Following a carbon monoxide threat at a building above a repair shop in Toronto, nine tenants were kicked out of their apartments after the city became aware of several “life safety issues.”*
The City of Toronto evicted the residents on Thursday, March 11, with only 24 hours' notice, leaving the tenants in a mad scramble to pack and move during the pandemic.
Michael Seater, one of the tenants and former star of Family Channel's Life With Derek, told Narcity that he wants answers — particularly from their property manager, Brad Lamb of Brad J. Lamb Realty Inc.
Why were the apartments so unsafe?
The units on 1405 Bloor St. W. are located above an auto garage, which is "strictly" prohibited in Toronto, according to a spokesperson from the City.
Because of the fumes from the garage, Michael Seater's self-installed carbon monoxide alarm went off at 1 a.m. on Wednesday morning.
"It was reading 66 parts per million, which is incredibly high and dangerous," Seater said.
Notably, the actor said the carbon monoxide alarms installed by the property managers did not go off.
"[A city inspector] said that the carbon monoxide detector that we installed likely saved a lot of lives that night," Seater said. "[It's] horrifying to think of what might have happened in another situation."
The buildings were also missing two exit paths, another "critical fire safety requirement," says the City.
What did the tenants have to do?
After multiple visits from City Fire Services, Michael Seater said he and his fellow tenants received an eviction notice at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 12, giving them less than 24 hours to pack up all their things and move out.
"The City understands how challenging it can be for tenants to be asked to leave their homes in such a short period of time and truly sympathizes with these tenants," said a spokesperson from the City of Toronto.
"However, given the serious life safety issues at this location, it was imperative that the residents not remain there."
Despite the sudden eviction, Seater told Narcity that they received next to no help from the property managers at Brad J. Lamb Realty.
The tenants were offered their last month's rent deposit back, but Seater said that a request to have moving costs covered was rejected by Brad J. Lamb himself.
In an email statement to Narcity, a representative for Brad J. Lamb said that financial repayment was never denied.
And in the middle of trying to book a last-minute move, Seater said the carbon monoxide alarm went off once again, prompting another 911 call and visit from Fire Services.
What do the property managers have to say?
Seater said the property managers have "ghosted" him and the tenants, refusing to pick up their calls or answer their emails.
Brad Lamb has also blocked him on Instagram, Seater said.
Brad J. Lamb's spokeperson said Lamb and his team offer their "deepest sympathies" to the tenants and — as of Monday, March 15 — have offered to repay all "reasonable" expenses for the tenants.
"He has just shown that he doesn't care. He has no compassion for us in this situation," Seater said.
"There's a person responsible right now, and it's Brad J. Lamb and his company," he said.
"And that should be known because people should know, there's a lot of people who buy and rent condos from him and they should know who they're dealing with."
*Editor’s Note: This article has been updated.