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Hello Everyone,

(Sorry for the length of this post, however thanks in advance to those who take the time to read through it and provides any feedback)

First off, I'd just like to introduce myself and say hello to everyone, and mention that this is a great forum.

I've been browsing through this site for the past few weeks and have been coming across a lot of really informative topics and discussions.

So I finally got around to registering this eve, and thought i'd seek some advice from some people who might be in the same boat as me.


Here's the situation:

- Bought my first rental property last Oct' 09 (With interest rates soo low and home prices on the rise, and I just happened to be in a situation where I was able to put a good amount down on a down-payment, it was difficult to resist entering this game)

- I was eager to get it rented relatively quickly, as I wasnt too keen on putting up with an extra mortgage on a vacant home (dont believe i'm unique with that at all..lol). So after meeting the types of potential tenants which were coming to visit the property through my ads on kijiji, craigslist, and viewit.ca, i wasnt too impressed. The ones who visited seemed hesitant to fill out the standard OREA rental application, and provide the standard credit reports etc.

- I then decided to list it through mls.ca and worked with my realtor to find a tenant. I know it was a pretty steep comission charge to pay (One full months rent to the brokerage) however i figured the quality of tenants i'd get would be of good quality - boy was i wrong..

- So, for those who are still reading this... here's where it gets interesting.
The couple that i rented it to looked good on paper. One credit report was provided - the boyfriends, and he had a good credit rating - and both were working for a few years at the same company. Therefore i decided to sign the lease with them.

- After the first month went by, they broke up.. and it was just the Mrs's that was residing there from that point on. She advised me that the set of post-dated cheques could no longer be used as the account was closed. After they split up, the second month she payed me cash in 3 installments throughout the month. However advised that she had new cheques on order, and would give them to me for the rest of the term.

- Each month that has gone by since then has been like that... i'm making an average of 3 - 4 trips a month to collect rent in cash.. and there's no indication that she'll get the cheques from her 'new account' for me any time soon. I really feel like i'm pulling teeth, by having to make repeated calls and follow ups etc.

- And just yesterday she said that she lost her job and is in the process of finding a new job... she'll try to have a payment for me next week (at that time it will already be 2 weeks late)...

- I'm now starting to realise that she hooked up with this guy to begin with simply for the purposes of using him to land a new rental property. Whereas her credit rating and probably soo weak. And she probably has a track record of taking advantage of landlords this way in the past, squeezing a few months free out of them, and then moving on...

- I'm 100% certain that it's nothing but headaches for me for the rest of the term of this lease. So, what realistic recourse and options do I have at my disposal? Ideally i'd like for her to vacate the property.

Thanks.
 

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look up the ontario rental housing tribunal website....I think the form you are looking for is n4 or 11 maybee, going from memory on that one.

I personally would talk to the tenant, let them know that they are in arrears, paying after the 1st is not acceptable. If they need to get a loan from a family member to catch up, then that is what they have to do, otherwise they will have to give you a date in the near future that they will be out by. If they have a problem with any of that, then give them their paperwork for the notice of eviction.

Good Luck.
 
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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks.

I was looking at the N4 form earlier as well, as it was mentioned in other similar posts.

However how much weight does this form carry realistically and practically?
I mean is this something she can just laugh off and put aside?
Is this something that the small claims courts will take seriously and rule an eviction date on her?
 

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The only way to evict someone in Ontario is the use of the N-4 and use of the Landlord & Tenant Board.

You can request post dated checks but if she doesn't give you any you're out of luck.

I am a little concerned with your post because it shows an entire lack of understanding about tenants and the business of renting in general. First of all most tenants are not going to have perfect credit and great jobs if they did they would own their own home rather than renting.

Secondly the OREA rental application is invasive and extremely long. It also doesn't even include most of what I like to see on an application.

I like photocopies of ORIGINAL documents such as Driver's license or Health card and SIN card.

Original documents for proof of income such as pay stub, or in case of direct deposit a print out of bank records.

Credit checks are useful for determining length of occupancy at previous addresses, previous addresses and if people pay their bills. If someone has a string of previous addresses 4-5 months apart it is very likely that they are being evicted.

Landlord checks are completely useless.

Employment checks via the phone are completely useless.

Due to privacy regulations no landlord or employer are allowed to tell you if they do or do not work/live there. It is highly problematic.

Finally the best information I get about a tenant is in the showing. Evaluating the tenant is an art. Getting your questions answered without performing an interrogation is hard. I look for inconsistencies and small reveals. Keep in mind that 60% of all communication is non verbal and if you intuit that someone is lying they probably are. I go more by feeling then I look at the paperwork.

In any case it doesn't sound like you have a terrible tenant on your hands. It does sound like she is struggling to pay and the place is no longer affordable for her. I suggest you have a talk with her and see if she would like out of her lease. She might be grateful.

