DO NOT RENT 323 PARKDALE AVE



This is a public service announcement posted by former tenants of 323 Parkdale ave, Ottawa, ON.

We moved into the house with a one-year lease on April 1st, 2022. 

After only 3 weeks, we found that there was an UNTREATED SEWER BACKUP in the basement.

Not only that, we also found evidence that this had happened multiple times in the past and it appears that rather than remediating the raw sewage damages, they just keep renting the place to new tenants unaware of what they're getting into.

Now that we have safely broken the lease and gotten out of there, we feel compelled to share our story so no one else gets placed in this terrible position by this landlord: AB&B Management.

The property is owned by Botros Daniel Botros, and is managed by his daughter Mirna Botros

Incident Timeline

Please continue reading the following story if you are considering renting this property or any property managed by these individuals.

WARNING: This article contains potentially disturbing images of raw sewage

February/March 2022:

- Prospective tenant found this property on kijiji and scheduled a viewing 

- Mirna Botros showed off the property, presenting all locations on the premises including the basement as "livable areas", not just for storage. 

- As you can see from the video below, Mirna happily presented the basement as livable area including a "full bath"

- Tenant was impressed with the size of the place and accepted the monthly rent of $2250 which is considered pretty inexpensive for the Hintonburg area, especially for a place this size and so close to the Tunney's Pasture LRT train station

- On April 1st, tenant happily moved in and began populating the entire house with furniture

- Tenant also decided to put a couch and TV in the finished portion of the basement as per picture below:

April 23, 2022:

- Tenant reported suspicious smell coming from basement

- Landlord provided dehumidifier for tenant to begin using in basement, no further investigation was made by landlord

- Landlord insisted that smell was due to wet April weather conditions and that dehumidifier would fix the issue

- smell improved slightly due to dehumidifier, but smell still lingered throughout house for the entire following week

- IMPORTANT: it must be noted that the landlord claims they did not present this finished basement area as livable area contrary to the pre-inspection video above, and that it was to be used as storage only. However, the landlord visited the basement on April 23 to investigate the smell, and therefore was very well aware that the tenant had set up furniture in the basement and neglected to say anything about it being for storage only during the pre-rental inspection nor when investigating the smell.

April 29, 2022:

- Sewage backup discovered by tenant in basement

- damage occurred to the entire finished portion of basement flooring.  The sewage backup was contained to the under-side of the flooring as there is a hollow cavity between concrete basement floor and vinyl flooring

- Tenant notified landlord, and tenant called Reliance Plumber who unclogged main line sewer pipe, drained raw sewage water from under flooring

- raw sewage material still remains under flooring, remediation required

- sewer cap needed replacement, Plumber did not have proper parts, another service call scheduled for May 1st to replace sewer cleanout cap

- report stated tree roots in pipes caused backup

- service call billed to landlord

- WARNING: graphic images of the sewage backup discovered by the tenant:

Sewer backup filled up the entire cavity under the finished floor:

Reliance plumber unblocking the pipes:

Proof that the backup reached the far side of the subflooring and spilled out the back side underneath the staircase:

Reliance plumbing report proof that tree roots caused the backup, camera inspection and sewer cap replacement recommended, :

Mouldy skigear (contents covered under tenant's insurance):

May 1, 2022:

- Reliance plumber replaced main line sewer cleanout cap

- was not exact fit

- service call billed to landlord

- tenant called 3 remediation companies to provide quote to rip up flooring, remove raw sewage material, and disinfect basement

- tenant requested insurance information from landlord and for a claim to be filed, which was denied by landlord

- furnace/forced air system turned off to prevent smell being pumped through ventilation and throughout entire house

- tenants complain to landlord that they are freezing cold at night because of necessity to turn off furnace, situation is considered urgent

May 2, 2022

- Tenant reported that running any water and/or flushing toilets in the building continues to cause sewer backup from main sewer line, newly installed sewer cleanout cap likely ineffective in preventing more sewage backups

