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Copperlaw
Copperlaw, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
Satisfied Customers: 1362
Experience:  Retired cop. Now a Lawyer. Drug expert, breath tech, negotiator, traffic specialist. Criminal, Family, Civil and more.
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Hi, I was displaced from my condo on June 20th in Calgary due

Customer Question

Hi, I was displaced from my condo on June 20th in Calgary due to a mandatory flood evacuation. I am still displaced due to the damages. The parkades were completely flooded with raw sewage in addition to flood water; the initial assessment indicates severe damage to the electrical system, elevators are non-repairable and it will be a minimum of 8 weeks to replace them once services have been restored. We have no electricity, water, sewer or elevator service and not permitted to reside in the building also now due to concern over the sewage entering the buildings. "My insurance company adjuster" said that I do not have displacement expense coverage due to flood and that I am not required to pay rent as the owner of the unit should have loss of rental income insurance to cover the time that the tenant is displaced and unable to reside on the property. I have to pay for alternative accommodation, additional travel expenses to work as I have to live further from work and pay extra for my pets. I've lost all the food in my fridge and freezer and still have to pay my everyday bills. I have only my income and it's not sufficient to pay for two residences, my vehicle loan, vehicle expenses, food, pet care etc etc. Please explain to me what can be done as I will not have any roof over my head and I will end up bankrupt and losing my only vehicle if I am forced to pay rent when he clearly should have insurance to cover the lost rental income.

Thank you I look forward to your prompt response.
Cindy, sleepless and sick in Calgary
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Canada Law
Expert:  Copperlaw replied 1 year ago.

Copperlaw : hi Cindy
Copperlaw : I am sorry that you are going through this
Copperlaw : Your insurance adjuster is correct, that the owner, if he has properly notified his own insurance company of the purposes of the property, and has adequately insured the property, he will be covered for loss of income.
Copperlaw : You are not expected to pay for your rent, for a property that cannot be occupied. Ultimately, you have a rental agreement, which requires you to pay rent, in exchange for the
Copperlaw : landlord providing you with a residence to occupy
Copperlaw : Through no fault of your own, this property is no longer able to be occupied or rented. Accordingly, the landlord cannot hold up his end of the agreement as the unit cannot be occupied
Copperlaw : Accordingly, he cannot hold you to pay rent based on an agreement that the cannot fulfill himself
Copperlaw : If he has other rental properties and can put you into one, then fine, but otherwise, the contract is frustrated and cannot be completed.
Copperlaw : No court would expect you to pay rent on a property that the landlord can't provide
Copperlaw : His demands are simply unreasonable. He needs to pursue his insurer to recoup his lost income
Copperlaw : Please let me know if you require anything further as I'm happy to discuss this further
Customer:

Hello, thank you for your response, this is what I had believed but he (landlord)referred me to a site www.lawnow.org/after-the-flood-for-landlords-and-tenants-in-alberta/ on this site it indicates that the tenant is to continue paying rent and if the contract is deemed frustrated then the tenant is to provide notice and move. Is this true? For how can I move when I have no electricity, the building does not and will not have operational elevators for at least 8 weeks (I live on the 3rd floor)?

Copperlaw : Clearly you'll need to find alternative accommodations for at least the next two months. Who knows if the building will be clear by then. There may be significant mold issues. Who knows what will happen
Copperlaw : There is no way the contract can be fulfilled now.
Copperlaw : Again, the landlord should investigate whether he can be compensated for the loss of income.
Copperlaw : You're not the only one in this predicament. You've lost everything, and should not be expected to now pay out rent for a non existent residence
Customer:

So do I understand correctly...he can not charge me rent for the days that I am unable to live in the residence? Can he evict me for not paying during this time, and if so, is he allowed to evict me without the use of an elevator to move my personal belongings from the 3rd floor of the building? Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX these are the last of my concerns.

Expert:  Copperlaw replied 1 year ago.

Given the rarity of the current situation going on in your area, the landlord tenant boards are having to deal with issues that they've never dealt with before, and on a massive scale.

 

Legally, the contract is nullified by the fact that there is no longer a rental property. Therefore, no court is going to make you pay for something you cannot use, through no fault of your own, when the landlord should have appropriate insurance to cover him/her.

 

Your property is yours, and you have every right to it. The landlord cannot dispose of it, and cannot refuse you access to it, except in accordance with any government Orders barring entry to the premises for health or safety concerns.

 

I would consult with your local landlord tenant board/tribunal office to determine how they are even handling these situations now, seeing as it affects so many tenants and landlords. They may not even have established or finalized their own protocols yet for how to deal with such situations.

 

This entire situation creates issues which have never been dealt with in most areas and as such, are not specifically afforded for in legislation.

 

It could be successfully argued that the residential tenancies Act no longer applies since there is no longer a rental property and the tenancy agreement is now frustrated or void. The laws of contracts would say that the one party (landlord) is incapable of satisfying the contract and as such, it is void and the other party need not continue to honour it.

 

Ultimately, you need to find new accommodations. You cannot do that if you are paying rent for a property you can no longer occupy. This is simply not reasonable.

Copperlaw, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
Satisfied Customers: 1362
Experience: Retired cop. Now a Lawyer. Drug expert, breath tech, negotiator, traffic specialist. Criminal, Family, Civil and more.
Copperlaw and 2 other Canada Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hello again,


 


So I noticed yesterday that my landlord tried to deposit my july rent chq but I had issued a stop pymt on it so the funds went out of my account and back in same day. Later yesterday I was updated by our condo blog that the first initial time line indicated a minimum of 2 months before residents may be able to move back in!


 


What do I do if he issues an eviction notice because I am refusing to pay rent on a condo that is uninhabitable at this time? Can he be entering the condo without providing me with notice? How can I move my furniture and belongings without an elevator? I`m concerned that he will change the locks and withhold or sell my belongings!


 

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