Landlord 101 – Disposing of Property

July 9th, 2010 · 1 Comment · Landlord & Tenant Board, Property Management, Rental Property

Curb It !

Today’s post is a response to a question I received via email about disposing of property. It’s a tricky question because the landlord is not covered under the Landlord & Tenant Act.

The Question

I have been reading your articles for awhile and find it really informative.  My situation is that I rent out rooms in the house that I own and live in. I share the kitchen and the bathroom with the tenants, meaning that neither of us are covered under the Landlord & Tenant act. I evicted 2 tenants for non payment of rent, one is past due for $1463.53 and rent is $500 a month and the other is behind $1505.20 with the same rent per month.  They are now refusing to remove their property from the house and have broken 2 appointments to remove their stuff and are threatening to sue me if I dispose of their stuff leaving me unable to rent out the rooms. My question is would they be able to sue under duty of care or since they owe money and were evicted due to nonpayment would it be viewed as they have abandoned the property?  Any help with this situation would be useful even if it was just direction on reading material.  I live in Ottawa Ontario .

Well first of all, I’m sorry you had to go through these evictions. It’s a stressful time and it’s not over yet.

People Are Always Allowed To Sue You

No matter what you do the tenants may sue. This is because anyone has the right to sue even without legal cause. What you need to know is not if they will sue but rather if they can sue and WIN. In a tenancy governed by the Landlord & Tenant Act tenants can apply to the Board and the Ministry of Housing and Housing Enforcement Unit. In your case they could sue via Small Claims. It’s a lot easier for your tenants to threaten to sue then to actually do it.

You Need Proof

In a situation like yours, where you are not covered by the Act, if you have made 2 appointments for them to come and get their stuff and they haven’t come and you have proof such as phone messages or a letter you wrote them or an email, you can go ahead and give them final notice that you will throw out their stuff and they can come and pick it up at the curb. Then put all their stuff out at the curb.

That’s it.

Landlord & Tenant Board Rules

If you wanted to be super safe you might want to follow the rules as set out by the Landlord & Tenant Act anyways. The Act gives tenants 72 hours after an eviction to come and get their stuff. From your description it sounds like you have already given them more than that amount of time.

If the apartment were abandoned then you would have to wait 30 days before throwing out their belongings. If you sell their stuff they can come back and ask for the money for 6 months. This is kind of funny considering the stuff tenants leave behind. You’d be lucky to get $5 for it.

The Landlord & Tenant Board has a brochure called Property Left Behind When A Tenant Moves Out if you want to read some more on the subject. You can use this as a guideline to keep yourself safe from your tenants being able to sue you and win.

I hope this helps.

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One Comment so far ↓

  • Ven

    Me and my wife own a house in Mississauga. Our Basement was not in use for many months and we thought of getting some income from it. We rented it out our basement to this nice friendly couple which was very sweet in talks and behavior. First 2-3 months were fine but then problems started.
    The lady had serious issue of aggressive behavior and Police started coming to our house on complaint of harassment as she used to call everybody on his phone list and abuse them and threat them…all while we were hearing upstairs.
    We first thought that it might be temporary but it started to become more bad when she started banging doors and walls of our house. She started abusing us and threatening us loudly while remaining in basement and that too without any reason.
    Finally we told them to vacate the property as we we wanted to keep it for our own use.
    She simply refused to vacate it and talking to her husband was of no use as well….as both had decided to stay here for as long as they want.
    We tried numerous times to pacify them to leave as we needed property for ourselves without actually telling them that HER BEHAVIOR IS VIOLENT, ABUSIVE AND DANGEROUS. But NO….they had simple NO in their reply.
    Finally through one of my friend we were able to make them vacate by giving them $3000+ cash so that they can find decent place to live. And we also told police about her behaviors and police warned her not to contact us anymore once she left.

    Now when they are finally out of our place lady started bugging us after 2 months that she wants copy of rent reciepts….copy of Lease agreement(which we never ever had)….and last month deposit rent(which she never gave us) else she will take LEGAL ACTION.

    Forgot to mention that she took last 2 months rent in addition to $3000 as well.

    We never had a lease agreement signed…..she never paid by cheque and i never gave her rent receipt as everything was decided at the time of their first visit that we will take cash only and it is on month to month basis.

    What options do we have now? She is really aggressive and dangerous along with some really bad behavior issues as Police also told us of her past.