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Diplomatic immunity doesn't cover rent, judge rules

Published: February 4, 2018
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Source: CBC

Diplomatic immunity doesn't apply to rent bills, according to an Ontario Superior Court justice who on Friday sided with an Ottawa landlord in an unusual legal spat over a luxury townhouse. 

Last year, Rolf Baumann got a judgment from the Landlord and Tenant Board requiring Betsy Zouroudis, who works at the U.S. Embassy, to pay thousands of dollars in back rent and legal expenses.

Zouroudis had rented the top floor of a townhouse in Ottawa's Glebe neighbourhood from him last year.

But she refused to pay and, in a letter from her lawyer, argued she had "diplomatic immunity" from the board. 

In a decision handed down on Friday, Justice Rohan Bansie ruled Zouroudis's diplomatic status doesn't exempt her from paying rent, because commercial transactions aren't covered by immunity.

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