Posts Tagged ‘tenant problems’

An Ontario Landlord Story – “I Guess We Were Naive”

Tuesday, May 21st, 2013

May 21st, 2013

Ontario Landlord Tenant Problems


There are lots of good tenants out there. We’ve also read about some not so good tenants. Here’s a story of Ontario landlords who faced challenging tenant problems and found the current system left a lot to be desired.


Part 1:  I Guess We Were Naive

We’d been having issues with our tenant – or, more specifically, the boyfriend who had moved in with her after 8 months of relatively problem-free tenancy.

They were irked with us for having cancelled their fire permit due to our unwillingness to be responsible for paying fines for their insistence on having fires even during a total fire ban – and their response was to start piling up their garbage in the yard, rather than taking it to the curb.

We didn’t want to pay those fines either – so when the township by-law officer gave up on dealing with them directly and sent us a letter notifying us that we would be responsible for the cost of having a crew clean it up, we served them with an N5: clean it up or risk eviction.

She did make an attempt at cleaning, or rather re-organizing the mountains of trash, but he came home from his job and threw an almighty tantrum, not only undoing all of her attempt, but also ripping bags open and scattering dirty diapers from one end of the yard to the other.

So – my husband hired a helper and a truck and cleaned the yard, paying more than $200 in dump fees – and I completed the paperwork to evict. We didn’t serve it though, because when we went to speak to them about an outstanding portion of October’s rent and November’s rent, they gave notice. Insufficient notice – they said they would be out by the end of November, but since we were happy to see the back of them, I accepted it and agreed that we would apply their last month’s rent to November.

Problem solved, right? Did I mention naive?

On the 27th of November, my husband stopped by the house to let the tenants know that I had arranged a showing for the 29th.  The woman was home, but had someone there and refused to speak to him beyond telling him to get lost (in not nearly such polite language). 

I went down later in the day to find out what was going on, and she told me that they had not yet found a place that they could afford, and therefore “might” not be moving. Although not at all pleased with this development, I did clearly state the requirements necessary to continue their tenancy: they needed to make a decision by the next day and let me know, and they would be responsible to both pay rent for December and replace their last month’s rent.

Repeatedly, I told her, you MUST let me know by tomorrow if you want to stay – repeatedly she agreed. Right before I left, I again re-iterated that I needed to know by the following day, and that if I did not hear from her, I would assume that her tenancy would end on the 30th, and would proceed with the showing on the 29th. I also wrote a notice and left it with her – without retaining a copy.

Nothing from her on the 28th.

But when we showed up as per the notice on the 29th  with prospective tenant in tow she had company – a foul-mouthed friend who spouted off at length about their “right” to stay and to not to pay any rent before she proceeded to threaten to sic her Rottweiler on us.

Calling the police accomplished little – because I did not have a copy of the notice, the officer refused to facilitate entry. He instead had me write another notice for the following day, which also included demand for a key to the front door, since they had changed the lock.

The next day, I met the officer there. The prospective tenant did not attend – can’t imagine why! There didn’t seem to be much point to entering, but the officer did serve her with the forms I had completed – a second N5, and an N4 for non-payment of rent.

She handed him a key – presumably for the front door, but in fact, a key that did not open any of the doors in the unit…

To Be Continued

To discuss this and other landlord and tenant issues go to the Ontario Landlords Association free landlord forum

Renter Bit Me, Barrie Ontario Landlord Tells Police

Saturday, September 8th, 2012

September 8th, 2012

 Always Be Cautious and Prepared During Landlord and Tenant Disputes

A Biting Incident? Really? A Landlord Faced this in Barrie, Ontario?

Yes, a Barrie Ontario Landlord faced this. According to a report by Sun News, a teenager in Barrie, Ontario faces charges for mischief and assault.

The teen renters’ Barrie landlord told police the teen bit him during an argument between the two of them.

What Led to the Argument?

The police were contacted and asked to come to the rental property at around 8 p.m.  When they arrived they were told the teenager had been removed from the rental property.

The police officers then left.  The teen returned and started to smash windows at the rental property.

What Happened During the Window Smashing?

The Barrie Landlord confronted the teen leading to her leaving again.  This time the landlord followed her and got on the phone to alert the police again.


Then, according to the police, the teen tenant turned around and bit him.

Horrible! Was the Teen Arrested?

The teen tenant was charged with two counts of mischief, assault and for breaching probation. This is just another example of how bad some tenants can be and why landlords need to be careful with tenant screening.

For one Barrie landlord, it was a night to forget. The police did a good job. This is an example of why landlords in serious and heated disputes with tenants should contact local authorities who are trained to deal with such matters.

You can read the Sun News report here.

