The owner of an apartment tower dubbed one of the worst in the city by tenant advocates is appearing before a city panel Monday morning facing a 15-page list of property standards violations.
Carolyn Krebs, who also goes by Carolyn Goodman and Marian Linton, has appealed to the Toronto and East York Property Standards Committee for more time to complete repairs to her 14-story building on Dawes Road.
This does not please the tenants of the building.
Ryan Endoh got so fed up with the problems he saw in the building that he started canvassing his neighbors earlier this year. It was his report to the city that prompted the inspectors to go in September. That visit resulted in the 84 property standards complaints that Krebs is currently facing.
“I was frustrated because during the pandemic the hallways were filthy…and obviously it’s a health issue when your balconies are falling apart,” he said.
“The trash, the trash area was and still is a total mess. The landlord doesn’t have enough bins and it’s a huge building with…hundreds of tenants.”
Krebs is due to appear before the property standards committee to explain why she should get a six-month reprieve before she has to start fixing the building’s 84 violations, which range from holes in the walls of common areas to crumbling balconies and infestations. of rodents.
“Due to COVID, contractors, lack of supplies and the nature of the tenants in the building, work is sometimes slow to complete,” she wrote in her notice to the city.
It’s unclear what his reference to tenants is about. CBC Toronto left a message for Krebs, but has yet to receive a response.
Documents uncovered by CBC Toronto in 2019 showed the Thornhill resident, her children and her businesses owned at least half a dozen apartment buildings and a few other homes in Toronto. The Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario ordered her to pay $60,000 in damages that year to a disabled tenant and his daughter after “a campaign” of abusive harassment against them.
Geordie Dent, executive director of the Federation of Subway Tenant Associations, says the building “is a major problem”.
“We believe in this radical notion that a landlord should in fact follow the law, and 500 Dawes Rd. is an example of a landlord who simply doesn’t and never faces any consequences.”
City staff said in a statement to CBC Toronto that they are taking “extensive steps to address long-standing property standards violations and bring 500 Dawes Road into compliance with city bylaws.”
City records show that over the past two years, every building in the Dawes Road and Victoria Park Avenue area has had property standards complaints, but for the most part it’s not more than two or three.
During the same period, 500 Dawes received 137.
The most recent list of complaints only refers to problems in the common areas. But residents say the worst problems are inside their units.
“We have rats,” said Linda Hume, who has lived in the building for 24 years. “Never in my life have I dealt with rats.”
She says building management gave tenants sticky pads to trap rodents.
“So the rat is not dead, and it’s up to us to get rid of it,” she told CBC Toronto.
“And they’ll be running all over the apartment – three in the morning I have rats crawling on my curtains in the bedroom. It’s horrifying.”
Hume said she would like to leave. But like many tenants at 500 Dawes, she receives provincial disability benefits and, according to Dent, units in the building tend to be cheaper than other apartments.
“A lot of people end up at 500 Dawes because the application process is pretty straightforward,” he said, “and so for some people who can’t find any place, it’s kind of their only option.”
It’s a sentiment shared by Igor Dobri, who has lived in the building for eight years.
“Because these people don’t have the financial means, maybe the legal knowledge and support…they move on, you know, and don’t fight it,” he said.
“There are people here who have mental health issues, anxiety issues and things like that and they just don’t want to fight it.”
Dobric said he’s had nine floods in his unit since moving in. And trying to get repairs done usually results in disrespectful exchanges with management, he said.
“It’s tough. There’s a lot of animosity between tenants and management,” he said.
One problem that most residents share seems to be pests.
Nikithea Abbott lives in a one-bedroom apartment with her four children, one of whom is two months old.
“I just had to throw out his crib because it was infested with bed bugs,” she said.
“And now he’s sleeping in a playpen…but to deal with cockroaches and bedbugs walking all over my walls, on my floors, no matter how much I clean him…it’s disgusting. It’s inhumane “, added Abbott.
“It’s not just how they live. No matter how much and how many times you put in reports, they still ignore it.”