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Published on Sunday September 23, 2012
Landlord Darius Vakili stands in front of the empty North York home where Nina Willis lived for more than a year. Willis was evicted last week.
Nina Willis arrives to remove her possessions from her former apartment in east Toronto. In May, Willis will appear in a Toronto court to face fraud charges for allegedly providing homeowners with fraudulent cheques and false employment information. She has been ordered out of six homes since 2005.
It took the better part of a year, but nightmare tenant Nina Willis has been forced to pack her possessions and give landlord Darius Vakili his house back.
“The one good thing they did for me was they took their stuff,” said Vakili on Sunday afternoon, inside the empty dirt and trash covered Don Mills home he had rented to Willis since July 2011.
Willis was evicted Wednesday after a lengthy battle against an April ruling by the Landlord and Tenant Board that she must move out after failing to pay rent.
She had to return within 72 hours to pack and move, which she did on Friday and Saturday.
Willis has been ordered out of six homes since 2005, including the property owned by Vakili, according to tenant board and court documents obtained by the Star, as well as interviews with landlords, lawyers and paralegals.
The Star has been following her case, which shows how easily tenants can manipulate the provincially funded Landlord and Tenant Board, using protections designed to avoid unfair evictions to stay in properties rent-free.
After Willis left, the wood floors and walls of the house were covered in dust and filth. Vakili said he had cleaned up during an earlier trip to the house and was almost too disgusted to describe the mess to the Star.
Witnessed by the Star were floors mostly cleared of debris, but corners filled with swept piles of crumpled newspapers, plastic bags, soda cans, detergent bottles, coat hangers, diapers and children’s toys. A futon frame remained in one of the three upstairs bedrooms.
The basement carpet was streaked with stains, strewn with broken glass and contained piles of cardboard and trash. The house smelled of smoke and mildew.
“This was a white, clean carpet. God,” said Vakili, taking pictures.
At some point during her tenancy, Willis had barred the front door.
On Sunday morning, Vakili was able to use the entrance for the first time in months. He said that once inside he found a pile of excrement, positioned exactly on the middle of the top stair in the front hall.
The move was a two-day affair. On Friday, Willis, her sister and two men came in a U-Haul truck, and spent five hours picking up a bike and items outside the house, said Vakili.
They returned on Saturday morning shortly after 9.
The vehicle was backed up to the garage, then across the lawn to the front door.
Vakili said they stayed well into the night, making multiple trips, until he was forced to call police so he could lock up the house at 11 p.m.
He said Willis asked to stay on the porch to guard her possessions and was still outside when he walked by the house at 12:30 a.m.
By Sunday afternoon, all that was left for Vakili to show the Star was two black leather couches overturned outside and the frame of a brass bed, an elaborately carved wood table and several stacked chairs inside a side garage.
He plans to dispose of the furniture but is afraid Willis might come back.
Inside the house he showed how the windows of one upstairs bedroom, accessible to anyone who could climb onto the top of the garage, had been removed and lay on the floor.
Vakili said he plans to spend about two weeks cleaning and fixing up the house and then try to sell.
Willis may already have a place to live.
On Saturday morning, her sister shouted their plans to her former landlord and a Star reporter.
“We have a new house.”
http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/article ... l-moves-on
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