Just ask the Alberta woman who has seen her investment property taken over by a tenant, identifying himself as a Freeman-on-the-Land, members of a group of so-called sovereign citizens.
Rebekah Caverhill rented half of her duplex in Calgary’s upmarket Parkdale neighbourhood in November 2011 on the recommendation of a friend. In return for three months reduced rent, the self-described handyman agreed to spruce up the property.
Instead, upon inspection, Caverhill discovered that he completed destroyed the interior of the unit and changed the locks.
Having ignored eviction notices, the case will most likely end up in the civil courts. Now real estate lawyers and agents fear that naïve landlords, and especially pensioners, are being targeted by rogue tenants.
Mark Weisleder, a Toronto-based lawyer, says that all tenants have to be relentless and do whatever it takes to evict such rogue tenants.
Speaking to CREW, Weisleder offers five tips to avoid renting your unit to rogue tenants.
• Advertise that you will be doing background and credit checks
• Check out the tenant on social media; for example, if this woman’s tenant was checked out on LinkedIn, you would see that he claimed to be the senior chief justice at Tacit Supreme law court
• Regularly inspect the property
• Interview the tenant where they currently live and see how they treat someone else’s property
• If you suspect trouble, do not wait; get an experienced paralegal to assist you right away.
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