May 19, 2017 – We attended a mediation session at the LTB offices at 119 King St W, Hamilton. Ms Rossiter was the mediator, and we had an entire hearing room to ourselves for the hearing (one of the two available in those offices). To make a long story short, it was a wasted day. However, Ms Yahkni did get to see and hear enough of the videos to understand what was going on. When the recording from Feb 22, 2017 was played, Ms Rossiter looked at Yahkni and said “I agree that the Notice was insufficient for what he wanted”. She also had a few sharp words about John’s theory that pointing a camera at him in our own home was harassment. At the end of the hearing, she spoke to John by telephone. When she came back she looked a bit unsettled, and we were informed that John was making an offer of $100 to settle, as long as we moved out. We declined. We did have some discussion with his paralegal, and had agreement that John would be specific about times of entry and areas in the apartment to be repaired. Or so we thought.
So far, this disagreement with our landlord had used up 3 hours 30 minutes of hearing time at the LTB, in 5 hearings, one by telephone, four in person (counting the Case Management Hearing as a hearing). It has also used up 6 hours and 20 minutes of a mediator’s time. It has resulted in three responses by HPS to a complaint (one by the tenants). I’ll keep a running tally.
May 25, 2017 – Two notices were delivered by sliding them under our front door. The first was an N4 for the unpaid rent (Doc 112) (it was unpaid as a result of John trying to renege on our agreement that he would pay the increased electricity costs). Since it was for the correct amount of $402.61 (not the $500 John had insisted he was owed), we planned to just pay it and be done. At least John would not have an excuse to claim we were “behind on the rent”.
Unlike the one we were served in January 2017, this one listed John Cerino as the landlord, not Agostino.
The other notice, an N5, wasn’t entirely unexpected (Doc 113). John had threatened our tenancy many times at this point, including when he spoke to police on May 15, 2017.
The documents stapled to the N5 notice were interesting. There was Doc 077, a letter from Richard Pollington that had also been signed by John as a “witness”.
That might explain the screaming and ranting we’d heard on February 24 and 25 around the building. John might have coerced this statement from Richard. Or maybe he gave it voluntarily, and John was ranting about something else. Richard Pollington has since claimed to be illiterate, so he may not have even read it. It’s hard to tell with that bunch; they routinely lie to and/or gaslight each other.
The statement does not mention that Richard Pollington is the building superintendent, and Mr Pollington (or, more likely, John Cerino) speaks for his roomates in it. George (Richard’s brother) isn’t afraid of me (he doesn’t even understand what’s going on. George is cognitively challenged.)
Some pictures had been taken of the exterior of the building that included portions of Mr Pollington’s apartment, and I had knocked on Richard Pollington’s side door (at his request) any number of times. To do that, I had to go on the porch. Any odour of marijuana in the front hallway did not come from our unit, and I had never noticed any before then. Richard had been in the same room as his son who was smoking a joint, so I didn’t buy that it made him ill, even if it existed. I really don’t know what he means by “spying” but sometimes we did indeed look out our windows.
Also attached to the N5 was Doc 078 (another letter from Richard. Also signed by John). Most of the observations above also apply to this letter.
Finally, there was a copy of the Occurrence Details Report for April 6, 2017, (Doc 094) the day Richard Pollington made a harassment complaint about me.
So I emailed Yakhni (Doc 115):
Peter Bosch <email@example.com>
Thu, May 25, 2017 at 5:17 PM
As you may be aware, Mr Cerino entered our unit on May 16, 2017 and was asked to leave the unit after abusive and threatening behavior including (but not limited to) aggressive bullying, physical intimidation, deliberate and repeated provocative remarks and overt disrespect for our home. As he left, he threatened to leave the sashes that had been removed out of the frames, leaving us with no barrier to the outside. The windows were later replaced (by Agostino and Richard Pollington) after what appeared to be temporary repairs. Agostino refused to provide further information on the window repairs, or whether more work would be done. At this point we have no information on your client’s intentions in regards to the repair or possible replacement of the windows. The repairs done to date are obviously temporary (thin plastic replacing glass, and no repair to the frames at all);
All of the encounters with your client and his agents/workers were lensed, and will be available to you as part of the disclosure. Of particular interest is your client’s 22 minute long statement to police (made on camera and in the presence of two police officers).
Ms Ball informed a few minutes ago that we had been served with an N4 and an N5 around 15:30 today. I will review those documents tomorrow.
In the meantime, disclosure will likely be delayed again, as we will be either amending our current T2, or filing another based on your client’s latest actions.
