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Escarpment Inn tenants win case

Now eligible for damages: mental stress, moving costs

By Mike Williscraft

Tenants of the Escarpment Inn and Residences in Grimsby’s west end have won their appeal to the Landlord and Tenant Board making them eligible for damages.

Lisa Ridsdill of Niagara North Community Legal Assistance, who acted on behalf of the 28 tenants, said the judgment makes those at the 575 Main Street West location eligible for mental distress, moving expenses and other forms of compensation.

“We are very of weight in other situations, not just in Grimsby,” said Ridsdill.

“We have a lot of instances in Niagara Falls where hotels take people in in the off-season and they kick them out with no notice when tourist season comes along. This was an important case.”

Ridsdill said her understanding is the property owners will serve tenants with a 120-day notice to vacate so they can execute a demolition permit at the site.

Plans have been approved by the Niagar Escarpment happy because case carries a this lo Commission to allow a seniors retirement residence at the site.

The issue blew up in early March when tenants recieved a notice to vacate the property on 48-hours notice.

Grimsby Fire Department got involved due to ongoing issues with fire safety regulations including not having any working fire alarms.

Ridsdill said another important factor in the decision qualifying the situation as a Residential Tenancies Act matter is infractions the landlord could now face regarding fire code regulations.

“The Town of Grimsby can now proceed with fire code charges which were pending. There can now be several more charges now that it has been determined a residence,” said Ridsdill.

Only about a dozen of the tenants are still at the site. Others relocated already. Ridsdill said compensation will vary depending on how long people stayed before finding an alternative home.

“I don’t want things to drag out on this. We’d like to negotiate a set- tlement as soon as possible and let these people move on with their lives.”

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