by Rick Cognyl Fournier | January 31, 2014 6:06 pm
What is a landlord to do when stuck with a tenant like Barbara Yankofsky-Lisbona?
In August 2012 the ARN (Animal Rescue Network) needed to move over 400 cats from their main shelter on Des Carrierre street in order to provide better accommodations and care for the cats.
Barbara Lisbona approached a landlord on Chapleau street to rent his three story building with a working elevator and the landlord had a notary draft a lease for $3,500 a month. Barbara had 150 or so cats located in a second building on Papineau street that needed to be moved as soon as possible, so the landlord agreed to give her access right away.
The lease was ready, but Barbara was always too busy to meet with the landlord, which stretched into several months. Being established now for a while on one floor of the building, the landlord put pressure on Barbara to meet and sign the lease. The notary then contacts the landlord to notify him that Barbara has no money and therefore cannot rent the building.
A new lease was drawn up by the landlord for the ground floor only at $1,100 a month for a period of one year, while she looked for a new place. The lease expired on August 31st 2013 and Barbara was advised that the lease would NOT be renewed and she needed to vacate the premises.
Here it is January 30th, 2014 and the landlord finds himself unable to get rid of her because of the cats. The City claims this cat shelter of Barbara’s is an illegal occupancy and will now be issuing tickets to the landlord and Barbara.
The landlord had locked Barbara out but was pressured by the Montreal SPCA to give her back access, or he could be charged with animal cruelty as Barbara would be unable to care for her cats. The Berger Blanc refused to take in the cats, claiming they would charge the landlord with theft. MAPAQ was sent a picture of the dead cat, they also failed to act. They did inspect the main shelter, providing recommendations.
Barbara owes at least 4 months’ back rent since the landlord started pressuring her to leave.
The ARN had made a YouTube video regarding the big move, needed to raise $50,000 to renovate and setup this new shelter. The ARN told it’s volunteers that the move was cancelled and fell through because of the zoning by-laws, the City has now passed a new by-law outlawing animal shelters. The main ARN shelter is protected, grandfathered. The ARN can’t move, but Barbara claims that the City is helping her find a new building, but not in their backyard.
The ARN has reported over 1.3 million in revenues during the last 5 years, where does this money really go? Volunteers claim that the ARN is having a hard time paying vet bills, collecting cans and pennies to pay the bills. The landlord is also unpaid, Barbara’s house in 2011 was going to be auctioned for $6,390.08 by the City for unpaid taxes, Barbara paid up to keep her house.
We can also count 3 employees despite the ARN’s website claiming to be 100% volunteer based, one of which we know is a full time employee, he spends his days at the shelter, there is also a cleaning woman and a male driver.
With a family tree such as the Lisbonas, Yankofskys, Weiders, Batshaws and millions in donations why are the cats left living in squalor?
The upstairs neighbour rented the top floor in November of 2013, the urine smell reaches his office, the smell stays on his clothes, he goes home smelling like cat pee, he has asthma and has retained a lawyer. His health and comfort has been affected.
Why is the SPCA not honouring it’s mission statement?
55.9.2. The owner or custodian of an animal shall ensure that the safety and welfare of the animal are not jeopardized. The safety or welfare of an animal is jeopardized where
(2) the animal is not kept in premises that are suitable, salubrious, clean and adapted to the animal’s biological requirements and where the installations are not likely to affect the animal’s safety or welfare or is not properly transported in an appropriate vehicle;
(3) the animal does not receive the health care required by its condition while it is wounded, sick or suffering;
(4) the animal is subject to abuse or ill-treatment that may affect its health;
1993, c. 18, s. 6; 2000, c. 40, s. 29; 2012, c. 18, s. 5.
You can contact the SPCA Director by calling Nicholas Gilman at 514-735-2711 ext. 2241 or by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to demand results. You can also contact the City inspector, Roger Lagacé, who can be reached at 514-868-3898.
Failing to discharge of a legal duty is not an option, it’s a crime, as per article 180 of the Criminal Code.
180. (2) For the purposes of this section, every one commits a common nuisance who does an unlawful act or fails to discharge a legal duty and thereby
(a) endangers the lives, safety, health, property or comfort of the public; or
(b) obstructs the public in the exercise or enjoyment of any right that is common to all the subjects of Her Majesty in Canada.
R.S., c. C-34, s. 176.
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