- Landlord called Reliance to schedule another plumber to come and continue to try and fix main line sewer backup issue

- Tenant once again requested landlord to file an insurance claim on property, landlord informs client that they do not have a sewage backup coverage on their insurance policy

- Tenant files tenant's insurance claim for possible contents damage and alternate living expenses because odor from continued raw sewage in basement is causing furnace to pump smell throughout entire house, safety concerns are again reported to landlord

- Tenant's insurance advises that claim will not cover landlords responsibilities to repair and remediate basement

- furnace/forced air system turned off to prevent smell being pumped through ventilation and throughout entire house

- tenant begins to fill out T6 form on tribunalsontario.ca/ltb (https://tribunalsontario.ca/en/tribunals-ontario-portal/) in preparation in case landlord refuses to repair sewage backup, remediate sewage damage, and replace flooring to original conditions ($48)

- Reliance discovered main sewer pipe still backed up, left residence to go back to supplier to find correct size of drain cap

- Reliance advised tenants not to use water, flush toilets in house until the backup is fixed, tenants considering sleeping in hotel as furnace and plumbing are not available for use.

- Second sewer backup unclogged at 6pm, Reliance installed a temporary balloon drain cap and reported that further repairs are needed on the main pipe hub itself as it is too damaged to use a normal screw-in drain cap.

- Reliance also recommended a camera inspection on the pipes to identify any additional issues with the main sewer pipe itself, landlord refused camera inspection

- Tenant has asked landlord to repair the pipe and begin remediation on basement floors to clear out and clean the remaining sewage material as temporary balloon drain cap will prevent further backups until main pipe is fixed, if fixed within 1-2 weeks.

- scheduled insurance inspection May 3rd 10am to hopefully move forward with remediation

- waiting for landlords response

Second backup due to improper sewer cleanout cap replacement and landlord neglecting to inspect the pipe with camera as per Reliance suggetion:

Note evidence of previous backups by old sewer cleanout caps that were never replaced:

May 3, 2022

May 4, 2022

May 5th, 2022

May 6, 2022

Image of threatening letter from Landlord's lawyer, note that the tenant's partner was staying with the tenant during this time but was not on the lease:

May 9, 2022:

- Landlord sent Bytown Cleaning company (basically a Molly Maid style cleaners) to service the basement

- Upon inspection Bytown cleaning refused to provide service to basement as they do not do raw sewage remediation and said the issue is under the floor and they do not remove fixtures such as flooring

- Tenant has called Ottawa Public Health and a Bylaw officer assigned to the case, waiting for Bylaw Inspection

May 10, 2022:

May 19, 2022

- Tenants insurance bacteria samples report came back with “significant levels of E. Coli” bacteria pathogen present in the basement"

- Tenant sent report to bylaw officer and attached to Landlord Tenant Board Tribunals Ontario T6 case file:

May 25, 2022

- As we prepared to move out to a new rental and away from this situation, we took an updated photo of the mould that is growing under the basement floor as a result of the untreated raw sewage backup:

Conclusion


So that's our story. As of right now, we have left the property and are doing our best to make sure no other prospective tenants will move in without being aware of this situation. We don't consider ourselves to be troublesome tenants. We just wanted to live peacefully and quietly in a house that did not have raw sewage in the basement, and one that we could run the furnace to get some heat during the cold nights. We ended up successfully breaking the lease and finding a new place to live for June 1st despite being displaced for the majority of May.

The bottom line is that even if the landlord had instructed that the basement was to be used for storage only (which they did not), the neglectful inaction of this landlord is not okay and needs to be publicized so that no other potential tenant has to go through the same awful experience we did. If you would like to contact us for more information, or any questions or concerns, we have set up an email address for this incident where you can contact us at 323parkdale@gmail.com

Thank you for your time, and we hope this helps protect the next unsuspecting innocent couple considering a move into this place. If you still plan to move into this place, avoid the basement and be sure to have tenant's insurance so you can get out of there if this happens to you.