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 Unread postPosted: June 10th, 2011, 6:56 am   

Joined: June 9th, 2011, 4:12 pm
Posts: 28
Hi - I'm new to the boards and have been reading them for a few days. As a landlord, I have some tenant issues and it's left my wife and I very frustrated. I'd like to know where we stand, as the LTB (D) gave us INCORRECT information according to another LTB agent.

Situation:
We rent a legal basement walkout apartment. It is registered with the town, and has been building and fire inspected.

When we purchased the house, there was a single mother tenant with one child. She had planned to leave, and that wasn't a problem as we wanted to do major upgrades to the apartment.

After doing the upgrades, we set the rental rate, including all utilities: heat, hydro, water, sewage, satellite tv, internet, washer, dryer...

We based the rent on the prior tenancy, single adult with one child.

Our prospective tenant agreed that if she was able to patch things up with her (separated from) husband, and we agreed the rent would be $100. more with two adults. She moved in and pays the rent on time.

The ISSUES:
1. She has had a man move in since February, without even mentioning it to us. He has been sneaking past us, and we first found out when we discovered the truck parked on the street in front of our house was his. He has been there for months, and our tenant stated to us she was in touch with the LTB and she doesn't have to tell us anything about this man.

We have 4 small children ages 4 months to 10 years old, and we share a yard with our tenant and this unknown man.

When we first brought up the fact that a stranger to us is sharing our yard, and house including utilities, and that our utility bill has RISEN $100. a month since this time last year. Since last year, we have decreased our family usage (new hot water tank, new dual-flush toilets, new insulation, programmed thermostat, low energy bulbs, etc.), so it's obvious this increase is due to this man living in the apartment.

Our tenant refuses to offer any consideration for this new tenant, and has even refused to provide any information about him. We don't even know his name, yet he shares the yard with our children.

2. This new unauthorized tenant rides a motorcycle, and he RIDES it down our side walkway and parks it in the back yard on the sidewalk in front of the rental entranceway. This is a concern because a) our next door neighbour commented about the noise and b) a hot exhaust is capable of melting a child's skin right off. We can't watch our children all the time - this is a daily risk.

3. Our tenant sets off the smoke alarm frequently. Even yesterday it was set off. In the recent past I also caught her with an unplugged smoke detector. She also has been blocking the fire doors to the furnace room, with large childrens toys. We have it in the lease that the tenant is required to carry tenant insurance, yet she has not provided us with a copy this year, even after a request being made over a month ago for it.

4. She has a pile of large toys, a lawnmower, window air conditioner, and other unused items piled up at the rear of the house. As we are in a subdivision, this is visible from many neighbouring yards. And as we own and share the yard, we find it embarassing and unsightly. She has been asked to clean up the yard many times but obviously doesn't care.

5. When the tenant leaves for work, she leaves the apartment unlocked. This causes us concern, as we share the house and don't want risk of intruders.

6. Due to this being a house we also live in, with shared HVAC (air circulation), and one of my children has an Epipen for severe allergy including pet hair, we have a no pet clause. We WILL allow a cat but only with very specific requirements being met (keep cat bathed regularly with anti-dander/alergy shampoo). The tenant has an outdoor cat that kills birds, mice, etc. and the tenant LEAVES the carcuses wherever they are... she will actually walk over a dead bird on the sidewalk for a week or longer, or until someone removes it (me). I'm tired of dead birds and mice, especially when it's time to cut the grass and I see dead animals on the lawn.

Here's the thing that REALLY PISSES ME OFF!!!

I called the LTB and spoke with D. He informed me that as my lease states, "One family consisting of one adult and one child" and "casual guests only", that I can require the tenant to rectify the situation or be evicted. He stated I can evict her after notice, based on this.

So I decided to ask my tenant to meet with my wife and I for a discussion over a coffee at our place. She agreed that if the boyfriend were to still be staying as much in the apartment at the end of the month, that she would compensate us for his staying there. She also agreed to remove the pile of rubbish from the back yard, to provide a copy of her renewed tenancy insurance, and to provide a police background check on the man staying there.

Well over a month has passed, and she has not done a single thing she promised to do! No copy of tenant insurance - no police background check - no compensation for the additional guest (tenant), and no removal of the pile.

I called the LTB again to verify exactly what I should do, and the woman who answered this time stated she had been working there for 7 years, and that D is WRONG, and she will be having a talk with him about it.

