Centretown tenants want compensation for noisy construction

Faced with obtrusive construction noise, a group of tenants from three Centretown apartment buildings is seeking compensation from owner Taggart Realty Management.

At 235 Somerset St. W., crews jackhammer the second floor parking deck from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. “We’ve taken readings and it’s the equivalent of having a train going through your apartment,” said Lisa Blais, a lawyer who lives on the seventh floor. “You can’t hear your television on maximum volume. You can’t even be heard when you’re having a conversation at normal levels.”

Blais also says fumes from construction are drifting into apartments on her building’s lower levels.

Blais and her husband moved into their apartment in February and soon received a memo telling them to expect loud construction for “two to three weeks in May.” But work is still ongoing.

They often have to leave their apartment just to get away from the noise.

Blais has formed the Centretown Tenants Association, which currently has more than 70 members from the three Taggart-owned buildings.

Blais says the ongoing construction violates tenants’ “reasonable enjoyment” of their property, which is protected in the Ontario Residential Tenancy Act.

The group has taken the matter to the Landlord Tenant Board and is seeking a rent reduction of 25 per cent per month retroactive to the beginning of construction, as well as fines for the company and landlord.

During mediation on Aug. 15, the group says that Taggart offered compensation to residents of 235 Somerset, on the condition that the association agreed that tenants of the other buildings – at 257 Lisgar St. and 261 Cooper St. – receive little or nothing. The association refused and Taggart now wants to sever tenants into individual cases – one per building.

Julie Taggart of Taggart Realty Management did not respond to requests for an interview.