously been the headquarters of the Harvard Broadcasting company.
There were also other problems with the building as living quarters, a residential tenancies hearing heard earlier this year. Those problems included no refrigerators or stoves and a lack of shower facilities.
The man ordered to pay the tenants within 30 days is Paul Ehmann, director of By Design Homes Ltd.
Whether he will or will not pay is an open question, however — in a recent interview with CBC News, Ehmann said he's essentially broke.
Still, a spokesman for Carmichael Outreach Inc., a community organization that helped the group file a claim, said he was pleased with the decision.
"It feels good," said Shawn Fraser. "A lot of the tenants, the ones we've been able to talk to so far, are all really excited and feel really empowered, so that's good news."
The tenants are to be compensated for December rent they had paid, lost damage deposits and other damages.
Five other tenants were not awarded because of a lack of evidence, the decision said.