COMOX, B.C- First-floor tenants at the Mariner building in Comox are seeking shelter tonight.

According to a notice sent out by building owner Arpeg Holdings, a water main break on Aitken Street on Thursday morning has caused severe damages to the building.

Due to the extent of the repairs and remediation required from the Town of Comox water main break, first floor tenants will not be able to stay in their units.

That also means that the rental contracts with those renters are considered ‘frustrated’.

“A contract is frustrated where, without the fault of either party, a contract becomes incapable of being performed because an unforeseeable event has so radically changed the circumstances that fulfillment of the contract as originally intended is now impossible,” read the notice.

All tenancies on the first floor have been ended immediately, and those residents have been given 24 hours to find new housing arrangements and remove their belongings. Whoever doesn’t agree that the tenancy was “frustrated” can apply for a dispute resolution for an Order of Possession.

“The priority right now is to the health and safety of each of you on the first floor which means leaving the building immediately,” read the notice.

The remediation plan will be fully borne out over the coming days, according to the notice, and Mariner management are working with the Town of Comox to explore emergency response resources for the tenants.

Every first-floor tenant will be reimbursed for the remaining days of January.

The notice thanked site caretaker Chris Murray, and stated that a dinner town hall meeting for all tenants will be held on Monday to answer any questions.

“I will bring cheques with me when I get to the Mariner on Monday afternoon for the rent reimbursement,” said Drew Ratcliffe, Arpeg’s VP of Finance, in the notice.

“However, I will e-transfer funds over the weekend if any of you need the funds sooner. Simply send me an email and we’ll get that out.”

Ratcliff ended the notice by stating the Arpeg family was committed to supporting the Mariner community through the coming days and month of disruption.