Tenants forced out of condemned Saint John apartment building
SAINT JOHN, N.B. -- A trio of tenants are speaking out tonight after being forced from their apartment building, after they say it was declared condemned by the city of Saint John.
They say something has to change to help protect other renters.
Samantha Edwards and her family were fast asleep last Monday morning when they were woken up by the sound of their bedroom wall being torn down.
"The other side of this wall was my bedroom that I shared with my husband and my six-month-old son," Edwardssays."And, as they were tearing it down, I had no idea that this was supposed to be happening, I was not notified at all of this renovation from the landlord."
Edwards says the landlord reluctantly agreed to put them up in an Airbnb, and that they were told after a two-night stay they could expect the apartment would be safe to return to, only to find it in the same state as it was when they left.
Edwards says she called the Saint John building inspector who declared the building condemned, leaving her and her family with little time to get their belongings out.
"We're newlyweds, and this was one of our big decisions to move to what was advertised as a fully renovated unit in a family friendly area," says Edwards, who adds it's been the opposite.
That's a sentiment shared by Erin and Mark Colwell, who also lived in the same building, and are now living in a hotel until Tuesday after also being forced out of their apartment.
But, after Tuesday, they say they're not sure where they'll go.
"We're suddenly homeless it's caused a lot of emotional and even physical stress on us because we've had to move all of furniture in a three-hour timespan," said Erin Colwell. "I've had to leave a lot of my personal belongings behind because we don't have anywhere for anything to go."
"I'd describe it as a living nightmare - a nightmare you can't wake up from," said Mark Colwell.
CTV News did reach out to the landlord of the property for this story but he refused to comment.
Arequest to the city for an interview about the rules that surround condemning a building and what happens to the tenants in a situation like this went unanswered.