She stated the tenant can take in someone without notifying me, and that he does not have to provide his name to me. In regards to all inclusive utilities, it's my own fault for not setting it based on the highest (possible) occupancy based on health law.

Basically, D of the LTB was wrong, and I can't evict based on 'one adult and one child - single family', and 'casual guests only' in the signed lease agreement. Note, D also stated that even if I wanted to allow him to stay, the original lease agreement cannot be modified, therefore the only legal way is to have the tenancy end (tenant leave or eviction), and a new tenancy begin. But again, the LTB woman said that too is incorrect, and D will be dealt with.

In regards to this unknown tenant, how can I deal with his unknown identity and the safety issue his sharing the yard with my small children?
How can I deal with the fact that the inclusive rent is based on a single adult and child, and that he's costing me well over $100. a month?
How can I deal with the the motorcycle being ridden and parked in the back yard? (safety issue, noise issue, and violation of lease - ONE SINGLE parking space is provided, and the motorcycle constitutes a second)
How can I deal with the frequent fire alarms? With so many fire alarms sounding, it's like Chicken Little and the sky is falling... we don't know if it's a real threat or not...
How can I deal with the pile of crap in the back yard? Health and safety perhaps? Or violation of lease?

---
EXCERPTS from the lease agreement:
5. No other Occupants: Except for casual guests, no persons other than the Tenants shall occupy the Premises without written consent of the Landlord.

e) Garbage Removal: It is the responsibility of the Tenant to ensure that all garbage and recycling is being brought to the curb as scheduled by the town for pickup. Bags are to be tagged as per the town bylaw. Please ensure that you familiarize yourselves with the garbage day and bag tagging requirements.
In the event that garbage/yard cleanup is not being completed by the Tenant by approximately the 15th and 31st of each month, they shall be notified in advance by the Property Manager who shall use his/her own discretion to have the garbage/ property cleaned up. The Tenant shall be charged $15.00 per visit plus dumping fees made that shall be due promptly within 10 days of receipt of invoice.

d) Pets: The Tenant are not allowed to have any Pets due to severe allergy of other occupants of the house. Small short-haired pets may be permitted with written permission of the Landlord.

*Note, I have NOT given written permission.

---
At this point, I'm very frustrated because the tenant has not kept her word about a single thing, (I can't stand people who break their word without good reason). Also the LTB (D) caused me a great deal of frustration by giving me information that is the opposite of what the woman said. One says I can evict for violation of the lease, and the other says I cannot. I hate the LTB!


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 Unread postPosted: June 10th, 2011, 9:03 am   

Joined: August 26th, 2010, 4:18 pm
Posts: 1665
Excellent advice Former advertiser


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 Unread postPosted: June 10th, 2011, 9:13 am   

Joined: June 9th, 2011, 4:12 pm
Posts: 28
Thank you for the advice.

Should I keep it short with the following, or provide more?

---
The tenant has triggered the fire/smoke alarm many times and continues to do so. The tenant had unplugged the fire/smoke alarm. The tenant was requested in writing on June 2, 2011 not to tamper with the safety equipment, and to have a fire extinguisher as well as tenant insurance. The tenant has since set off the fire/smoke alarm on June 9, 2011.

The tenant has a pile of objects in the shared back yard, including an air conditioner, lawn mower, large inflatable toy, and various other items. The objects have killed the grass, impede the safe operation of lawn maintenance equipment, and are a safety hazard for the children. The tenant has been asked several times to remove this pile.

The tenant has a motorcycle being ridden and parked in the back yard on the sidewalk. One parking space is provided in the lease. The running engine sound, the riding of a motorcycle on the property, and the dangerous hot exhaust interferes with our reasonable enjoyment. We have 4 children aged 4 months to 9 years, and safety and reasonable enjoyment are affected.
---

Thanks again


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 Unread postPosted: June 10th, 2011, 9:57 am   

Joined: June 9th, 2011, 4:12 pm
Posts: 28
I changed it slightly to add the concern for our son with severe allergies, who must carry an Epipen at all times.

The tenant triggers the fire/smoke alarm frequently and has unplugged the fire/smoke alarm. I gave the tenant a letter June 2, 2011, requiring them to not tamper with the safety equipment, and to have a fire extinguisher as well as tenant insurance. The tenant set off the fire/smoke alarm again the afternoon of June 9, 2011.

