Altercation between Sage 2 tenants, management goes viral as construction delays further

Altercation goes viral; construction delays continue

Photo by Jessica Dik
Photo by Jessica Dik

After a recent altercation between management and a tenant, Domus Student Housing Inc. has faced complaints from tenants regarding the construction delays with Sage 2 on Spruce Street.

A video of the altercation was posted on YouTube October 1 right after tenants were told their move-in dates were being pushed back even further.

The video has since reached upwards of 70,000 views and has elicited a stream of negative feedback.

Ho Tek, a partner from Domus has since released a statement.

“We have a reputation for, and in fact pride ourselves in, treating all persons with respect at all times. This is an isolated incident and one that should never be repeated. This employee is no longer working with us. Our apologies to all students who were either involved in or a witness to, this unfortunate event,” the statement said.

Tek said what tenants need to understand is that management and developers want the building to be occupied just as much as the tenants themselves do.

“We’ve built 10 buildings with the developer and they’ve never been late before. But they are pouring a lot of money, time and effort into making sure the students are communicated to. We want to give them options and be able to help them out as best we can,” said Tek.

During an interview with Tek, he received news that after a month of receiving vague answers and having move in dates pushed further, some units of Sage 2 have finally been approved for occupancy.

This is positive news for many tenants as the wait has been a long and hard one.

Tenants originally expected their units to be ready for occupation by the beginning of September 2015. Although certain units are ready, others have been given advance notice they will not be able to move in until at least November 1.

Many of the tenants signed leases more than six months ago with the promise that construction would be complete in time for move-in at the beginning of the school year.

Domus did however take legal precautions when it came to construction.

Each tenant was asked to sign a construction form outlining the potential action management would take in case the building was not complete in time.

If the building was completed between September 1-8, tenants would be reimbursed for a daily amount.

If the building was not completed by September 8 however tenants were given three options.

The first option allowed them to find their own alternative accommodations for September and forgo paying rent for that month.

The second gave tenants a room in another unit owned by Domus. The last option placed tenants in hotels or motels in the Kitchener-Waterloo region using the previously agreed upon rent.

Tenant Moe Omer said he was one of the lucky ones. Being placed in the Delta hotel in uptown Waterloo, his commute was not too bad.

Others unfortunately were not as lucky. Another tenant Evalynn Zhao originally also picked option three.

“I found out it was a motel in Kitchener and it was rated two stars. My friend sent me an article about a crime that had happened there. Other people that are paying the same price as me were getting way better hotels with way better locations,” said Zhao.

Zhao ended up forgoing the motel option she was given and staying with a friend’s family. Considering her unit is on the fourth floor, Zhao may be able to move in sometime this week.

Omer however is on the 19th floor and has already received notice his stay at the Delta will be until

November 1.

The construction form states these kinds of accommodations will only be made until the 1st of November.

So once that date comes Omer is hoping his unit will be ready otherwise he might be out of luck.

“That is the worst possible scenario,” said Omer of having to look for a new place come November 1.

As for compensation, Domus said they will work on a case-by-case basis to ensure all tenants have been taken care of.

However, there are some costs tenants are incurring that they might be unwilling to cover. Costs associated with not having a kitchen to prepare their own meals would be one such example.

The news of approved partial occupancy is the best news Domus could have received at this time.

They are hoping to work together with tenants and the developers to ensure full occupancy happens soon.

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