A Charlottetown tenant, who says he has been targeted for disputing an illegal rent increase by his landlord, has succeeded in having a second eviction order thrown out.
In a ruling on Feb. 19, Andrew Cudmore, a rental property officer with the Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission, set aside an eviction order delivered to Mengzhou Gong. The order was issued on Jan. 29 by Gong’s landlord, Sammi Zhang, on the same day a previous eviction order was thrown out by Cudmore.
Gong, in a previous story that appeared in The Guardian, said he was first issued an eviction notice after he had disputed a proposed $100 rent increase last December. The increase would have been almost five times the legal increase allowed under IRAC regulations.
In his ruling, Cudmore noted the stated reasons for the most recent eviction order included complaints by other tenants, damage to the apartment, unclean premises and a desire by Zhang to live in the apartment currently occupied by Gong.
Cudmore also noted Zhang did not present adequate evidence of damage or uncleanliness to justify an eviction. He said that Zhang had not completed repairs to the apartment, which had been recommended by an inspection report prepared by a company hired by the landlord.
“The renovations proposed by the lessor may not in fact be necessary or could possibly be remedied by less invasive repairs such that the lessee would not have to vacate the premises,” Cudmore wrote.
Cudmore also wrote that Zhang had admitted “part of” the reason for the eviction notice was due to the rent dispute. Cudmore concluded that the eviction order was not served in good faith, as required by the Rental of Residential Property Act.
As a result, Gong will be allowed to remain in the apartment as a tenant.
Zhang has appealed a previous decision by Cudmore throwing out the first eviction order and has also applied to retain the full damage deposit paid by Gong when he began renting the apartment.
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