On April 30, 2018 the Commission
received a Notice of Appeal from Chris Daley ("Mr. Daley") on behalf of a
lessor, North River Motel (the "Appellant"), requesting an appeal of Order
LD18-118 dated April 6, 2018 issued by the Director of Residential Rental
Property (the "Director").
By way of background, on January 26,
2018, a lessee, Trent Delaney (the "Respondent") filed with the Director a
Form 2 - Application for Enforcement of Statutory or Other Conditions of
Rental Agreement seeking: a finding that rent is owed; and an order that an
amount found to be owed be paid.
The matter was heard by the Director
on March 7, 2018 and in Order LD18-118 the Director ordered:
"IT IS THEREFORE
1. The lessor shall
return rent in the amount of $1,025.00 to the lessee on or before May 7,
The Commission heard the appeal on
May 25, 2018. Mr. Daley
represented the Appellant. Ryan
Wisener ("Mr. Wisener") was also present for the Appellant. The Respondent
participated by way of telephone conference call.
Mr. Daley and Mr. Wisener
acknowledged that the residential premises had problems with its roof and
ceiling while the Respondent was living there.
Mr. Daley and Mr. Wisener also acknowledged that sometimes the
internet does not work as well as it should.
They submit that there were no difficulties with the heating system
as verified by a letter from Arnold MacLeod dated February 6, 2019 [sic].
They also submit that the shower was only out of commission for one
day while it was being renovated.
They acknowledged that it did take a while to have the shower fixed.
They submitted that temperature drops in the residential premises
could be explained by opening a door when entering or leaving.
The Respondent Trent Delaney ("Mr.
Delaney") explained that Mr. MacLeod's letter was provided after the heating
system had been repaired. Mr.
Delaney had developed a bad cough, seen his doctor for the cough, mentioned
about the mold, and showed pictures of the mold to the doctor.
Mr. Delaney testified that he then had to shower off site for a ten
day period due to the presence of mold within the shower surround area. Mr.
Delaney testified that the ceiling was initially sagging in the bedroom,
that water came in when it rained, that mold developed, and the file shows
pictures of the condition of the ceiling including when parts of the ceiling
collapsed onto the bed. When it
rained, he had to sleep on the couch.
Heat was an ongoing issue and he had to use a space heater to avoid
being cold. The ceiling was
eventually repaired, but within three days a new water stain began to
The Commission denies the appeal
and varies the return of rent ordered by the Director.
While the appeal was filed by the Appellants, who were no doubt
seeking a reduction in the return of rent, the filing of the appeal places
this matter before the Commission at a hearing de novo where there
is a fresh hearing and the Commission is not bound by the findings of fact
made by the Director.
In the present appeal, the primary
issue was the condition of the ceiling in the bedroom which leaked when it
rained, was moldy and eventually collapsed upon the bed.
While this matter was at its worst in January 2018, the problem had
existed from the beginning of the tenancy in May 2017, becoming worse over
the intervening months.
The Commission finds that the
return of rent in the amount of $1025.00 is not sufficient.
The Commission hereby increases the return of rent to the total sum
of $2000.00, reflecting a return of $1500.00 for two month's rent for the
leaking roof and ceiling problems as the primary concern, as well as a sum
of $500.00 which reflects an adjusted valuation of the other issues noted by
the Director pertaining to the shower, heat and the internet service.
pursuant to the
Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission
Act and the
Rental of Residential Property Act;
IT IS ORDERED THAT
The appeal is
The return of rent
ordered by the Director in Director's Order LD18-118 is hereby varied
and increased to $2000.00.
The Appellant lessor
shall return rent in the amount of $2000.00 to the Respondent lessee on
or before June 26, 2018.
at Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island,
this 25th day of
John Broderick, Commissioner
M. Douglas Clow, Vice-Chair
Jean Tingley, Commissioner
Sections 26.(2), 26.(3), 26.(4) and
26.(5) of the
Rental of Residential Property Act
provide as follows:
26.(2) A lessor or lessee may, within fifteen
days of the decision of the Commission, appeal to the court on a
question of law only.
(3) The rules of court governing appeals apply
to an appeal under subsection (2).
(4) Where the Commission has confirmed,
reversed or varied an order of the Director and no appeal has been taken
within the time specified in subsection (2), the lessor or lessee may
file the order in the court.
(5) Where an order is filed pursuant to
subsection (4), it may be enforced as if it were an order of the court.
NOTICE: IRAC File Retention
In accordance with the
Commission's Records Retention and Disposition Schedule, the material
contained in the official file regarding this matter will be retained by the
Commission for a period of 2 years.