A couple contacted Avi Rosen, the paralegal I work with, regarding a situation between the husband and another woman living in the same co-op as them. One evening at the end of September, the husband was texting this woman and they were flirting with each other.
During this time the husband thought it would be fun and harmless to send some images of his genitals to her. He was under the influence at the time. The text conversation ended and the messages were deleted by the husband. It never happened again.
The following month in October, the woman became a board member of the co-op. At the end of November, she shared the inappropriate images sent to her by the husband with another board member. It should be noted that the husband was also a board member at this time and had been on the board before the woman to whom he sent the photos.
The board called an emergency meeting that same weekend with the husband and wife. But the wife couldn’t attend and wasn’t aware of the meeting because she was at work that day. The woman was present at the meeting. She drafted a vacate letter for the husband and wife to sign.
The husband didn’t read the letter properly and signed it under duress. He was threatened that if he didn’t sign it, the police would be called. During this time, he left his young daughter with a neighbour. He was afraid of what would happen with his child if the police were called. He felt like he had no other choice but to sign in order to keep his daughter safe. He was also forced to sign for his wife.
The wife didn’t find out about this meeting until after 9 p.m. that night, when she came home from work. The husband told her what happened. The husband sent emails to the property manager, expressing his view that he only signed the vacate letter under duress and he was withdrawing the letter because he and his family didn’t want to move out of the co-op.
They were given a Notice to Appear, where the board of directors would decide about the couple’s tenancy and ending their membership and occupancy rights. The meeting was scheduled for the end of January.
Mr. Rosen requested that they get letters from friends, employees, employers the pastor and other sources who would speak to their character. They did this and it was put together for the board prior to the meeting. In addition, the husband signed an affidavit that the texting was an isolated incident and said it would never happen again.
The board meeting took place in January 2022. All the evidence was presented. It was also conveyed to the board that this incident happened prior to the woman becoming a board member. The husband said that she was known to flirt and make passes at him on numerous occasions.
The board decision was not in our clients’ favour. They were told to vacate the unit in February with seven days’ notice.
The grounds of termination: Occupancy By-Law – Article 7 Behaviour 7.1 Prohibited Conduct, Occupancy Bylaw – Article 7 Behaviour 7.2 Human Rights, Occupancy Bylaw Article 7 Behaviour 7.3 Violence, sexting unwanted, unsolicited photographs to another member of the co-operative community, performing an illegal act on the property.
At the moment our clients are not moving out because they have the right to appear before the Landlord and Tenant Board and present their side of the situation, as well as explain to the LTB why it’s important for them to stay in their home. The LTB will make the final decision about the couple’s tenancy at the co-op.
The takeaway from this can be so many things… but pay close attention to the bylaws that were mentioned above and keep the following words in mind: unwanted and unsolicited.
You could lose your home, or worst, be criminally charged for this type of behaviour.
Naseem (Ann) Hosein is a licensed paralegal. She works with Avi Rosen, who has been a real estate broker for nearly 50 years. He is also a paralegal with a legal focus on the real estate industry. For legal advice on real estate issues, call Avi at (416) 818-6130 or email [email protected]