landlord tenant

Ontario mom and pop landlords share horror stories about bad tenants

Tenants often complain, usually for good reason, about fears of losing their home and renovictions plans, but now a group of landlords is working together for support, and also to share their own horror stories about bad tenants.

Small Ownership Landlords of Ontario (SOLO) started in the early spring of 2020 as a result of the numerous issues small Ontario Landlords were facing with the Landlord Tenant Board of Ontario. They now have about 4,200 people in their Facebook group.

Unlike large corporate building owners, people who rent out one or two units struggled during lockdowns while Premier Doug Ford told people to stop paying rent and eviction bans started, says SOLO chairperson Boubacar Bah.

"We need to have a way to help these landlords more, from, number one, losing their property because of non-paying tenants," Bah tells blogTO.

Normally, the relationship between tenants and small building landlords is good, and the smaller rental properties offer affordable housing.

But since the start of the pandemic, that relationship has shifted in some cases. Many small landlords depend on rental income to pay their mortgages, but with an eviction ban, some ended up losing their properties.

There were also backlogs at the Landlord and Tenant Board, which led to further delays and even worse some tenants would "destroy the property" during this time, Bah says.

"It's very traumatizing," he says.

One landlord describes a months-long saga with a tenant who disturbed neighbours with noise and left dog waste in the halls. When they finally saw the unit walls were spray painted with "f**k you" and it had "been destroyed to the point that it is uninhabitable."

Another had a "tenant from hell" who apparently didn't tell the owner the pipes had burst and they found water everywhere with clothes on the floor stuck in the water that had frozen.

A landlord says a "fraudster" left them out more than $30,000 because the tenant has refused to pay his rent for over a year. Another home in Oshawa looks to be trashed after a tenant eviction.

SOLO is supporting landlords who find themselves in this type of situation, says Bah. While a large corporation can afford the loss of a few tenants not paying but a small landlord can't, he says.

"Unlike the big corporation, you know they have their lawyer, they have the property manager and the lobbyists to get all kind of thing," Bah says. "So this is how this is how SOLO come about."

Bah says most tenants are good people but the bad ones can break a small landlord.

"We are mom and pop who are not there to maximize the profit just trying to break even and we are very vulnerable to non-paying tenants."

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