toronto rent landlord lambo

Toronto condo tenant drives a Lamborghini but doesn't pay their rent

Someone lives in a swanky downtown Toronto penthouse, drives a status-symbol car, but in a case of truly living beyond one's means, doesn't pay their monthly rent.

Housing policy expert and rent recovery specialist Varun Sriskanda tells blogTO that, "a few months ago, a landlord contacted me to take over management of a penthouse condo at 560 Front Street West."

Sriskanda explains that the landlord wants to evict the tenant for non-payment of rent, as the landlord claims the monthly fee of $5,000 has not been paid for over ten months.

"The rent owed to the landlord has surpassed the monetary jurisdiction of the Landlord and Tenant Board; hence we are seeking relief in the Superior Court of Justice," says Sriskanda.

"We expect the rental losses to be close to $45,000 once everything is done and we have possession."

Landlords aren't exactly a group that many sympathize with amid record-high rents in cities like Toronto, but Sriskanda stresses the human cost of this situation.

"The owner of the penthouse is a small landlord who made the purchase as a way to invest, save for the future, and hopefully be able to one day give his kids a paid-off condominium in one of North America's most difficult housing markets," he explains, adding that "It's the dream of most small landlords in the city."

But after roughly a year of non-payment, Sriskanda says the owner is suffering "serious financial loss," and that "the cost of carrying the condo is crushing him with debt."

Even if you're not one to sympathize with landlords in this inflated housing market, non-payment of rent is a tough one to justify, especially if the tenant in question drives a freakin' Lamborghini.

Sriskanda, already angered by the landlord's struggles managing his finances with no rent income, learned of a phone call the owner received from the building concierge that sent him over the edge.

On Monday afternoon, Sriskanda says that the landlord was contacted by the condo building's management, asking him to contact his tenant and request they move their white Lamborghini, which was blocking a fire route.

"I was furious," he says. "I'm furious that it's been years, and nothing has been done to fix the backlog at the Landlord and Tenant Board. I'm furious that my client is facing serious financial harm while the Tenant is able to live a lavish lifestyle of penthouses and lambos at our expense."

Sriskanda argues that "it doesn't matter if the car is a rental, lease or financed — it's absurd this province has created a system where a tenant can lease a condominium, never pay rent, not be evicted for over a year and instead use the money to drive a Lamborghini."

He says that it's not the first time he's encountered tenants with high-end entails and luxury cars defaulting on rent.

"When Leonard and Natalie Waldman were being evicted from their Highland Crescent house, they were driving BMWs," said Sriskanda of a high-profile case covered by blogTO.

"Last month, I evicted a tenant from a house at Yonge & St Clair — they couldn't pay the $3000 a month in rent for close to four months before they voluntarily agreed to leave. Part of the application against them was the unsafe charging of their Tesla."

Eviction is a long, hard-fought process in Ontario, but Sriskanda says he is currently working with the tenant of this penthouse to remove him from the unit and move him into something more in his price range.

"By summer, I expect this unit will be occupied by someone who will pay. After all, most renters in this province do pay rent on time and in full," concluded Sriskanda.

Lead photo by

Varun Sriskanda

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