Tenant has an óutdoor cat' without written permission. Our son has 'severe allergies'to pet fur and dander, and must carry an Epipen at all times. To have an indoor cat requires precautions - anti-dander shampooing and no loose fur.

The tenant has a pile of objects in the shared back yard, including an air conditioner, lawn mower, large inflatable toy, and various other items. The pile killed the grass, impedes safe operation of lawn maintenance equipment, and is a safety hazard.

A motorcycle is ridden and parked in the back yard daily, on the sidewalk. One parking space is provided in the lease. As we have 4 children aged 4 months to 9 years, riding a motorcycle on the property, the dangerous hot exhaust, and noise interferes with our reasonable enjoyment.

...
I realize we can't normally ban pets, however it is a shared house with shared HVAC and my son has severe allergies to pet fur and dander. We will allow a pet, but ONLY if it is an indoor cat that is well maintained in respect to shampooing to control dander, and brushing to control fur. Their cat is an outdoor cat that is long-haired, unbrushed and obviously not shampood.

Terry


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 Unread postPosted: June 10th, 2011, 1:33 pm   
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Joined: May 31st, 2010, 8:20 pm
Posts: 1582
Location: property management professional based in Toronto
What you are experiencing is a common problem. We screen and accept a tenant, and then they move other people in. This is allowed in Ontario.

As Arnold Schwartzenegger wrote, you will have to serve an N5 and you are going to have to prove your claims. The tenants can also bring up claims against you (real or not). Does the woman have a fixed term lease? That will make things more difficult.


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 Unread postPosted: June 10th, 2011, 3:47 pm   

Joined: August 26th, 2010, 4:18 pm
Posts: 1665
I would also include dates of your correspondence, date you had meeting to discuss issues and
still not resolved. Be sure to have a note form your doctor outlining child's allergies when you go before the LTB. You mentioned your neighbour complained of noise from motorbike. Record that date AND TIME and even better, see if they would attend hearing as witness or complete an affadavit re noise complaint.
The more specific and detailed your information, the better your chances.
If you haven't done so already, keep a log of incidents with dates and times.
Good luck!


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 Unread postPosted: June 10th, 2011, 4:07 pm   

Joined: April 17th, 2010, 2:36 pm
Posts: 891
Location: Landlord for 18 months, sold. Now back, smarter.
If the downstairs become real PITAs and say you are harassing them, or start talking about 'mold' or other issues (which lots do, including my upstairs tenants in my one rental property) I recommend former advertiser who has lost our support take control of your case. They have lots of experience in dealing with what you are dealing with.


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 Unread postPosted: June 10th, 2011, 6:55 pm   

Joined: June 9th, 2011, 4:12 pm
Posts: 28
In regards to the extra tenant, it's a real PITA already. When the single mom moved in, her inclusive rent was set based on one adult and one child. We discussed the possibility if she reconciled with her ex, that he could move in with an increase of $100. in rent. This was a verbal agreement, as it wasn't pertinent to the lease.

She didn't reconcile with her ex, but she does have a new boyfriend that has been here every day and night with few exceptions, since the middle of winter.

As we have a shared yard, and we have 4 boys aged 4 months to 9 years, this new boyfriend (or tenant) is a stranger (to us) is here daily when the tenant isn't here, and it caused me concern.

The LTB prohibits us from asking who this man is. I asked my tenant to provide a police background check, and I said I would pay for it. I want to know something about this man who is in the back yard with my kids. But my tenant refuses to provide a police background check.

The LTB believes I should be watching my kids in my yard all the time, and that asking for information about this new tenant is a violation of his rights.

I am quite angry about this. I want to know who this man is that is in my yard.

Every school in Ontario requires ALL GUESTS to register - even though they are not strangers to everyone at the school. I am not asking for anyone to sign in and out every day - I accept he's a tenant and I can't do Jack about it... but it's NOT RIGHT that the LTB prohibits me from taking any steps to find out who he is.

All I know about him is his license plate numbers... I wish I knew more!


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 Unread postPosted: June 10th, 2011, 7:31 pm   

Joined: June 9th, 2011, 4:12 pm
Posts: 28
K I was able to use his plate and pay $12. to find out who he is from MTO. It gives his VIN, expiry month of his tag (month of birth), and full name.


