July 10th, 2012
Two Winnipeg landlords who have been criticized over the condition of their inner-city properties are now accused of suddenly evicting a young family from their unit.
Sandy Bruce and Desiree Boyd told CBC News they and their two toddlers were ordered by Kulijinder Randhawa, their landlady, to leave their rental unit in the 400 block of Victor Street on May 27.
Bruce said the abrupt eviction came after he called Randhawa to complain about a leak in the ceiling from the upstairs bathroom.
“She phoned me back and said, ‘Get the hell out of my house,'” he said in an interview. “She’s like, ‘I’ll give you back your rent money, your damage deposit — get the hell out of my house.'”
Kulijinder and Navdeep Randhawa, who own more than 40 rental properties in Winnipeg’s inner city, have been the subject of recent complaints from several former tenants who say their units were run down and poorly maintained.
Bruce and Boyd said they had moved from Poplar River, Man., to Winnipeg for school. But not long after moving to their Victor Street rental property, they said they saw exposed light fixtures, shoddy flooring, and mice chewing through the walls and ceiling.
A week after they were evicted, Bruce said the landlords have refused to refund his June rent and damage deposit.
The family, who are temporarily staying with relatives, has filed a complaint against their former landlords with the provincial government. They will appear before the Residential Tenancies Branch on June 15.
“The city should, like, take their houses,” Bruce said. “It’s inhumane how they make people live in them.”
CBC News tried to contact the Randhawas on Monday. One of their phone numbers was no longer in service, and a woman who picked up at another number said Kulijinder was not available and Navdeep was out of town.
No one from the City of Winnipeg was available for comment, but officials told CBC News they have no record of the Victor Street house.
The Residential Tenancies Branch, which handles rental issues for the provincial government, said in a statement that tenants should check its online registry before renting a unit from someone.