Court awards tenant $15K after landlord damaged toy car collection
A Nova Scotia tenant has been awarded $16,217 by a Halifax small claims court — including $15,000 for damage to his toy car collection — after the landlord appealed a smaller amount awarded in a previous judgment.
A residential tenancies hearing decision issued in January denied landlord Assad Chedrawe's application to terminate the tenancy of Wesley McLaughlin in 2022.
In that hearing, residential tenancies officer Jason Wareham also determined that the landlord had violated the Residential Tenancies Act by changing the locks, packing up the tenants items and starting minor repairs on the premises in June 2022.
McLaughlin was awarded $1,371.15 for his security deposit, moving expenses and furniture damage and loss.
His claim of $15,000 to $20,000 for damage caused to a toy car collection in his apartment was denied because he did not provide "professional appraisal" to prove his loss.
The landlord appealed the award of the director of residential tenancies, leading small claims court adjudicator Dale Allane Darling to treat the matter as a new hearing.
Joseph Jaukhadar appeared on behalf of the landlord.
Photographic evidence provided by both sides showed that there was a "very, very large collection" of toy cars and collectible figures on the walls and shelves of the apartment, Darling said.
During the hearing McLaughlin provided a report from Jimmy Romaine, who said he has been appraising "antique toys including Hot Wheels" since 1998, according to the court decision.
Darling said evidence had been presented showing the collectible items in a garbage bag and a box with heavy items placed on top of them.
Romaine indicated that McLaughlin's collection of cars and other items would have been worth $21,462 in mint condition but was now worth $4,359 because of damage.
The landlord's actions had "all but destroyed the value of these belongings," Darling said in the April 30 decision.
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