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Stacey Gomez says her landlord is trying to limit media access to their ongoing residential tenancies case.

As the Halifax Examiner reported in December 2022, Gomez and landlord Marcus Ranjbar had a hearing scheduled for early January:

The tenant and landlord have been in a months-long dispute over a south end Halifax apartment. Ranjbar attempted to evict Gomez to complete renovations on the property, but Gomez refused to leave.

After a hearing in September, residential tenancies officer Kim Sinclair rejected Ranjbar’s application to evict Gomez. Ranjbar appealed that decision to small claims court. But before that hearing went ahead, Halifax Regional Municipality condemned the apartment due to mould. The municipality ordered Gomez to leave.

As the Halifax Examiner reported in October, Ranjbar served Gomez notice to quit based on HRM’s order to vacate. He argued that the order ended Gomez’s tenancy, and he moved her belongings out of the apartment and into storage.

In November, Gomez and her lawyer filed an application to set aside Ranjbar’s notice to quit. Gomez said there’s a new hearing scheduled for Jan. 11, 2023.

Gomez told the Examiner on Monday that was a pretrial hearing, and then there was another one last week.

At that hearing, residential tenancy officer (RTO) Jason Warham decided not to hold a traditional hearing with oral arguments, instead opting to have each side provide written submissions. And Ranjbar’s lawyer made a preliminary motion to bar either side from providing their submissions to the media.

“I think it’s important for Nova Scotians to know how these proceedings are taking place, because this is an important case for tenant rights in the province and it’s a matter of public interest,” Gomez said in an interview.

“It’s my case, it’s my lease, and I should be able to share information as I see fit around my case.”

Ranjbar said in a statement to the Examiner that the motion is not intended to limit media access:

The motion put forth is not of the nature to block the media from publishing the facts about the tenancy hearing. We do not trust Ms. Stacey Gomez not to spread misinformation about the facts of the case leading up to a decision by the RTO officer. We do not believe Ms. Stacey Gomez is acting in good faith to resolve the tenancy matter at hand, but instead prefers to seek further media attention.

Both sides’ briefs and replies on the interim motion are due by the end of March. After the RTO makes a decision on the motion, they’ll schedule dates for the hearing.

Gomez said she’s in short-term housing now until the end of April, and part of what she’s seeking is a return to her apartment.

“I’m still waiting on a decision to be able to move forward with my life,” Gomez said.
Source: The Halifax Examiner