Stowe landlord faces deadline to fix family’s heating
STOWE, Vt. (WCAX) - The town of Stowe’s Health Board has decided landlord and selectboard member, Willie Noyes has until Saturday to fix his tenant’s heating.
It’s an issue they say he’s known about since August. However, the situation is complicated
Noyes says he got a new furnace for them back in December, but asked the tenants to leave for the day while it was installed. While installers won’t require people to leave, Noyes says he thought it would be a safer option for the family living there, Justin and Sarah Sliwka, their four children, and pets.
However, the Sliwkas refused to leave while work was being done, so the installation of the new furnace never happened. That’s why they reached out to the town health officer, who issued the Saturday deadline for Noyes to fix the heating.
“We’re going to be here,” Sarah said. “Not only because we have a large family and nowhere to go, it’s negative temperatures forecasted.”
Noyes says there’s more to the story. He tells Channel 3 the Sliwka’s lease expired in August and they were told it wouldn’t be renewed. Noyes says the current COVID-19 protections make it next to impossible to evict them.
The Sliwka’s say by not renewing the lease, Noyes is retaliating because they wanted things fixed. As a result, they stopped paying rent and electricity.
“He was withholding rent checks for a while and refusing to deposit them,” Sarah said. “So after the house fire we cancelled our checks and since then everything else has been going into escrow.”
Noyes says the reason for terminating the lease has nothing to do with repairs. He says they have pets that aren’t allowed and have turned away people attempting to fix things in the home, among other lease violations.
If the furnace doesn’t get fixed by Saturday, Noyes will owe $200 dollars per day until it is.
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