An Ontario judge recently upheld a lower court’s ruling that a landlord was responsible for the death of a tenant who perished in a fire, even though the fire was caused by the tenant himself.
The judge in the case R. v Singh sentenced landlord Jasvir Singh to three years in prison for “criminal negligence causing death, criminal negligence causing bodily harm, and four counts of mischief endangering life,” according to court documents. The reason? Violation of Ontario’s fire code.
According to the decision, Singh was aware that his tenant was not only a serious alcoholic, but that he often cooked in his room on a hotplate. Indeed, a fire on the property started when the tenant, who had been drinking heavily, left his hotplate on, causing his blanket and mattress to catch on fire.