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So I have several rentals and recently had my first eviction. I'd be interested to know if I'm really as evil as my ex tenants think or if anybody else would do this.

So the background is the renters (2 young couples) had rented a furnished unit and became unhappy with the price paid (as a basement suite below unfurnished was renting for 75% as much). Needless to say I was called into a meeting with my tenants who informed me that for the following month they would only pay 75% of the rent (there were some small outstanding issues but I hadn't been informed of them previously and I worked quickly to correct them when I was informed but they tried to use it as justification anyways).

I informed them that we had a contract for another 4 months and that the rate charged was "market rate" for the area. Anyways trying to be reasonable I did offer a new contract at a lower rate if I removed the furniture. They declined that offer (demanding a retroactive adjustment for the previous 4 months and that new offer price) and then paid only 75% of the rent. I waited until I did receive the 75% (they paid it 9 days late) and then promptly withdrew my previous offer and gave them notice to evict.

This upset them and they demanded back their full damage deposit on moveout or they threatened not to move out. I informed them I would need an inspection first and they agreed to that. A bunch more back and forth (all by email) and they agreed to a moveout day and time of 1pm. I never agreed to giving back their damage deposit but I didn't specifically disagree either (if I had they wouldn't have moved out).

Moveout day came and they wanted the inspection right at the moveout time. I disagreed and set an inspection at 6pm (moveout being 1pm). This upset them so they didn't give back the keys at 1pm as the wanted to "hold them hostage to get their damage deposit". A lucky break was that the tougher couple had to work at 5pm and so they only sent the easier to deal with couple to do the inspection. So we ran though then entire inspection (unit was somewhat clean but nowhere near rental standard). Last item on the inspection was the downstairs locker so we trooped down there. At the bottom of the inspection report I then asked for the keys which they handed me (3 of 4 sets as they had "forgotten" the last set) and then they signed the inspection report. At this point they demanded the damage deposit back in full and I handed them a letter indicating I would be using a portion of their damage deposit to cover lost rent and that per the act I had 15 days to return the damage deposit. At this point the girl ran back upstairs to go back in the unit. Unfortunately for her I had had a friend standing by and as soon as we had gone downstairs the locks had quickly been changed.

Upset as a word doesn't even begin to cover how mad they were. The couple left after a couple of minutes however about 10 minutes later both couples returned with the last set of keys to try to get back in. Imagine their shock to find the locks had been changed (I guess they thought I had just had somebody lock it and not change the locks).

I found it really unfortunate to have to go to such levels but the alternatives were pay them their damage deposit and take the loss, not pay it and fight for 2 more months to evict them in the courts (again taking a loss) or do this and have my losses covered and my unit given back cleaned. Being a landlord is making me hard.

P.S can you imagine how upset they will be when they get the damage deposit invoice and it includes a charge for the new lock as they didn't return the last key?
 

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So I have several rentals and recently had my first eviction.
If you have several units and this is your first eviction, it sounds like you're doing something right :)

I'd be interested to know if I'm really as evil as my ex tenants think or if anybody else would do this.
It sounds like they tried to screw you first and you did what you had to do to protect your asset and avoid a landlord/tenant hearing.

What province are you in? In Ontario we are not allowed to take a damage deposit.


P.S can you imagine how upset they will be when they get the damage deposit invoice and it includes a charge for the new lock as they didn't return the last key?
Maybe I'm bitter, but this sounds like Karma - they obviously withheld the final set of keys to hedge their bets.
 

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Typically I would say if you have to ask "am I evil" the answer is definitely!

Question - are the tenants in any position to demand rental rates be changed during a lease term? I would hope they have no ground to stand on if this were to be challenged.

Regarding the deposit - my assumption is that the lease itself would outline how and under what circumstances that deposit is to be used. The deposit is the only place I see were there is potential for a tenant claim.
 

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So the crux of the matter appears to be that your ex-tenants expect the rent for an unfurnished, basement unit to be the same as that of a furnished, upstairs unit?
Am I missing something?
Surely, they can't be that unreasonable...
 

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I'm surprised it was that easy to get them out of the apartment. To evict someone, don't you need to go through some sort of tribunal?

Or was it the threat of eviction that made them want to move out?

Finally, what province are you in? In Ontario, I would not rent an apartment from a landlord asking for a "damage" deposit. First and last and month's rent. That is all they would get out of me.

And, I agree with Harold Crump's assessment....those tenant's were weird. They assumend a furnished upstairs unit should rent for the same amount as an unfurnished basement unit. Weird!
 

