More protection needed for landlords?

Friday, June 26th, 2015

Jordan Maxwell

A landlord who rented her property in Bay Bulls, Newfoundland is facing thousands of dollars in repairs after the property was damaged and robbed by its tenants – yet another case of landlord-tenant relations turned sour.

Francene Patey rented the home to a couple last January, but the tenants stopped paying rent in April of the same year. Patey alleges the tenants still had their names on the lease and never indicated that they were moving. 

In June, she gave the tenants an eviction notice with one day to clean up. When she returned to the property, she found a nightmarish situation. 

“He had basically taken everything, from our brand-new washer and dryer … curtains, curtain rods, light bulbs, our child’s desk that was left there, another desk in the den … holes in the wall, mouldings torn up. It was just devastating,” she said in an interview.  “It’s just ridiculous. I mean, we worked to have this piece of property, for them to come in and just destroy and walk away.”

Police are investigating, but the news comes at a time when landlords across Canada are facing more and more of these cases.

Earlier this week, an Ontario property management company faced scrutiny for charging evicted tenants two months’ rent following their departure from the property.  The move, a callous one to some, drew applause from some landlords who have little to no recourse when it comes to evicted tenants and damaged property. Short of getting the police and the Landlord Tenant Board involved, which can take months to resolve, there is little landlords can do but to digest the losses. 

“The law is one-sided,” one landlord wrote on the CREW Forum. “The law has to be enforced more quickly instead of favouring the tenants only.

“My tenant did not leave any trace [of] where he is. There should be some means to trace such people, make it mandatory to provide a SIN.” 

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