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If a public housing landlord declares a unit (private music…

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If a public housing...

If a public housing landlord declares a unit (private music studio) that has been in use since before it acquired the building (as a live work artists building) is now considered commercial within a residential building and thus subject to "termination" within 30 days, and that unit is the source of the tenants income to pay market rent to the same landlord in a different unit, what could his legal recourse be?

Lawyer's Assistant: Because real estate law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?

Oh sorry it is in Ontario Canada, uh oh you are in the US?

Lawyer's Assistant: Has any paperwork been filed?

Yes the (first) notice to "quit" was delivered during a another proceeding at the landlord tenant tribunal (LTB) re his residence. He could not get a legal aid lawyer for it so we got a stop order form the province until the ltb ruled if was protected as residential. He used an old judgement showing it had been referred to as an apartment, and that it is a secondary residence because he often stays there overnight for creative work and it has a bathroom kitchenette etc. but the LTB ruled it was not residential, so now the landlord insists it is commercial. We tried to appeal that but it was past time limitations. So now he was forced under duress to sign a document saying he will vacate as per commercial lease terms. There was never a lease, they inherited the him and the studio, they call it storage- they cannot rent it out as a residential unit (no windows), we argue it is not commercial and that the landlord has a duty re his security of tenure in his home (same owner- the city) so cannot just say it's commercial and so he has to go, after 20 years of collecting his rent knowing it was always a studio. its a very unique case, doesn't seem to fit any field of law, and we can't figure how to fight- sue in small claims for loss of livelihood?

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

No.... can someone on this line help if in the US given we are in canada?

Submitted: 7 months ago.Category: Canada Law
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Answered in 9 hours by:
11/22/2017
Lawyer: Debra, Lawyer replied 7 months ago
Debra
Debra, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
Satisfied Customers: 105,127
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Hello! My name is Debra (formerly known as Legal Ease). Thank you for your question. I'm reviewing it now, and will post back again shortly.

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Lawyer: Debra, Lawyer replied 7 months ago

I am a lawyer in Ontario and happy to help.

I am sorry to hear this.

I am not quite following the facts. Did the Landlord Tenant Board rule that this is not a residential unit?

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Lawyer: Debra, Lawyer replied 7 months ago
Did you get a chance to read my questions to you? I cannot answer you in a meaningful way until I gather the appropriate information. There is no charge for us going up and back of course.Thanks!
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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
Oh Hi Debra! in Ontario! i didn't expect that, thank-you. sorry for the delay, yes the LTB ruled it is not residential...she was very submissive to TCHCs legal dept. It is a questionable ruling for several reasons but too late to be appealed...However, i doubt that it then follows that it must be commercial...it is private (by appt only) has amenities of living space, has no hours or employees and much of the activity is not paid but creative and or with or for non-profits ( serving TCHC many youth tenants and community events in TCHC projects), everything he does from recording to coaching and co-creating is done legally in peoples homes besides TCHC calls it a "storage locker" so how can they now say it is under commercial lease terms? TCHC inherited the tenant and the studio 20 years ago and collected rent from then until now. Is there a common law that applies if a unit is neither residential or commercial? i looked for artist live work case law but it is not his primary residence and TCHC says its now residential only - never told the tenants though, re zoning, it qualifies as Legal conforming use according to his City Councilor.
He spends most of life (for the past 30 years) in the studio, so why isn't it a secondary residence? what says he can't earn a living making music with his equipment in a space he built himself? If the law is unclear doesn't international HR law decide? Article 15 of ESCR says he has the right to participate in and benefit from the creation of culture. Lastly TCHC is his primary home landlord and the the studio income pays his market rent and costly utilities, to evict him from 331 Bartlett, thus removing his livelihood, is almost certain to lead to arrears and hydro shut off at 402 Delaware and could leave him and his family homeless- 2 teenage sons and a disabled senior. He is african canadian, 56 years old and ineligible for EI, he won't be able to service his clientele with a market rate studio even if he could reassemble it all soon enough, unlikely to be able to make a new career in time or at all and OW is nowhere near enough. Their only remaining "reason" for this is to allegedly "protect tenants" (one outdated baseless complaint vs a majority of tenants who sign a petition for him to stay. TCHC has refused to discuss any solutions.... its a very unique case but raises some big questions.
Customer reply replied 7 months ago
Forgot to say there is strong evidence this dubious faux legal assault is retribution over an LTB case regarding mold a housefire and flooding issues. He was told that if he didn't drop his claim for fair abatement, compensation and (free) energy retrofit approval, he would be sued, We filed everything by ourselves, because of the murky law and his unique work, he could not get legal support, until really late in the game, pro-bono juniors whose time was donated to us by a sympathetic firm. TCHC rallied 7 legal staff 5 management staff to sue and harass their own (legacy) tenant, with an N5 eviction and small claims court, and order him to vacate his studio all at the same time, Bryant is a tenant in good standing, who has caused no harm and broken no laws, who pays their wages. TCHC and the LTB dragged us through an exhausting and costly travesty of a process over 3 years. The first round it was 2015 when they launched their counter assault. Then it was dropped until he finally won about a third of his claim, a month after he got the cheque they delivered their new "notice to quit" by septembr 31st.... the extension agreement contracts they tried to force him to sign to extinguish his rights were a crazy piece of work...
This time they have managed to corner him in to signing that he will leave January 31st as per commercial lease terms , and return their fictitious "storage locker" in good condition. he made it clear this was under duress. We tried to appeal at divisional for an extension - was tons of work time and money but we lost of course.. got a cbc article out of it though. We are trying make the board review it December 11th.. the legal dept told him he not allowed to communicate with the board or staff without their permission , given his dual tenancy i doubt that is valid but his non music co-op is going to also demand a hearing on his behalf. We are appealing to the two councilors on the board, the only BMs we can contact- it is also city property and about city rules so hopefully they will agree to look into what's being done -and why - to a law abiding peaceful polite clean and organized self employed tenant and citizen and his family under their responsibility to protect. He has filed an FOI on "apt B3" it should be ready by late December.
though this is unique we are not alone, I am also a scattered house tenant of 30 years and have my own ptsd history, we have no reps or voice at TCHC. This dysfunctional rogue litigious corporation defaults to adversarial when controlling it's tenants, denials of access to common use of space are among many issues everywhere... I am on ODSP and can't afford a phone call, sorry... any suggestion advice referral support would be so gratefully accepted, a small retainer (and of course contingency) may be possible for a someone who can help us with a good strategy... we have been so worn down by all this but i cant let them ruin my dear sweet beloved music man, and all the joy and value he provides for so many with his labours of love for music, he is a master live bass player singer and sound tech as well in all genres and a lot of people rely on him.
so TCHC can technically wreck his life but we still really dont know what for and why...
Lawyer: Debra, Lawyer replied 7 months ago

I am not really able to follow the facts or help.

I am going to opt out and see if another lawyer in Ontario will step in.

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