This is in response to the recent posting from Patricia Rodgers, a Barrie, Ontario tenant in the process of being evicted for non-payment of rent. Ms. Rodgers was recently given 24 hour written notice of our intention to enter the property with her landlord and property manager, who were frankly in fear of entering the property without us. This is what Ms. Rodgers posted, right here on Kijiji, directly above our own advertisement for services to landlords, on October 9, 2009:
Is there anyone out there that has been in conflict with Landlord Legal?? Have you been evicted? Have they come into your home and did an “Outgoing Maintenance Inspection” and taken pictures of your person belongings while you are still living in the property?
Send me a reply to this ad and we can talk. I am currently proceeding to file a complaint with the Privacy Commissioner Office of Canada. They feel that they have all rights to do so but in all reality they do not! If you don’t give consent for them to take the pictures they are not able to do so.
Give me an email! if you have been affected in anyway by these people.
True to form, Ms. Rodgers interfered with this lawful inspection, to the point of sounding an alarm, indicating to the alarm company that “intruders” were in the house, resulting in a police response which included the K9 unit on a busy Saturday night, a waste of our valuable police resources.
Landlords do in fact have the right to take photos during routine or outgoing maintenance inspections. As legal representatives, we are accustomed to many situations where landlords and tenants end up in heated courtroom battles and as they say, “pictures are worth a thousand words”. Sometimes, tenants claim shoddy maintenance by a landlord when in fact, their own living standards are squalid to say the least. Landlords must prepare to defend any litigation by their tenants, and photos are one of the methods we employ to do so. Further, taking photos of rented premises protect good tenants who may be accused of damaging property by unscrupulous landlords.
In fact, a recent battle was waged before the Landlord and Tenant Board in Kitchener, wherein this very issue, can the landlord take photos, was challenged, and the landlords rights were upheld before that Tribunal thanks to the expert guidance of the OLA, who represented the landlords. Those tenants have also been evicted.
Regarding the Privacy Act, the only piece of legislation that supersedes the Residential Tenancies Act is the Human Rights Code. Clearly, the recent Board decision takes precedence.
Good tenants never see us. Landlords in Ontario are largely powerless, and rely on us to enforce their legal rights with everything we’ve got in our arsenal. Knowledge, experience, and courage to stand up to those who play games, manipulate the process, threaten violence, and refuse to take responsibilty for their obligations as tenants of rented premises.
Shame on you, Ms. Rodgers. You are clearly a very bright individual and we can only hope that you will one day use your intelligence for something useful and positive instead of waging inappropriate battles with your landlords and those who choose to protect them.
The Sheriff will be coming to see you in a short few days. We trust you have left the property in the condition in which it was given to you.