Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Heat cold comfort for tenants

Couple facing eviction see block warmed up

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The temperature is warmer inside a Wolseley-area apartment block now that city bylaw inspectors have been there.

The building's former caretaker, Penny Letourneau, and her partner, Mike Dent, say they were fired on Monday for not shutting off the building's boiler during the day. She says the inspectors came to 768-770 Preston Ave. late Tuesday to check things out after a story about the situation was published in the Free Press.

"Earlier when a TV crew was here they saw the thermostat was set at 13 (C), but when the bylaw people came here later it had been changed and set at 10," Letourneau said.

"The bylaw people ordered them (World Wide Management) to have it set at 18 and not to touch it. It is more comfy in here now.

"I don't have to sit wrapped around with a blanket."

A city spokeswoman confirmed community service bylaw enforcement officers visited the property on Tuesday but did not issue any official orders.

The officers went to the building after receiving an official complaint.

Letourneau told the Free Press earlier this week the management company had fired her when she refused their orders to shut off the building's boiler during the day. She said the firing also came with an eviction notice.

Letourneau, who was hired in May, said the order came after the building's new owners received their first heating bill and decided it was too high.

Letourneau said the only contact she has had with World Wide since then is a representative came on Tuesday and asked for an extra $109 on top of the January rent the pair had paid earlier this month because they were no longer caretakers with a reduced rent rate.

No one from World Wide Management has returned messages left by the Free Press.

Letourneau said the bylaw inspectors also went inside to inspect all 18 suites in the building and have a list of improvements the building's owners will have to complete.

"Just in my suite alone all my windows need to be fixed and my rads (radiators). In another suite, the rad had fallen off the wall, so that has to be fixed. There's a lot of things that need to be fixed."

Letourneau also said the inspectors ordered World Wide Management to provide her with an electric space heater to put in one of the bedrooms of her two-bedroom apartment that doesn't have a radiator. She said this has already been done.

kevin.rollason@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 25, 2013 B2

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