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'Like a nightmare': Sault tenant frustrated with southern Ontario landlord

Repeated calls for upkeep and maintenance have gone unanswered at Wellington Street apartment building since it was sold to numbered company directed by Nels Moxness

For years, Sunet Slabbert had a great landlord at 980 Wellington St. E. — but when CPM Properties took over in October 2022, all of that seemed to change in a hurry.   

The dumpster outside had been full of trash for weeks because the landlord wasn’t paying GFL to empty it. And while that issue was finally resolved earlier this week, many other longstanding problems with the 11-unit apartment building continue to linger.   

“You can’t rely on these people at all,” Slabbert said, speaking with SooToday in the parking lot of her building Thursday. “It’s just like a nightmare. It’s not great.”

Only one of two dryers have worked since last summer. But that’s not even the biggest issue with the laundry facilities. “It’s been months since the washers have worked. I’ve been going to the laundromat for months and months now, because they haven’t fixed it,” she said. 

Despite countless emails and telephone calls to CPM Properties in hopes of rectifying a number of outstanding issues, such as the mouldy ceiling and busted bathroom fan in Slabbert’s rental unit, the calls for help have routinely gone unanswered for “weeks and weeks.”  

“You can’t get a property manager or anybody that can help you directly,” she said. “You can’t reach them, there’s no way.”

Provincial land registry records available to the public show that 1000291489 Ontario Inc. purchased the property for $1.33 million in October 2022. A mortgage worth more than $1 million was taken out on the property the day after it was purchased.  

Records retrieved by SooToday list Nels Moxness as sole director of the numbered company, which was incorporated in August 2022. The address of the head office — 1 Hunter St. E. in Hamilton, Ont. — is consistent with the address attached to more than 20 other numbered companies that list Moxness as director. All told, SooToday has so far discovered more than 130 property holdings in the Sault.

Together, Nels and Mathew Moxness — who is believed to be Nels’ son — are both listed as co-directors of CPM Properties.  

If the name Mathew Moxness is familiar, it’s for good reason: In March, city council approved zoning changes that will pave the way for a five-storey, 47-unit apartment building on the former Red Cross property at 105 Allard St. — but not without some council members having a few choice words for the controversial developer behind the project

Mathew Moxness downplayed his track record as a real estate investor in the Sault, while seemingly bashing the city for homelessness and drug addiction in the neighbourhoods where both he and Nels Moxness chose to acquire real estate.  

More recently, SooToday revealed that CPM Properties and Nels Moxness left tenants at a four-unit rental property on Pim Street without heat for nearly a month-and-a-half this past winter. “Those people that didn’t have the heat, that is so scary,” said Slabbert. “If anything like that happens — if the power goes out, if something breaks, if there’s a flood or something — are they going to do anything?”

Several CPM Properties tenants have told SooToday they feel as though they’re being pushed out of their rental units by being subjected to subpar rental conditions. And while Mathew Moxness has gone on record refuting that notion, Slabbert has a different point of view.     

In June 2023, she received a letter from CPM Properties, informing her of a "cash offer" to move out of her apartment — a letter that other tenants told SooToday existed, but failed to produce.    

“We're currently offering a very attractive incentive where we would give you cash to relocate. These funds can be used in any way that you'd like and would be received immediately,” the letter said. “The process is simple — an agreement is made to determine a move out date and half the money will be sent to you. On move out day, when keys are provided, the balance will be paid to you.

“To make things easier we can also provide you with assistance with references as well as to help you move. This offer is intended to be a friendly and a positive exchange.”

Slabbert decided to stay put. And while she has received assurances from CPM Properties that the laundry facilities will be rectified — shortly after SooToday reached out to Nels Moxness for comment — she’s less than confident things will improve at 980 Wellington St. E anytime soon. 

“It’s not great. I’m very unhappy with them,” she said. 

Moxness did not respond to a request for comment made by SooToday for this article.

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James Hopkin

About the Author: James Hopkin

James Hopkin is a reporter for SooToday in Sault Ste. Marie
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