Do you have questions about the Landlord and Tenant Board? How to evict a tenant? Your tenant hasn’t paid rent? Do you need Landlord help?

Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

There are questions Landlords ask everyday in Ontario:

1. I need help with the Landlord and Tenant Board

2. How do I evict a tenant?

3. My tenant hasn’t paid rent?

4. I need landlord help

Welcome to the Ontario Landlord Association HELP forums!!

Ontario’s landlord and tenant process is broken

Saturday, December 4th, 2010

Ottawa Citizen November 22, 2010

Re: The Shame Of St. Patrick St., Nov. 14.

I am the owner of Landlord Legal, a small firm in Barrie, working to keep up with landlords in need.

Thank you for your efforts in exposing the reality of the eviction process.

So often, landlords bring these applications to the Landlord and Tenant Board and lack witnesses because of fear of retaliation. Police can’t assist in matters that are still “open investigations.”

Lacking witnesses and police records, the applications fail, or we must instead find other, safer applications to the board such as rent arrears or damages to the unit, instead of the biggest reason: the rental unit is a crack house, and other tenants are disrupted and endangered.

It is incredibly difficult to terminate tenancies in this province. The Landlord is held to an onerous burden of proof. The tenant is often enabled and in fact encouraged to drag things out.

These stories are taking place all over Ontario, every day. The Landlord and Tenant Board is profiting from the misfortune of the residential landlord, and turns a blind eye to repeat offender tenants, who make a mockery of the process.

Right out of the gate, the landlord loses. It costs $170 to bring a tenant to the board, while tenants pay $45 to bring a landlord to the board.

Affordable housing in this province will continue to decline as private residential landlords realize they have bitten off more than they intended to chew.

C. April Stewart, Landlord Legal

Ontario’s Bedbug Solution: Penalize Landlords

Sunday, October 10th, 2010

No doubt something has to be done about the bedbug pandemic.  Landlords who encounter the pests suffer from unhappy tenants and others are stepping up inspections and cleaning efforts to reduce outbreaks.

Yet, when it comes to eradicating bedbugs all eyes seem to turn to landlords as the enforcers.  Ontario MPP Cheri DiNovo is proposing that any landlord who wishes to renew a rental license obtain a bedbug inspection on the rental property.  DiNovo refers to this solution as “self-funded” because landlords will pay a fee for every inspection.

Many feel Ontario landlords are already overburdened with regulation, and that they are among the victims of this troubling issue.

While landlords have a duty to provide a safe, healthy environment for tenants, which implies a unit free from pest infestations, many experts are blaming the sudden surge in bedbugs on the government’s banning of the pesticides used to control them in the first place.

Ontario Property Manager Vincent Shanahan points out, “If the banning of pesticides is the major contributor to the problem, and landlords are forced to clean up the infestations, then there should be a fund established by the government for landlords to turn to for compensation.”

It is impossible to trace how bedbugs get into a particular rental unit.  The bugs can travel easily from one unit to the next, and have also been know to remain dormant for over a year – the time it takes for a tenant to come to the end of their lease agreement and move on. While the proposed law requires accountability on the part of landlords, there is no corresponding requirement that a tenant report to their new landlord that they found bedbugs in the same furnishings they are about to introduce into another building.

Shanahan points out another problem: a landlord faces an almost impossible task when treating bedbugs, because the unit has to be adequately prepared for the pest control treatment.  This is work that the tenant must perform.  But when it comes time for treating an outbreak, Shanahan finds that the tenants are never ready. “When you can’t force the tenants to do their part properly, how can a landlord ensure successful remediation?” he asks.  Shanahan finds that the LTB system moves slowly and is too tenant-friendly to be of any use in resolving the situation.

In addition, the newest pesticides don’t seem to work.  DDT was a major deterrent to bedbugs in the past, but was found too toxic for widespread use.  At that time, however, bedbug populations had been severely reduced. As a result, few manufacturers focused on an alternative to DDT in treating bedbugs.  Landlords are now faced with paying for costly treatments that may have a minimal affect on the bugs.  Leaving any adults alive to breed or eggs to hatch literally guarantees a re-infestation.

Still, Shanahan attempts to manage any potential threat of bedbugs in his properties.  “I have distributed information sheets to my tenants concerning the bedbug infestation in North America, and how to recognize and treat infestations. However, try posting all that information in the common lobbies, etc., and see how many new tenants you will obtain!”

Vincent G. Shanahan is President of Alpha Omega Property Managementin Barrie, Ontario, providing expert property management and consulting services for landlords.  Mr. Shanahan was invited to appear on the television program “Inside Toronto Real Estate”, and is an advocate for landlord rights throughout Ontario.