Man o man, landlords sure get a raw deal from the police departments. I get landlords calling me all the time about illegal activities that get reported to police departments who do basically nothing about it. Sometimes it’s just time for landlords to sue the police, then maybe they’ll start doing their jobs.
Once upon a time Caroline decided that renting out rooms in her house was a great idea to help her make her mortgage payments. As it turns out it wasn’t fantastic. She had 4 rooms in her house and rented three out and kept one for herself.
No story would be complete without a prince…so when Caroline met hers she started going over to his castle and spent less and less time at her home. She still had clothes and her bed and her room, she just didn’t spend very much time there, except for going to clean up after her boarders.
Quitting The Boarding Business
Caroline decided that cleaning up after after boarders was not really a whole lot of fun. She had two jobs already. So she gave her boarders 30 days notice which was really wonderful of her because she didn’t have to give them any notice at all.
Not Subject To The Residential Tenancies Act
When you share a kitchen and bathroom with your boarders, the convoluted ridiculous eviction system of the Residential Tenancies Act does not apply. So you can do pretty much whatever you like. The 30 days notice was very generous on her part, she could have given them no notice if she liked as long as she gave them back their money if she owed them any.
The Boarders Don’t Like It
Not surprisingly there’s a troublemaker in the bunch. One of them is refusing to leave, even though he has been given notice. Caroline expects this so she contacts the police and informs them that she’s changing the locks… She shows him the nasty texts, the Residential Tenancies Act that says she’s not required to “evict” them using the usual procedures because she shares a kitchen and bath with them. She also didn’t have to give them any specific notice form because, guess what? she doesn’t have to comply with the Residential Tenancies Act.
So Police Officer # 1 attends and waits for the boarders to arrive so they can get their stuff and be escorted off the property. They’ve had 30 days to make arrangements.
Next Police Officer #2 attends and apparently he’s off shift in 20 minutes and he wants to go home to his wife and family as he told Caroline. At some point troublemaker boarder comes home and gets told the news that he’s out the door. He starts saying that he’s a tenant covered under the Residential Tenancies Act.
Then the “judge and jury” get to work. A decision is made that Caroline does not live at her own property, even though she has a room there. A neighbour friendly with the boarders gets asked if she lives there. The boarders get asked if she lives there. The police even grab her phone from her and ask her fully grown son if she lives there and tells him that Mom’s going to jail.
This Is Where The Police Turn Into Total Morons
Police officer 2 decided that this was a landlord & tenant matter and that Caroline doesn’t live there enough according to the word of the neighbour and the boarders. Even though she was at the Landlord & Tenant Board and was told that her place is not subject to the Residential Tenancies Act.
The police order Caroline to give a copy of the key to Mr. Trouble and threaten to take Caroline to jail. Apparently she’s lying. The police officer with 20 minutes to get off shift decides Caroline doesn’t live there.
How Much Do You Have To Live Somewhere?
People might say “Well she doesn’t live there very much…” maybe they are tenants. She’s owned the house for 7 years and she’s lived there since then. Her driver’s licence says she lives there, her mail goes there, she has a room there and clothes there. She also hangs out at her boyfriend’s most of the time. She’s in love.
When I was in love I went to Pennsylvania for a whole month or so. Does that mean that I lived there? What about snow birds who vacation in Florida for months? Does it mean they live there? No of course not.
How about if I change the locks on every tenant who takes an extended vacation? or pays rent for security to know they have their own place to live in ? Does that count? Where do they live?
Caroline Is Moving
To make matters a little more complicated, Caroline decided to move, admittedly she wasn’t there very much, except for the odd night. First of all it wasn’t very pleasant to be there with Mr Trouble around. Second of all, every time she did go there she had to clean up kitchen, bath and common areas after 3 messy guys. She wants out of the boarding business and she’s allowed to make that choice.
The Plot Thickens
When Caroline gave the boarders 30 days notice, she rented the house out to a wonderful fully qualified family due to move in August 1st. So now it’s big trouble because her new tenants are out of a new home.
So the police won’t do their job, the landlord can’t do their job, the new tenants are out of a home and the entire thing is a bloody mess. Sounds like this landlord has a great lawsuit on her hands against the police. Personally I hope she follows through with it, I’ve had enough of the police raising their hands and saying “We don’t deal with Landlord & Tenant matters” when good honest people are victimized by activities that are criminal. Any other business would have the police on board. I’m talking about damages to property,fraud, trespassing, graffiti, threats, harassment and so on that are enabled and even condoned by the police not doing their job because it’s a landlord.
It’s even more reprehensible in this case because it’s not a landlord tenant matter it’s a trespassing matter. The boarders got notice, they have to move out, it’s the law.
What do you think? Are police doing their job of protecting landlords?