My question involves an injury that occurred in the state of: Canada
I'm new here, as I'm not sure where to start with this situation and a legal forum seemed like a good place to start. Although I'm from Canada, I feel as though this potential case is somewhat universal and any advice here (although a US site) will help moving forward.
I'm inquiring about suing for psychological/emotion distress caused by my landlord throughout the past 2 years. If this is not the right area of the forum, moderators please feel free to move this thread. I'll present a brief summary of my situation, and feel free to let me know if you think it is worth it to move forward with this.
Throughout my stay at this property, my landlord has been relentless with threatening emails, verbal conversations ect and is now trying to dump fees on us. ALL tenants in the house, (7 of us) will agree. One other and myself have started stress management therapy and meds since starting our stay. It's been a nightmare, and beyond my own personal situation below, I want to prevent anyone going through what we have ever again.
Throughout my 2 year stay at this house, my psychological well-being, mainly in respect to depression, has taken somewhat of a toll. Another housemate of mine (let's call him Jimbo) has found the stress of dealing with our landlord to be immense. In fact, everyone in my house will attest to this, but it is Jimbo and I who have been mostly responsible for dealing with correspondence and other communication regarding issues and whatnot with the landlord. It is also Jimbo and I who now find ourselves in psychological counsel for stress management. Medication records for both of us will also show that throughout our stay there have been increases. He never found the need for this help prior to staying here, I had been to a few sessions here and there regarding a physical disability resulting from a traumatic accident.
The way my landlord has the lease set up is a group lease, and I'm the lease rep for all members of our portion of the house, hence why most of the weight falls on me. It began with the signing, where he had us sign multiple areas of his 40 page lease. I can only guess without checking I signed the thing 50 times. No joke. It was a forceful signing as he had another group waiting to tour the house as we did, increasing pressure to sign. So this is my first impression. As we were signing, he would say things like 'I will not be ****ed' 'if you **** around with me, I'm covered, and you'll be ****ed'. He tended to swear a lot. These verbal threats if you want to call it that were frequently sent my way for 2 years. He would frequently remind us that he had us by the balls with his lease. There was a basement apartment, and one of the previous tenants will attest that he would frequently ask leading questions to gain leverage on us like 'are you sure they aren't too loud ect' She communicated to me that she felt as though he was trying to turn her against us as we had no problems and even remain in contact today.
He would CC town officials and university representatives on private issues, saying 'I'm covered, and they know' ect essentially conveying our helplessness. If I questioned demands he made to clean this and that (which he would discover by snooping, including conducting illegal inspections over holidays when we weren't there and weren't informed of which he admitted to) he would come back with extremely long and threatening emails again citing the lease and all that. These emails were followed by frequently harassing phone calls. He would also frequently show up at the property, open the front door without 24hr notice, poke his head in and go 'hey can I come in' making it awkward for us to say no.
His site is full of 'positive' reviews, but after going through the process I can see why. He got us all to write these letters, attesting to his prompt service and all that, they always felt somewhat forced, and he would require a draft that he would revise and send back.
The tipping point for me came at our end of lease inspection, where he pays students from other properties he manages to come and inspect the property, signing off that the place has met requirements he sets out. He had us sign pre inspection docs, confirmation docs, everything, always citing that we were essentially screwed legalling if we '****ed with him'. I'm still dealing with this process now. We signed a document that stated he would inspect the property at 12:30pm ect ect. Again, I'm the group rep and all things relating to the group must go through me. He was with Jimbo in the morning and had him agree to let him take a look early, without my consent. At about 11am he decided to send in a cleaning crew without my consent. That whole day was a blur as I rushed over the property and dealt with the situation. He then decided to communicate only with Jimbo in the following week, and costs ect that via his end of lease doc we were responsible were relayed to me through Jimbo before hearing the final word from the landlord. I then received a confirmation email from one of his 'inspectors' regarding the jobs completed and responded basically saying 'I'll contact the landlord tomorrow but currently do not consent to these charges until I've spoken with him. Additionally, I inquired if the basement group was being charged for their cleaning services as they signed the same doc we did, and if they weren't, it may be a problem. (it's totally biased and redic to charge us and not them)
Well my god what that has done. He came back with an essay of an email the next day, full of threatening stuff like 'no more mister nice guy' and 'I was prepareds to let things go but this is it' 'I've had enough' 'you can't bully people around'. Ironic, I know. In this, he laid out what he was charging us for, which included 3k of cleaning and repair fees, some of which he just decided to do in the process and dump on us. This included my carpet which we verbally agreed I would not be charged for prior to ripping it out leaving the nice hardwood instead of professionally cleaning and repairing a hole. He also included the 3k rent waiver we signed saying I wouldn't normally send this but your reply has blah blah. In this he threatened to email the university president, provost and city councellor re this situation (libel?)
I of course called him and settled him down, finally getting across that my email was a fair inquiry. He agreed that if we wrote a letter of apology and plea to reduce the fees he'd drop it down to the originally verbally mentioned 700-1000. Basically making us beg.
So that's where I'm at. Now that I'm out, I realize how horrible it was. Medical records will show a decline thoughout my stay there.
So what do you think? Solid case? Should I move forward with this?