We are also filing an application for a closed hearing as an accommodation to Ms Ball’s mental illness, and requesting a special hearing block for this matter to be heard. Your client’s harassment has been complicated, devious and well documented, and will take some time to present in full.
May 26, 2017 – (shortly after midnight) I sent an email to Lynne Shewfelt (Doc117). She answered first thing in the morning.
Property Standards Order No. 17-208573 00 PS 6 messages
Peter Bosch <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Fri, May 26, 2017 at 12:12 AM
We spoke on the telephone on May 12, 2017 in regards to this Order, and you attended (with Donna May Lord) at our apartment at 99 East Avenue South on May 15, 2017. The original complaint was made on January 5, 2017 by Marie Ball, my roommate, and I am inquiring on her behalf and my own. As a result of the work done, we now have thin plastic replacing most of the cracked windows, in what appear to be temporary repairs. The repairs done are clearly insufficient to stop the leakage of air (there are gaps in the putty used to seal the plastic into the rails). However, we have not been able to get any more information on the status of the repairs from our landlord, or if more work will be done. We would like to have the repairs inspected by a Property Standards officer, assuming no more work is to be done. The repairs do not, in our opinion, meet the minimum standards of the Property Standards bylaw. Please inform us as to the status of your enforcement of Property Standards Order No. 17-208573 00 PS. As of this writing, the deadline passed 25 days ago, and the repairs have not been completed. Property Standards Order No. 17100489 00 PS was not completed until March 3, 2017, despite having a February 8, 2017 deadline. As you may not be aware, John Cerino left our unit less than three minutes after entering. He objected to being lensed. During his time in the unit, not a single word was spoken to him. When Agostino noticed the camera Ms Ball was holding, he said “Would you mind not recording me?” to which Ms Ball replied “It’s our right.” John then told Agostino to leave, stating “I put in the notice no recording. They’ve already broken the rules. Go get the police before they drive away.” Both John and Agostino then left. John then made a complaint to police, apparently in the belief that they would enforce his “no recording” rule. A clip from that rather remarkable 22 minute statement can be viewed here : https://youtu.be/0Awg_N7T7ck. In this clip, Mr Cerino states that you and Ms Lord were there “…in defense of me trying to do my work. They were with me.” In light of Ms Lord’s unfortunate choice of words during her conversation with Ms Ball on May 11, 2017 there is some concern about what appears to be very lax enforcement of the orders issued on January 5, 2017. John returned on May 16, 2017 and was asked to leave after displaying aggressive intimidation and abusive language. Videos of those encounters are available on request. Ms Shewfelt, we are determined to have our windows repaired. Mr Cerino’s statements that he has been denied access to the unit, or harassed inside the unit, or whatever excuse he is using now are falsehoods. Please enforce the Orders.
Shewfelt, Lynne <Lynne.Shewfelt@hamilton.ca>
Fri, May 26, 2017 at 9:04 AM
To: Peter Bosch <email@example.com>
Cc: “Farr, Jason” <Jason.Farr@hamilton.ca>, “Scally, Maureen” <Maureen.Scally@hamilton.ca>,
CCMLE <firstname.lastname@example.org>, “Lord, Donna May” <DonnaMay.Lord@hamilton.ca>, “Corbin, Candiss” <Candiss.Corbin@hamilton.ca>, “Coombs, Kim” <Kimberly.Coombs@hamilton.ca>
Good Morning Mr. Bosch,
Thank you for your email, I appreciate your comments and the unfortunate situaon that you ﬁnd yourself in.
Municipal Law enforcement’s role is to enforce the by-laws that regulate certain responsibilies of both tenants and property owners. These by-laws concern the use and enjoyment of your property and are an important part of living together as a community.
Property Standards ensures that owners maintain their homes and properes so that neighbourhoods will always be aracve, safe and healthy places to live, these rules set minimum standards that apply to both owned and rented dwellings.
In saying all of this, the issues in the property standards by-law have been idenﬁed in this maer at 97-99 East Ave, and the order to comply was issued, in this you are very correct. Both myself and Oﬃcer Lord aended on May 15, 2017 to assist with mediaon and enforcement of the order, and were not able to successfully accomplish this. We advised both yourself and Mr. Cerino at that me that we would be looking into other avenues to assist.
Since that me Oﬃcer Lord has been on vacaon, upon her return she will be contacng both of you and Me. Cerino to oﬀer mediaon in order to resolve the issues between you that Municipal Law Enforcement cannot. If you recall I spoke very plainly about that when we met.
