A Yellowknife tenant accused of setting off fireworks from their apartment in late May, among a range of other disturbances, has been ordered to leave by the NWT’s rental office.
An eviction order for the tenant, who is identified only by their initials, was made public this week and was effective July 1. The apartment building in question is not identified.
Rental officer Janice Laycock’s ruling notes the tenant, who paid $160 a month in subsidized rent, had built up arrears of $1,760 over the past year. But the bulk of the ruling dealt with a series of disturbances other tenants had endured.
Laycock said the Yellowknife Housing Authority had provided evidence of repeated complaints from the building’s other occupants.
In January, for example, a neighbour told the authority the tenant was “noisy all day and all night,” affecting the neighbour’s mental health and their daughter’s ability to sleep.
While the tenant apologized, another complaint just three days later stated noise had gone on until 4am. A day after that, another complaint – summarized by Laycock – asserted that “banging on the wall to get him to stop only results in more noise.”
More complaints followed in May, culminating in an incident in which a neighbour told the housing authority: “We need to get out of here, [the tenant] shooting fireworks. Threatening us. Drunk yelling at us. Telling me how he won’t save us from getting beat up! His friend saying he’ll throw a bomb up here?!!”
Police were called on that occasion. The housing authority said its staff had seen a video in which the tenant and another person were “discussing throwing bombs and fireworks into the building.”
Laycock said the evidence from that night was “very concerning, considering the potential risk to other tenants and the landlord’s property posed by the respondent’s actions.”
“Based on the evidence and testimony of the applicant, I am satisfied that termination of the tenancy agreement and eviction are justified,” she concluded.
Tenants’ association at work
Meanwhile, a separate ruling issued in June shows the territory’s new tenants’ association beginning to take an active role in some rental office proceedings.
The association, which launched earlier this year, is shown helping a tenant in an action brought against Northview, the NWT’s largest landlord.
In that proceeding, a tenant alleged Northview had failed to keep the housing unit in a good state of repair, hadn’t responded quickly enough to repair requests, and had improperly charged late payment and cleaning penalties.
Proceedings launched by tenants, rather than landlords, remain a comparative rarity in the NWT.
In this instance, rental officer Adelle Guigon found in the tenant’s favour regarding late payment fees and ordered that they be reversed. Guigon also agreed that water pooling in a communal laundry room constituted a safety hazard that deprived the tenant of access, awarding $280 in compensation, and agreed that Northview had overstated some of its cleaning costs when the tenant moved out.
But Guigon found in the landlord’s favour on remaining matters, ultimately awarding the tenant $358.93.