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.
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.
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!