Consequences of a bad tenant revealed

Imagine this: You have a tenant who has missed two months of rent and YOU’RE the one who has to pay HIM to leave YOUR house. And when he finally leaves, you’re left with this – a trashed apartment.

It’s a situation that Tyler Souilliere, a real estate investor and founder of TySoull Real Estate Group in Windsor, Ont. recently dealt with at one of his investment properties.

“We were able to get them to leave not by following the system; the Landlord Tenant Board, but by offering him $500 and his last month’s rent back (which is supposed to be a security deposit),” Souilliere told CREW. “Otherwise, he would’ve played the system, got to live for another month or possibly two or three for free, then left.

“The process of evicting a tenant now has become such a joke, that you stand to lose easily three months of rent. If the tenant decides not to pay, along with all the fees involved with taking them to the Landlord Tenant Board, such as filing for the eviction, paying a paralegal possibly to handle the eviction, getting a sheriff and then repairing any damages and marketing it to rent again.”

The first time Souilliere walked this road, he took a $4,000 hit to his wallet. This latest case is yet another reminder for investors at a time when landlords are seeing little recourse from the Landlord Tenant Board.

After receiving complaints from neighbours, Souilliere started the process of evicting the tenant at the beginning of June this year and submitted forms to the Landlord Tenant Board, which takes about three to six weeks to process. The tenant was already a month behind since he hadn't paid for May.

In this case, a small mishap force the Windsor landlord to have to re-file the paperwork, which took additional time as his rental profits dwindled. Fed up with the process, Souilliere offered the tenant $500 and his last month’s rent.

While the tenant took the deal, he also left the place trashed, leaving Souilliere to foot the clean-up bill and repair minor damages.

The situation gives a resounding warning to other landlords to do the following: check your property as often as necessary until you feel the tenant will honour your investment and take care of the place; screen your tenants as much as possible; and, build a relationship with law enforcement.

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