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Summerside woman about to be evicted due to ‘misunderstanding’ over pets

Kim Higgins is being evicted after a new property owner discovered her family’s two dogs, which she says have been living there long before the ownership changed.
Kim Higgins is being evicted after a new property owner discovered her family’s two dogs, which she says have been living there long before the ownership changed. - Alison Jenkins

SUMMERSIDE, P.E.I. - A Summerside woman who is facing eviction due to having dogs in her apartment says the building has always been known to be pet-friendly and she is being unfairly targeted.

Kim Higgins and her two dogs recently moved in with her daughter in a Carvell Street apartment. The building was subsequently purchased by Hal Curley in September.

Curley became aware of the dogs in January and has said they must go.

Higgins said she and her family have always had small pets like rabbits and cats, and the dogs had been living in the apartment since before Curley took over as landlord.

There are four other dogs in the building, said Higgins.

“My daughter who lives here, who has been a tenant here for almost a year— prior to when he owned the building — has had dogs.”

Curley, though, was adamant the building is pet-free and Higgins’ dogs are not allowed.

“There’s nobody else in the building with pets, I tell ya. It is not a pet-friendly building. It never was.”
-Hal Curley

When asked if it was possible there were more pets in the building he doesn’t know about, he said no.

“There’s nobody else in the building with pets, I tell ya. It is not a pet-friendly building. It never was,” he told the Journal Pioneer.

When he discovered the dogs living with Higgins, Curley said he called the former building owner. The former owner told Curley he had turned down the family’s request for a dog.

According to tenants in the building, however, there were other dogs in the building in the past, but they had moved out before Curley took it over.

The pet dispute is the latest issue between Higgins and Curley. Higgins was also late with her January rent due to a matter under police investigation. By the time Higgins scraped together enough money for the rent, Curley texted Higgins to say he wouldn’t accept the money until the dogs are gone.

Curley said the matter is between “me and her and IRAC.”

Kim Devine, the spokesperson for IRAC, said she can’t discuss the details of specific cases but sent a note with information on evictions.

“Landlords can only terminate a rental agreement with cause and that anyone served with an eviction notice can contest the notice by filing a Form 6 with IRAC within 10 days of receiving the notice. Once that form is filed, a hearing is held within five to seven days, with an order being issued within two days. Landlords can serve tenants with an eviction notice any time of the year.”

Higgins says she and IRAC officials have filed the Form 6 to appeal her eviction.

Twitter.com/AlisonEBC

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