May 5th, 2012
Tenant Nina Willis, 48, faces two fraud and two forgery charges in relation to her tenancy at a Toronto landlord’s house.
The Story about the latest “Tenant From Hell” begins
It seem like the beginning of a mystery novel. Unfortunately it isn’t fiction. It isn’t a novel. And it isn’t a mystery.
“Nina Willis seemed like the ideal tenant” says the Toronto Star investigation.
The investigation goes on.
“She was well-spoken and tidy, posing as an employee for a cellphone company with offices in Toronto and Montreal. She came with glowing references.”
Here comes the surprise.
“What landlord Darius Vakili, 63, didn’t know was that the 48-year-old Willis was a tenant from hell, with a track record of bounced cheques and eviction notices.”
The Story Continues, Implicating the System Landlords Face in Ontario
“A Star investigation reveals that the rules governing the provincial Landlord and Tenant Board have allowed people like Willis to flourish. Privacy legislation means her dodgy past as a tenant is kept secret from prospective landlords.”
Thank you Toronto Star
The Ontario Landlords Association would like to thank the Toronto Star for their story on the latest “Tenant From Hell.”
We are an association of small private residential landlords, and while many of us have faced terrible tenant problems due to an unfair Residential Tenancy Act and an unfair Landlord and Tenant Board, facing tenants such as the one in the Toronto Star article is a wake-up call for all of us.
The OLA Speaks Up for Landlords
This story is especially important for the OLA because one of the landlords in the article is a new reader of the OLA.
Furthermore, when we first heard about what was going on, OLA editors worked hard to get the story in the news and get the ball rolling for justice.
The OLA began the push to get her story into the media, resulting in a Toronto Star story on October 18th, 2011. The Star story was headlined
“A bad tenant cost me $28,000 over 9 months!” and can be found here.
So What Can We Learn From This?
There are lessons we can learn from the Toronto Star story about Nina Willis. Lessons that landlords can learn, unfiltered by lawyers or paralegals or others who make money representing landlords in need. If there is no “need” there is no money paid. Paying out huge legal fees means only more losses for landlords already suffering.
Lesson #1: The Residential Tenancies Act and the Landlord and Tenant Board Need To Change
We call on the government to have summit of stake holders to re-examine the RTA and take a close look at how the Landlord and Tenant Board operates and how we must change the RTA and reform the LTB.
Lesson #2: If You are a Landlord In Ontario You Must Be Professional in How you Do Business
Landlords young and old, wherever you are, we advise you to do proper screening to avoid ‘pro tenants’. The OLA offers a low-cost path to incredible screening tools.
If the landlords in the Toronto Star article were OLA members, and did a credit check costing only $10…they would have avoided their “Tenant From Hell” and the emotional and financial nightmares associated with having such a tenant.