Nova Scotia

Sydney family faces eviction from 1st home

A family in Sydney has until Friday to make home repairs or have the house condemned as a fire hazard.

A family in Sydney has until Friday to make home repairs or see the house condemned as a fire hazard.

Cheryl McGrady and her husband bought half of a duplex on Victoria Road at a tax auction last year for less than $1,000. It seemed like a good deal, but they didn't know what was inside.

They soon discovered their first home needed extensive upgrades to the furnace, electrical and plumbing systems.

They got a shock on Monday when they were told their home failed an inspection.

"I know my kids are not in danger," McGrady told CBC News. "I think the electrical is just fine."

Rick Fraser, the chief building official for the Cape Breton Regional Municipality, said Nova Scotia Power alerted him that the electrical system was not up to standard.

He sent in Richard Wadden, a property maintenance inspector who found problems with the wiring and plumbing.

"I saw open wiring, ungrounded wiring, plumbing issues where walls were cut and plumbing was done and new bathroom was installed and didn't appear to be installed properly," Wadden said.

Wadden told the family to fix the immediate safety issues by Friday or he would condemn the home as a fire hazard.

Fraser said it's a serious issue.

"Our first concern is the safety of the occupants in the building," he said.

McGrady admits they didn't get the proper renovation permits from the municipality, but she said she has faith in the work that was done.

Even so, she said a certified electrician was coming to her home this week.

McGrady, a first-time homeowner, hopes to stay put and raise her children in their own home.

"Bring it on," she said. "It's my house."

Wadden said there's a lesson to be learned: Get the proper permits to avoid wasting time and money on projects that need to be redone later.