A Prince Albert woman is offering to help anyone trying to navigate the appeals process regarding tenant-landlord disputes.
Kris Ulrich’s recent experience with the Office of Residential Tenancies (ORT) was long but ultimately successful and it's free. Now she wants to help others, noting many people may be intimidated not only by landlords but by the work needed to launch an appeal.
“Young or vulnerable people may be taken advantage of,” she told paNOW. “I’d like to give them tips and hints on how to prepare for a hearing with the ORT.”
Ulrich, a correctional officer at the P.A. Correctional Centre has lived in the city for 20 years and found herself in a tough spot last year when a landlord withheld the damage deposit, despite her leaving the property “in immaculate condition.” She said the landlord threatened not only to keep her $1,300 deposit but to charge extras for small improvements made to the property.
After seven days her deposit was not returned so Ulrich said she went online and filled out the forms through the ORT to start the appeal process.
Her case took almost six months to settle and she admits it required a lot of research and compiling of evidence but ultimately she was awarded her deposit back after a hearing in Prince Albert.
“If I was a teenager or somebody in financial need I couldn’t have lived without that money for that long but in hindsight I wasn’t getting it anyway so there’s no harm in going through the ORT to help you,” she said.
Ulrich described the process as fair and the hearing officer as someone who listened to both sides and “used good judgment.”
She said she’s available to help people prepare for dispute hearings on both sides of the tenant-landlord fence.
“I could advocate either way. As long as you’re being honest I’ll help people with what you need to take and what you need to do at a hearing,” she said.
She has one key piece of advice for anyone caught up in a tenancy dispute.
“Be prepared before you move out; you need photos and evidence,” she said.
Ulrich can be contacted at: [email protected]
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