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As a new landlord this is an interesting read. I've only got one rental unit (I live upstairs) but it's interesting to hear what some people do.
 

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No you're not evil :)

First of all you had a signed legal contract with them. It doesn't matter if you were charging less for the other unit. That is none of their business. You can rent it for double if you like, whatever their lease says goes.

Second good for you for changing the lock so fast... and charging them for it. Feel free to charge them for cleaning too if they left a mess.

Now here in Ontario after they move out they are no longer tenants and they have to take you to small claims to get their money back. So good luck with that... welcome to the next level it's no longer the pathetic morass of bleeding hearts at the Landlord & Tenant Board.

And good for you for getting harder to the tenant crap that goes on honestly if you don't take care of you no one will.

By the way you have yet to experience a true eviction. Let me describe one to you.

A nice senior lady rented the top floor of her house to a nice man. He had a job letter and seemed ok. When it came time to pay last month's rent and move in he was short a few hundred bucks because his truck needed work. He was going to pay it in a few days. He was very understanding about the old stove from the 70's and bad decor. In fact he was in construction and would help her out.

So the next month he said he was short $400 on the rent because the stove had broken down and he had to buy a new one. Unfortunately he forgot the receipt.

So the next month he paid nothing at all but the lady was visiting relatives overseas which is when she called on me and told me this story. She asked me to go check to see about the rent and check the stove for her which I agreed to do. So I got the phone number and called him but there was no answer. I went to the house a few days later and knocked on the door. I spoke to a what can only be described as an old crone in a paper thin night gown (It was afternoon) . I asked her nicely if I could see the new stove. She said to me to call the guy who was renting the house which I did standing right there on the porch. There was no answer.... she said I could not come in.

I went to my car and wrote up a 24 hour notice of inspection which I handed to her. I think that's when she started hitting me and trying to push me off the porch. No damage was done but I was shocked. I then retreated and called the police. They took a report.

I then filled out and served the first N-4 notice. They were already behind at this point $1200 in rent (we weren't sure about the stove). I then waited 15 days and filed the application and waited a month and a half for a court day so about two months from the first filing (now $3600 is owed) then I went to The Landlord & Tenant Board.

The tenant never even showed up. So we got a judgement a few days later that gave him another 11 days to pay (with mailing this is about 15 days from court day) They still did not move out. Then we went down to the sheriff's office and gave them $360 bucks so they would enforce the eviction order. Then we had to wait several weeks because the sheriff's office mails them ANOTHER letter to tell them to get out. Then you have to check the house to see if they are still there and you have to call the sheriff's office and let them know you still want them out. At this point they owe about $4800 in back rent.

So then the guy calls the landlord's son and want to pay him some money. He calls me and asks me what to do. I said to him "Let him pay what he wants but under no circumstance tell him directly that you will stop the eviction" you can even imply it just don't say it. So he goes and picks up about $1500 of the money owed. (I know if we stop the eviction at this point we have to start over. The only thing that will stop it at this point is FULL payment)

A few days later the sheriff comes and evict them, they are all still in bed. The old couple leave the house and go straight to the legal aid clinic. I get a notice to show up at the Tribunal 5 days later (see how fast they can be?)

When the Sherriff came I was there to change the locks, if I was a locksmith they would stay until I was done, but I'm not so they leave right away. Now I was having a really hard time with the front door lock when the son came home. I really got scared I was by myself and he was a pretty big guy. I told him they were kicked out and to call his parents. Meanwhile I am shaking like a leaf and trying to change this fiddly lock because I keep thinking they are coming back. I was just trying to save the senior lady another $175 bucks for getting the locksmith. By this time I am questioning my intellect very vehemently.

The condition of the place was horrifying. First of all the stove had not been changed and secondly there had been a kitchen fire. A pot set on a burner had caught fire. Then it caught fire to the plastic dryer vent hose that had been used to vent the kitchen hood fan, then a giant glob of melted plastic had landed on the roof and burned through the shingles causing a severe roof leak which they told no one about choosing instead to place several 5 gallon pails to catch the water. 2 days after they moved out the entire kitchen ceiling collapses.

Every room had what can only be described as a layer of filth of all kinds dirty laundry mostly. One of the rooms had been set up with a dresser dividing the room and behind the dresser was a 4 foot layer of dirty laundry in garbage bags.

There was even a large rotting piece of meat on the counter. The landlord was crying it was very bad.

