Regina mother threatens to leave rental home over frozen pipes

A dispute over frozen pipes between a Regina mother and her landlord has resulted in an abrupt plan to move out of the home.

Landlord says he fixed the problem 3 times, tenant should do more to help

A dispute over frozen pipes between a Regina mother and her landlord has resulted in an abrupt plan to move out of the home. 

Amanda Smytaniuk, who lives in a rental property with her three children, told CBC News Friday she currently has no water service and has resorted to collecting snow she has to melt and then boil so she can do dishes. She also uses that water to flush her toilet. 

Smytaniuk said she has been showering at the gym and buying bottled water for drinking. She said the pipes have frozen several times since February and wants her landlord to continue to pay to have them thawed.

"We can't not have water, they can't rent us a house that doesn't have water," she said. "I need to sort of take a stand against that and not put up with that and re-evaluate and find a situation that will work out better for my family."

Jason Hall, the owner of the property, said he has paid for a company to thaw out the pipes three times already at a cost of $220 for each occurrence. 

"This individual called again and we said, you know, we honestly just can't keep affording to do this for you because there's no logic behind what's happening," said Hall. 

Hall said the company that fixed the pipes also advised the taps in the home should be left on to prevent more freezing— something he said he asked Smytaniuk to do.

Smytaniuk said she did keep the taps in the house running, but still experienced freezing pipes.  

Last pipe freeze leads to deadlock 

When the pipes in Smytaniuk's rental home froze for a fourth time last week, she again went to Hall to get the pipes thawed. This time Smytaniuk said she was told she was responsible for that incident and would have to get the work done herself.​

"I am happy to do what needs to be done in the short term to help with those sorts of things," she said. "But when the landlord blatantly oversteps like that, that's when I feel that enough is enough and something needs to be done about it."

Hall, however, said he feels he's put in the extra effort to get the problem fixed for this tenant, but can't continue to pay for the issue when it's happening this often. 

"We've never done it before, we'll never do it again," he said. "It's not like we're refusing to help the tenant." ​

Smytaniuk said she will be giving 24 hours notice that she is moving out, noting that under Saskatchewan's Residential Tenancies Act, a tenant can leave if a home is uninhabitable due to lack of water.

Hall suggests Smytaniuk should have the repair work done herself and take the issue to the Office of Residential Tenancies for officials there to determine who should be responsible for the bill. 

With files from CBC's Roxanna Woloshyn