The other day my friend sent me a link to a Star Article about gaming the Landlord & Tenant Board System. He asked me if I had seen the article and I was actually in the process of dealing with a case identical to it.
Enter The Prostitute “Miss Kitty”
Many years ago when I was a baby property manager with my very first portfolio of properties, I had the pleasure of dealing with a tenant that my predecessor had seen fit to rent to… after he was fired. This tenant was unlike the other tenants for several reasons, first she was a prostitute and she changed her message every day. This was a source of endless mirth for the office ladies in accounting, and we would call her to collect the rent on speakerphone so we could all hear the latest creative ad on her voicemail.
The second reason she was different was because after we had evicted her for non payment of rent, she appealed her eviction to Divisional Court. That was the first time I met David Strashin, and she actually had someone show up in court a few days after the September 11 attacks and claim that she was ministering to the victims of September 11th. That was my introduction to the world of pathological predatory tenants who will say anything and do anything to live a free life at the expense of their real victims, their landlords.
Enter “Mr Mercedes”
Recently I have had another opportunity to deal with David, as another tenant takes full advantage of the loopholes in the law to rip off a landlord to the fullest extent possible with almost a year in unpaid rent. This joker’s wife works full time and he drives a Mercedes.
Like the prostitute many moons ago, the entire game with this tenant is to get free rent and take advantage of the system. Justice Matlow, a divisional court judge, said in this judgement, “My recent experience sitting as a single judge of this Court to hear motions has convinced me that there is a growing practice by unscrupulous residential tenants to manipulate the law improperly, and often dishonestly, to enable them to remain in their rented premises for long periods of time without having to pay rent to their landlords. It is practice that imposes an unfair hardship on landlords and reflects badly on the civil justice system in Ontario. It calls for the Government, the Landlord and Tenant Board and this Court to respond.”
That was in 2012 and 4 years later nothing has been done to close this loophole in the system.
The Basic Order Of Events In Non Payment Cases
- The tenant doesn’t pay rent or the rent check goes NSF
- Fill out and deliver an N-4
- Wait 14-15 days
- Fill out an L-2 and apply to the Landlord & Tenant Board for a Court Date
- Wait a month or two months until you get a court date.
- Go to a hearing at the Landlord & Tenant Board.
- It your paper work is correct, you will get an Order
- Wait up to 10 days for the Order to be written
- The Order gives them another 11 days to pay up.
- Your tenant may first “Review” the Order, in Mr Mercedes’s case he agreed to a payment and didn’t make the payments. Regardless they will be granted another hearing most of the time, even when they didn’t show up even without proof.
- You will wait for another hearing…
- If you didn’t lose, which is pretty hard to do in non-payment of rent cases (They can pay you after all. )Another Order gets issued.
- You wait 10 days for the Order to be written and about 5 days for mailing… again
- You take this Order or you may have taken the previous Order to the Sheriff for Enforcement and pay $340
- They take their sweet, sweet time, mail a letter etc. to the tenant telling him that the eviction is coming.
- Wait at least 3 weeks more.
- You will get a sheet that says “Call the sheriff on this date” with a two hour window… Don’t forget or you have to pay them again, like you have an extra $200 for the goddamn Sheriff at this point.
- By this time 4-6 months have elapsed and you have subsidized your tenant’s lifestyle to the tune of thousands of $$$. Don’t worry ! It gets worse because your tenant is one of the greedier leechier types that will take things to the next level.
- The tenant Appeals the Non Payment of Rent Order to Divisional Court. Here you are in a rather elite crowd of scumsuckers. These are the real professionals and they have game.
- You cannot waste time here, there is a limited window of opportunity to “quash” their motion to appeal. (Stop their bullshit)
- Unless you are familiar with Divisional Court, you will need a lawyer here and you need a lawyer that knows Landlord Tenant Law. David Strashin is one of those rare lawyers.
- If you wait too long to get your lawyer and fight their Appeal right away, you will have to wait for a regular court date but that may take 6 months or more. A long, damn time.
- Now most of these cases have no merit, lets face it if they wanted to pay they would have. But… here we are, the final gasp in the system, hopefully their Appeal will be denied, and you will get another court document lifting the “Stay of Eviction”
- Next you take that court document to the Sheriff (Enforcement Office) and after they go through their process of mailing etc, they will show up to a house that will 99% of the time be empty and your soul stealing tenant will be some other poor landlord’s nightmare. Why not? It’s not like they will be punished in any way or have to pay you back.
- All that will be left to remind you of your tenant will be a Court Order with a big number that they owe you, but like those Reader’s Digest contest entries where you win a million dollars, chances are you will never see a penny.
Bad tenants are like microorganisms, just hope for the common cold, a couple weeks and they’re gone. Other tenants are like MRSA, they fester and take a while to get rid of. The worst bunch are like a case of C.Difficile and Necrotizing Fasciitis combined, you’ll have to eat shit to survive and you may lose a limb in the process.
Bad Tenants… 0/10 I would not do again.