It’s been a little over a year since Schembri Property Management notified the tenants of One Columbia that the building was unfit for occupancy due to ongoing construction. As a result, tenants were unable to move in on the advertised date. Despite the delay, tenants were not released from their leases and their deposits, ranging from $1,500-3,000, were not returned. Since then, former tenants, with the aid of Waterloo Region Community Legal Services (WRCLS) and Waterloo Public Interest Research Group (WPIRG), have gone to court in an attempt to regain the lost money. In addition to their deposits, former tenants also hope to regain the extra expenses accumulated throughout their displacement.</p>
The tenants, who had anticipated moving in Sept. 4, 2014, were told just three days earlier that their accommodations wouldn’t be ready in time. As compensation for the delay, three alternative living circumstances were proposed by Schembri. From the 300 original tenants, approximately 200 chose to accept Schembri on their proposal. Closing submissions were heard in early August 2015 and students are now waiting for the board to make their decisions.