Tenants upset highrise landlord never reported bike theft

·3 min read
Tenants of the Phoenix Apartments building at 1316 Carling Ave. complained to the Ontario Landlord and Tenant Board saying management never shared that several bikes were stolen from the building bike room. (Ben Andrews - image credit)
Tenants of the Phoenix Apartments building at 1316 Carling Ave. complained to the Ontario Landlord and Tenant Board saying management never shared that several bikes were stolen from the building bike room. (Ben Andrews - image credit)

Tenants of an Ottawa highrise allege building management failed to notify either tenants or police after several bikes worth thousands of dollars were stolen from the apartment's bike room earlier this month.

Those who live in the Phoenix Apartments building at 1316 Carling Ave., which is across the street from Westgate Mall, said perpetrators smashed the window of the apartment's bike room sometime during the week of July 12, before cutting several locks and stealing as many as four bikes.

Brittany Davis said building management scrambled to fix the broken window, but chose not to file a police report or notify tenants their bikes could be missing.

"I'm afraid I can no longer trust my property where I live," said Davis, whose husband Connor Wilson had his bike worth roughly $2,000 stolen in the break-in.

"It's a really bad feeling. It's a feeling of helplessness."

The building is owned by Homestead Land Holdings Limited, a landlord that owns and manages dozens of rental properties across Ottawa, most of which are highrise apartment buildings.

Submitted by Eric Dicaire
Submitted by Eric Dicaire

Complaint filed after 'serious crime'

Davis said tenants, upset by the lack of action after the theft, have complained to the Ontario Landlord and Tenant Board.

"We're not talking a small, petty theft thing. We're talking about a large theft," she said.

"This is a serious crime that occurred. ... That's something that should be taken seriously, and they didn't take it seriously."

Submitted by Eric Dicaire
Submitted by Eric Dicaire

Tenant Eric Dicaire said he learned about his stolen bike on July 16 when he walked into the bike room to find the bike gone, his coil lock split and hanging from the rack.

The broken window, he said, was already fixed.

"Initially, I was mad that my bike was stolen," said Dicaire. "But just the way they handled the situation ... I'm more mad at the company for not doing anything about it to help me or any of the other tenants."

Ben Andrews
Ben Andrews

Flyers removed by management, tenant says

Dicaire said the superintendent told him to wait to report it to the building's office, then office staff told him they knew about the broken window, but not about the stolen bikes.

Staff members told him they did not file a police report because the broken window was a relatively inexpensive fix for Homestead.

Dicaire said he then hung flyers near the elevator notifying tenants about the bike theft, but alleges staff tore down the flyers. Management stood by its decision, he said, not to notify either tenants or police.

Ottawa police confirmed they received three calls for service about the break and enter at Phoenix Apartments on July 19, which was several days after the theft took place. Police could not confirm whether building management made one of those calls.

In a statement, Homestead said it is aware of an incident of bike theft in one of its buildings following an incident of vandalism. The landlord said it is cooperating fully with police and encouraged residents to do the same.

Davis said Ottawa police told her they could have investigated, given the nature of the break-in, if a police report was made.

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