Further being in a situation like this does not really constitute being a bad tenant in my opinion. Life happens and making decisions like moving into a place then splitting up with a spouse/boyfriend or losing a job. These are tragic life events that can happen to anyone.

Oh and by the way.... the guy who was on the lease that moved out and left Mrs. "Bad tenant" holding the bag on a lease she can't afford on her own. He is still legally responsible for 50% of the rent.
 
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Discussion Starter #6
Agreed that life happens, and a certain degree of compassion is required (and was granted)
However hearing the repeated tales of why she isnt able to pay has a limit.

In regards to serving the N4, since i have limited exposure to this process, how much weight does it carry?
I mean, can she refuse to sign it, and if so is she still obliged to appear to any Landlord and Tenant Board hearing?

Furthermore, how does an individual forcefully get evicted if the ruling states that they are to vacate the property and they refuse to do so - is it done through the police?
 

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If I recall, when you issue the N4, if they refuse to sign or are not home when you deliver it, you have to wait for an extra week or two to proceed with the next step. Again, I think this is on the Ontario Rental Housing Tribunal website.

It has been a long time since I have had to issue an N4. (Thank God) In my instance I spoke with the tenant, they too gave me a sob story, however, like Berubeland stated, the vibe I got was not convincing, so I issued the N4. I had bills to pay too. The tenant left the following weekend. And the place was not wrecked or anything. I had it rented out for the start of the next month.
 

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Ok when you sign a lease and accept the initial funds and hand over the keys you are turning over "legal possession" of the property. This means that use of that space no longer belongs to you until the tenants turn "legal possession" back over to you by vacating or you get a court order that gives you back "legal possession" of the premises.

There are limited reasons the court will issue an order to give you back "legal possession" one of which is non payment of rent.

The process in Ontario that gives you back "legal possession" of your property starts with the N-4 found here.

http://www.ltb.gov.on.ca/en/Forms/STEL02_111310.html

It is the only form you can use to start the process. She does not have to sign it. You need to serve it in an approved way, the easiest way is to deliver it straight into her mailbox. Then you fill out and sign the certificate of service found here.

http://www.ltb.gov.on.ca/en/Forms/STEL02_111348.html

She has 14 days to pay the arrears or you can file the N-4, certificate of service and the L-1 another form known as the application to evict a tenant for non-payment of rent and to collect the rent the tenant owes found here.

http://www.ltb.gov.on.ca/en/Forms/STEL02_111309.html

Then you must either go to the Landlord & Tenant Board with the N-4, certificate of service and the L-1 at which time you will pay $170 and get a court date. I highly recommend going in person, the nice ladies at the front counter will let you know if you have any information missing or if your dates are wrong. If your dates are wrong you must start over with the N-4. I also recommend reading all the instructions on the Landlord & Tenant Board's website. Beside every form there are instructions to help filling out the form.

When you go to file your application the Board will give you your application back stamped and with an additional page included called the notice of hearing. You must then file another certificate of service which you can fax back to the Board that you have delivered the notice of hearing and the L-1 application. You must write the file number on the second certificate of service.

So court day comes along make sure you go!!! If she doesn't show up you will just be called at some point in the beginning of the process and the Adjudicator (Judge) will ask you if you know why she didn't show up. If she does show I highly recommend you use mediation where she may agree to leave or make out a payment plan to pay rent and her arrears. When you are done you will either have a mediated agreement a mediated order or a standard order. The standard order gives her an additional 11 days to pay and stay from the date it is issued which is typically a couple day after the court day.

In any case you will get a final date after which if she does not pay the rent you will bring a copy of the order and take it down to the Sheriff's office which in Toronto is located in probably the most inconvenient location ever... Bay Street across from the bus terminal. Parking is a problem. There you will get to pay $320-$380 depending on mileage. They will give you a form with a day to call in if she is still not gone. They will also send her a letter. Then if she is still not gone a few largish guys will come and tell her to take what she can carry and wait while a locksmith changes the locks. Then you must allow her to come and remove her belongings for 72 hours.

At any time during this process she can pay the rent owing and she is allowed to stay. It will take at least 3 to 4 months from start to finish if you are prompt with all your forms and nothing else untowards happens.

The point is that when you are embarking on this process the only thing you can control about the timeline is the issuing of the N-4. If you give it today or next month or the month after that when she owes even more rent all it does is add to your 4 month timeline.

In your case because you are doing this the first time I suggest you serve the N-4 immediately if it goes beyond that hire a paralegal who is experienced in Landlord & Tenant Board matters and hire them. Don't waste your money on a lawyer for years now paralegals have been the main go to people for evictions. In fact many lawyers have very limited experience with these matters. They mostly deal with the higher courts. Pay attention to what the paralegal does and next time or the time after that once you have a little more experience you can tackle it yourself if you are decent at that kind of situation. If you cry at the drop of a hat or are likely to be angry and loud rather than cool and composed don't represent yourself.

