Tenant moves out after bullet shot into apartment; battles with rental agency to terminate lease
Published Monday, December 17, 2012 3:56PM CST
Last Updated Monday, December 17, 2012 6:35PM CST
A University of Manitoba student is in the midst of a battle with her rental agency after her apartment was shot up and the company refused to terminate her lease.
On Dec. 8, Kate Cheng, a foreign-exchange student from China, was having a late-night snack when she noticed drywall falling from the wall and into her noodle bowl.
At first, Cheng thought someone was digging a hole in the apartment wall. It wasn’t until the following day when she got home she realized something was wrong.
“I went back to my own room. I opened the door. I saw the broken glass all over the carpet – even on my bed,” said Cheng.
That’s when Cheng and her roommate realized a bullet had been fired into her apartment. They called the police, who investigated and found the bullet had been fired into the girls’ apartment from the suite next door. It pierced the first wall, then another before shattering a light bulb on the ceiling.
“It’s not safe at all,” said Cheng. “If the bullet can go through the walls it can definitely hurt us. I don’t want to stay here anymore.”
The girls immediately moved out of the apartment and asked their management company if they could get out of their lease – which expires in Sept. 2013.
The rental company told them they couldn’t.
“I understand they have policies, like you can’t just terminate a lease, but I think you make an exception when you almost get shot in the head,” said Peter Saydak, Cheng’s boyfriend.
Instead, the girls were stuck with an $860 bill for rent for December.
“We don’t even expect to take the money back, we just want to terminate the contract,” said Cheng.
Cheng was told she would have to find someone to sublet the apartment if she wanted to leave.
“Obviously no one wants to stay here,” said Cheng. “No one will want an apartment with a bullet hole in the wall.”
CTV Contacted Crystal Properties, the company that manages Cheng’s building. A woman who declined to identify herself said she would not discuss the situation with the media. An hour later, Cheng was informed her lease would be terminated but only at the end of January.
Cheng and her roommate will be on the hook for another $860 for an apartment they’re not living in.
“No matter what they say, I won’t stay here anymore,” said Cheng.