Evictions – The Travels of Jimmy the Cat

February 21st, 2016 · 5 Comments · Property Management

Jimmy the catEveryone with a job can tell you that there are some bad parts to almost every career. Evictions are something I’m not sure I will ever get used to. Landlords can and do call me to help with very difficult tenants. While I don’t generally mind, late 2015 found me dealing with three difficult and wearing evictions that were all occurring at the same time. Frankly I became emotionally exhausted, and these situations just dragged on and on. So here’s a list of the situations I was involved in as a property manager hired to deal with the pain of awful tenants.  Jeff Shabes of Jems Paralegal did the legal work.

Eviction 1

This one was a tenant on tenant violence followed by mental health and hoarding issues. Basically one tenant severely assaulted the other and so we went ahead and made an agreement with him to move out through mediation. We had overwhelming evidence. The victim tenant had stopped paying rent but really was scared and just wanted to leave. We met and we agreed to terminate the tenancy using the N11. They did not move.

Next, we filed at the Landlord & Tenant Board against the victim this time and we had a hearing. When we got to the hearing, we got notified that the tenant was in hospital and so the entire issue was delayed for 2 months. The tenant still did not move. During this period I went and did an inspection and found that the place was hoarded up and the smoke alarm had been disabled.

Finally the tenant moved out. This eviction took over 6 months and both apartments were trashed and needed lots of renovations. It was very stressful for everyone. The owner has since let me go because they are selling the property. I’m happy I never need to see that place or think about it again.

Eviction 2

These people had already been evicted 2 times this year and pay up on the day the sheriff comes. This time they were unable to come up with all the money. They gave me part of the rent and they were locked out. They then paid up all the rent and filed a motion to void. This can be filed by a tenant that is evicted one time during their tenancy. There was a bunch of rushing around to meet the sheriff, then give them back the keys.

Honestly I have no idea what these people’s deal is. They are by all accounts decent people, they work, they are clean, they are polite, they just don’t pay rent until the Sheriff comes.

Eviction 3

This was an another tragic case. I had a couple in a an apartment of several years and they have never managed to pay the rent in full and on time. The other tenants would complain of fighting. Finally the second time of trying to evict for non payment of rent, we were forced to take a payment plan. I rarely refuse payments plans, but in this case I was forced to by the Landlord & Tenant Board.

The tenants paid all their payments except the small last one. Around that time, I got a call that the tenant had severely beat his girlfriend, and was in jail. She had to be taken out of the house in an ambulance.

Around this time I ended up filing for a breach of the original order to pay. The girlfriend was not on the lease (even thought they rented together) and so she had no legal standing. Then the guy moved out his stuff but she was still living there with her kids. If she was able to pay, I could have drawn up a new lease, but she simply didn’t have the ability to pay.

Almost every day, she would call me after a few drinks, check in and tell me she was moving for several months. EVERY DAY.

Finally the sheriff came, and she came and got some of her stuff.  They’d had 2 cats, but one was very sick and they couldn’t find him a home. So that’s how Jimmy the cat came into my life.

Obviously after dealing with all these issues for months, I was worn out, and so I’m not sure why but Jimmy was like a symbol of hope. Finally among all this suffering I could possibly do something to change his fate. I would finally be able to do something good.

Jimmy the Cat

Jimmy was a super friendly cat and when I was changing the locks with the sheriff, Jimmy was purring and winding his way around my legs and generally acting like a one cat welcoming committee. Unfortunately Jimmy was also sick, he could hardly breathe. He was also extremely skinny, and looked like he was on his last legs. I thought, I’ll take him to the vet, get him some antibiotics and he’ll be fine.  It was not fine.

The picture above is Jimmy at his first vet visit and the first thing they did was feed him. He weighted 3 lbs. So I got him some antibiotics, and that did help, he gained about a pound initially and he never really got better after that. I brought him back to the vet 2 more times and gave him Lysine and Steroids but nothing helped very much.

My husband and nephew are allergic to cats, so I was driving to the house everyday medicating and feeding and patting the cat. I fixated on Jimmy the cat, surely after everything I could at least fix one stupid friendly little cat, right? He was happy and didn’t seem to be in pain so I didn’t feel right taking him the Toronto Animal Services on euthanasia day. I contacted a few rescues, and no wants a sick cat. They’re afraid that it will spread to the other cats. Jimmy’s prospects seemed really grim.

Fuck Cancer

Then I found out my disabled sister has breast cancer. I’m going with her to Sunnybrooke Hospital for her staging tests, then going to feed and medicate Jimmy the cat everyday. By this point it had been over a month and I loved the little critter he really captured my heart with his snotty nose and cuddles. Then I reached out to Toronto Humane Society and set up a surrender appointment, I faxed Jimmy the cats medical records over, and trusted that they would do whatever they could for him and gladly paid the $50. I really did not know if the kindest thing would be to put him to sleep. At some point I’d lost all perspective.

Toronto Humane Society told me that they wouldn’t let me know what had happened as it was against their policies. I had to be satisfied that I had done my best for Jimmy.

Then came a dizzying round of tests at Sunnybrooke with my sister. I’m still dealing with that, the cancer was discovered too late and she’s Stage 4 already so no cure is possible and obviously that’s really awful.

Back To Jimmy

Last week a I got a phone call from the Toronto Humane Society. Jimmy ended up having nasal polyps and they were able to perform surgery and he found a home. One friendly little cat saved. Jimmy became a symbol of being able to do one small positive action while awash in negativity I could do nothing about. I was trying hard, but I ended up feeling worn and ineffectual.

For Eviction #1 It would have been ok if we evicted the tenant who assaulted the other, and the other tenant was protected and stayed, but instead the victim of the assault ripped off the poor landlord for 6 month’s rent and endangered everyone else with her hoarding.

For Eviction # 2 I am taking them back to the Landlord & Tenant Board for the 4th time for eviction for non payment in a year.

For Eviction #3 The victim ended up being an alcoholic who used her trauma as an excuse for her bad behavior. It ended up being very hard for me to feel for her. She really played the victim card and I ended up being really annoyed by her unwillingness to help herself. Going up North to hang out with your new boyfriend and not move your stuff and calling me drunk every single night to tell me about your lack of progress was exhausting and infuriating.

But I did save Jimmy the Cat, so there’s that.

Just do your best and screw the rest.

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