Now by law you have to give the tenants access at this time it was 48 hours now it's 72 hours to get their stuff. We had to beg this guy to come get his stuff we were trying to save the $600 it would cost for the bin. Now he answers the phone tells us when he is going to come etc and then never shows up. Then he calls 2 hours later and want to know why I'm not there.

Then he takes us back to the Landlord & Tenant Board and says we ripped him off and we said we would cancel the eviction which of course we never did. Then we showed the photos of the damages and tell the Tribunal it's not safe for human habitation. Then the tenant gets mad and leaves the hearing so I have to wait all day in case he comes back. It ends up being the last case of the session. This was the Tribunal's idea.

Then it's still not over, I get my Order from the Tribunal and IT's NOT MY CASE it's some other case so the lady can't even file with small claims or a collection agency.

That is an eviction :)
 

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Berubeland, that's how I figured an eviction would work. It sounds like the original poster got really lucky. And, no, I don't think he's EVIL!!! lol. I think he is mighty lucky!!!!
 

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Oh I almost forgot the humanitarian side of the story.

The bleeding hearts would have you believe that evictions happen because people are poor or because landlords charge too much rent.

I disagree entirely after years in the business. Most evictions occur due to poor money management and poor choices. In short people do not know how to take care of the money they have.

People lose their jobs and divorce and all kinds of stuff and they may break their lease but they don't rip the landlord off for months of rent and wreck the place. They'll come to the management office and tell you that they can't pay the rent and have to move. Then that's exactly what they do. Usually they will move using their last month's rent deposit for their last month and they owe nothing.

Two situations occur with regularity with an eviction as described above. I have seen this over and over.

1 - Drug and alcohol problems

2 - Mental Illness

In the above situation the "nice man" who rented the house was the only normal one both his wife "the old crone" and his son were severely affected with schizophrenia. I found this out later when I was waiting at the house one day for them to come pick up their crap and a guy dropped by from CAMH who dropped off their medications once a week. He was very concerned that they had stopped taking their medication and that a bunch of it was laying around not taken.

The lady who lived in the basement apartment was terrified of the old lady one time her 5 year old daughter was out swinging in the back yard and the old lady went out there and started cutting the swing ropes with a butcher knife. All this stuff we found out later.

Also the mother and son were on a pension of $1200 per month each due to their disability had they been of sound mind they had the ability to pay instead of ripping off the landlord.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I have rentals in Alberta but this particular one was in B.C. In Ontairo you don't get to have a damage deposit? That is just plain nasty, how do you get them to clean the place? With the cost of the damage deposit I usually get my units back quite clean (had one girl steam clean the carpets professionally) and they have an incentive to move out on time.

I feel for you guys landlording out east without damage deposits. They say we are in the wild west.
 

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They don't give a damage deposit in fact it is illegal to even get anything other than first and last. No key deposits, no pet deposits etc.

We also can't take prepaid rents in the case of someone who wants to have a nice place but has no Canadian experience.

I can't imagine a worst place to be a landlord when things go wrong than Ontario. God help you if you rent to the wrong person and they know how to work the law.

I think if I decided to live rent free with what I know even in a building with paralegals they'd have their work cut out for them to kick me out in a year.
 

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On the face of it it seems that you've acted fairly reasonably, but I can't help but get the feeling that there is part of the story that we are not hearing.

The only thing that I have a mild disagreement with, is that when I was a small time landlord, I gave the damage deposit back if there was no damage and the place was reasonably clean. I usually expected to have to do a little additional cleaning and I definitely wouldn't expect, for example, things like carpet cleaning.
 

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To the OP, no, you seem quite reasonable and they seem very unreasonable and lacking in life experience/common sense based on what I read in your post. First of all, they had NO right to demand lower rent based on what someone else was paying. I do not know if there are any laws which require rent to be consistent in a bldg. Regardless, they signed a lease with you and are required to pay the monthly charges specified in the lease. They are not entitled to pay a lower rate just because they discovered someone else paid a lower rate. This isn't a retail store where you bring in a competitor's flyer and get a price match!

I'm glad you stood your ground but I think your mistake was initially suggesting a deal where you would remove the furniture. Heck with that. They signed the lease and have to pay the charges. If they later determine they no longer want to pay, then they need to provide you with 60 days' notice and call the movers.

The unpaid rent money belongs to you, not to them. What a nutty set of tenants. I wonder who they are going to inflict themselves on next.
 
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