We too very much want your Order to comply to be resolved and the maer closed, however we cannot resolve the personal issues between a landlord and tenant, it is not in our scope of work.
I very much hope you accept the oﬀer of mediaon and we can move forward quickly with geng the windows completed in your unit.
You will be hearing from our staﬀ on this maer early next week.
I trust this informaon is helpful, and if you require anything further you can reach me at the number below, if you leave a voice message I will return it within 24 hours.
Lynne Shewfelt Supervisor,
Municipal Law Enforcement Licensing and By-law Services
Planning & Economic Development Ext. 5413
Maureen Scally from Jason Farr’s office called to let me know there would be no action on the file for the next week, as Property Standards officers were otherwise engaged on a training session (AR 66).
About an hour later, Lynne Shewfelt finally returned my calls (AR 67).
Ms Shewfelt’s position is not entirely rational, to my eyes at least.
May 30, 2017 – Around 7 pm, a Notice of Entry was delivered by Agostino (Doc 114).
This Notice has the same problems as the last one. Neither John nor his representative honored her commitment to specifics in the Notices.
That isn’t surprising in John’s case; a sociopath has no honor. In Ms Yahkni’s case, it was one of the first indications I had that she has none either.
I emailed John’s representative to document our concerns with the Notice of Entry.
Peter Bosch <email@example.com>
Tue, May 30, 2017 at 8:05 PM
An hour ago, we were served with a Notice of Entry by Agostino. As before, we will speak to whomever we choose in our home, and will lens the encounter. Mr Cerino was (intentionally, we believe) vague about the areas of the unit to which he needs access. If he is more specific, access will be granted, however the notice (as worded) is vague and applies to all areas of the unit. It will be impossible to prepare the entire unit by Thursday morning, nor are we inclined to do so after preparing the unit for three days in May without any good faith effort on the part of Mr Cerino to do the work. If Mr Cerino will specify exactly what he means by “…the other work that is needed to be addressed to the unit” we will be happy to grant access to those areas, if it were reasonably required to do work and if the clarification is timely enough to allow us to prepare those areas. Otherwise, access will be granted to the windows only, and as before, Mr Cerino and his workers will be required to leave the unit if it becomes necessary to move the animals from one bedroom to another.
Marie also sent an email to Yahkni, and sent me a copy (Doc 116)
i am sending this email so may pass this along to your client. the notice to enter is not correct as it is just a general reference to repairs and does not state what rooms are to be accessed or what repairs are to be done. ” as well as other work that needs to be addressed” is not explaining what or were the work is to be done. We have a right to know both things and both should be on notice to enter. If your client goes to enter any room but the bedroom with the widow that has the temporary pain, and the kitchen, and the bathroom he will be asked to leave and if he refuses he will then be asked to leave the apartment (they all need the glass put in still). The only measuring that needs to be done is on the outside windows so he can fix and or replace the aluminum frames and put screens in. The windows in the rooms I have mentioned will be free of furniture in front of the windows and will remain that way. I also ask that as soon as they are done all work in each room they let us know so we may put it back together.
During the period May 15-May 30, 2017 there were several instances of Richard Pollington pushing past me in the front foyer of the building, muttering “welfare bum” and other insults if there was room for him to go around me, and generally acting hostile. I didn’t record specifics for most, because I had reviewed the video of John’s conversation. It was quite clear that John had convinced him we were “professional tenants” trying to take advantage of John. I wanted nothing to do with him. Neither did Marie.
I didn’t respond to any (except one), mostly because I didn’t care what he thought, and the fact that I couldn’t really argue with the “welfare bum” label. (I was receiving social assistance at the time, and actively looking for work when I wasn’t dealing with the increasing demands on my time that this whole was making. Looking for work is a full time job, with a lot of expenses. Money was tight, but nobody was milking the system the way John let on. That period of my life has given me some experience with (and insights into) the prejudice and bias against recipients of social assistance in Ontario. <sar> You know the guys I mean, those lazy bums who won’t even get a job and don’t ever pay their bills…</sar>) The one time I responded to him was when he called me a “rat”. I asked him “Rat? In what way?” (the accusation surprised me enough that I responded). Richard responded “You called bylaw, looser” and spit on the ground as he walked away (it happened at the end of the driveway as I was leaving the building).
That attitude towards our complaints to Property Standards was the same as John’s. John would later file three L2 Eviction applications, based on N5 notices that accused us of (among other things) harassing him by calling Property Standards.