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 Unread postPosted: June 10th, 2011, 8:10 pm   
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Joined: February 15th, 2010, 2:36 pm
Posts: 6499
Location: Florida (FT golfer)
Important lesson here: if you are renting out your basement never include the yard. Have everything very clear in your lease.

I had one renter call me freaked out because the guy in the unit was angry over a laundry conflict and screaming at her and threatening her. She called ME to ask if she could call the police. I said "call!" Police came and the guy was wanted.

The Tim Hudak PCs will open up the sex offender register so landlords can check it. Another reason to vote for them and kick the hug a thug McGuinty Liberals out.


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 Unread postPosted: June 10th, 2011, 8:34 pm   

Joined: June 9th, 2011, 4:12 pm
Posts: 28
Fortunately, there is no mention of any use of the back yard in the lease.

I spoke with the tenant a short time ago tonight, and I asked her to simply clean up the mess, and I requested she provide the background check she promised for this person staying there.

She said, "My mom and sister visit a lot too - do you think they should have to get a background check too?", then she added, "I don't believe it's appropriate for you to ask for a background check on my boyfriend".

That's how it presently stands.


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 Unread postPosted: June 10th, 2011, 8:38 pm   
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Joined: February 15th, 2010, 2:36 pm
Posts: 6499
Location: Florida (FT golfer)
TDillon wrote:
Fortunately, there is no mention of any use of the back yard in the lease.

I spoke with the tenant a short time ago tonight, and I asked her to simply clean up the mess, and I requested she provide the background check she promised for this person staying there.

She said, "My mom and sister visit a lot too - do you think they should have to get a background check too?", then she added, "I don't believe it's appropriate for you to ask for a background check on my boyfriend".

That's how it presently stands.

Her attitude makes everything very clear. She thinks she's in control. Time to take that control back.

If it's not in the lease, why does she get to use the back yard? As asked by someone else, does she have a fixed term lease? If so, when is it up?


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 Unread postPosted: June 10th, 2011, 9:41 pm   

Joined: March 1st, 2011, 12:07 pm
Posts: 217
My advice is very simple, she is a pro wannnabe tenant who has had eight years of McDouchebag protecting her, so get former advertiser who has lost our support, pay the price and boot the bitch out. That simple.

Robini.


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 Unread postPosted: June 11th, 2011, 8:04 am   

Joined: June 9th, 2011, 4:12 pm
Posts: 28
After the drama from the tenant, my wife weighed in her opinion. As we receive rent on time, ignore the other problems. As a result, I'm not too happy with my wife right now either.

Piles of unused stuff in our back yard, garbage not picked up (bones, bread, rotten fruit, etc.), guy riding his motorcycle and parking it behind the house on the sidewalk, repeatedly setting off the smoke detector, and her boyfriend (complete stranger to us) moved in without a word to us about it.

My wife's opinion: We receive the rent on time. There's worse tenants out there. I will pick up her garbage if she leaves it out.

My opinion: If it's that messy and garbage outside, what's she doing to the inside? Setting off the smoke alarm regularly leaves us guessing whether or not there's a real fire. Who is this man staying at our house?

I'm MOST pissed off at the LTB because I feel I should have the RIGHT to demand to know who is living in my house downstairs. If anything, I am most frustrated with the law that allows my tenant to move someone in, when it SPECIFICALLY states in the lease, ONE ADULT AND CHILD, SINGLE FAMILY DWELLING, CASUAL GUESTS ONLY. LTB says it's irrelevant - they aren't required to go by the agreement - they are only required to act within the LTA and other governing laws.

This is a case where someone's word means nothing, even when they've signed their name to their word.

I give up.


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 Unread postPosted: June 11th, 2011, 12:33 pm   

Joined: August 26th, 2010, 4:18 pm
Posts: 1665
Welcome to landlording in Ontario. The laws are completely skewed to the tenant
and leases carry very little weight at the LTB (good to have if you have to go to
small claims).
Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do about someone else moving in, but
you can move forward on the pet, garbage and noise complaints. By serving
the N5 this gives her 7 days to get things in order. Hopefully she will and you
can carry on, but you should serve this to gain control. Right now she is doing
as she pleases and frustrating you and your family. Tell her you've asked her
repeatedly to deal with the problem, but its still ongoing, so you now have to serve the N5.
If she does as promised, then the N5 goes away.


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