If you are in the Toronto area pm me and I can give you the name and number of a good paralegal with 30 years experience. Due to the change in laws I can no longer perform evictions when the new rules came in I didn't qualify for grandfather status as a paralegal. I can only do evictions when I am the property manager. Truth be told I just don't like it :)
 

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Oh and do put "Mr. I'm running out on my lease" that no longer lives there on the N-4 and all subsequent documents. HE IS LEGALLY RESPONSIBLE.

Serve him as well with all the documents !!!

This will pressure her to leave sooner as he will also apply pressure and he may help her out as his name will also be ruined unless he pays up.
 
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Discussion Starter #12
Great, thanks a lot for your detailed advice Berubeland. Much appreciated.

I'm going to try to get a hold of her as soon as possible and discuss the possibility of early termination of the lease - and proceed with the N11 form if it's mutually agreed upon from the onset.

Otherwise I'll proceed with the N4.

Will keep you posted should there be any other surprises =)
 

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I feel for you. I have recently found myself in a similar situation (I asked for input in another thread). I hope that this first negative experience has not influenced you to give up on your landlording adventure. We have been doing this longer than you, and in general, we have always been very fortunate to have great tenants who pay in full, on time and take great care of their homes. I think like most things in life, the 80/20 rule applies - 80% of tenants are great and 20% of tenants will cause 80% of your landlording headaches.
 

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After all this eviction process is done, does the tenant have anything to lose? Like does it effect their credit rating or something?
 

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Jungle it really sucks.... unfortunately the Privacy Act protects horrid tenants. There used to be a database called Rent Check that requested all the eviction cases from the Landlord & Tenant Board which used to be great. Since the Privacy Act came in they cannot get the information, they rely on submissions which is highly inaccurate.

So there is no real way to find out if someone has ripped off a landlord even if they win at the Board.

If you want to garanshee someone's wages or seize their bank account you need to take your order to small claims which takes a long time and cost more money.

I recently found out that Transunion does not accept Orders to put on someone's credit report. I find this absolutely disgusting because of the number of landlords that are their clients. Equifax does however; if you have the person's SIN number you can submit it to Equifax.

Alternatively you can get a collection agency and if they collect you get 65% or so of the outstanding balance.

So yeah it is really horrible how these deadbeats are protected by the privacy act.
 

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Oh and do put "Mr. I'm running out on my lease" that no longer lives there on the N-4 and all subsequent documents. HE IS LEGALLY RESPONSIBLE.

Serve him as well with all the documents !!!
So Mr ran off and didn't leave me his new address/contact. Mrs won't tell me where he is or maybe doesn't know. How do I find him so that I may serve him the notice/N4?

BTW, great forum and excellent advice. I am a 'wonna be' landlord and am trying to learn from experiences of others.
 

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Very interesting that you can put an order to Equifax for their credit report. I wonder how much debt a collection agency will go after? I'm guessing a few grand wouldn't cut it.

Your posts are very detailed, you seem informative. But it's kinda scary reading all this, I don't know how people with multiple dwellings deal with this stuff on a regular basis.
 

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People work the stats, even with no screening criteria in place and I have worked in building like these 90% of tenants will pay their rent.

So if your primary concern is that the tenants pay their rent then most people will do this.

In buildings that have practically no entrance requirements they have a very proactive legal department. Almost every building has a streamlined process for evicting tenants.

For instance in the building I worked in, we would issue about 80 N-4's on the 5th, then proceed 14-15 days later to applications. By then we would have about 6-7 cases to proceed on and then at the end have 3-5 evictions per month. This was in a building with 400 suites. Still I can count on one hand the number of times that people were still there when the Sheriff came most people do leave before they actually come.

As an interesting aside note..... I had to type each of those N-4's by hand because our rental promotions gave a rental discount which were lost retroactively when the person didn't pay the rent. Some of these discounts were over 200$ per month. For instance if the person had been there 6 months and got issued an N-4 I would have to look up the amount of their discount and calculate it and add it to the outstanding amount. The process was excruciating. Most building have a system where you walk up to the computer push a button and it spits out the N-4's.
 

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So Mr ran off and didn't leave me his new address/contact. Mrs won't tell me where he is or maybe doesn't know. How do I find him so that I may serve him the notice/N4?

BTW, great forum and excellent advice. I am a 'wonna be' landlord and am trying to learn from experiences of others.
When he filled out the forms didn't he have a contact #?

Other than that, how can you search out an individual? (facebook, 411, google?)
 

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You should have employment information for a tenant.

I use email a lot as well...

Cell phones are good and if you're really serious about hunting them down you'll call all their references and leave messages.

In any case for the purposes of the Landlord & Tenant Board you serve it to the address. The point is he should know that he is responsible and the rent is not being paid. The whole idea of the exercise is to tell everyone involved that the rent is not paid and pressure them into paying up.
 
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