July 15th, 2012
A Warning For Other Alberta Landlords!
Tenants renting from a landlord in the Gibbons area transformed her nice rental property into a huge dump!
Did they Catch the Tenants?
No. The two tenants have vanished. And she now realizes the legal system cannot help her.
This is why the landlord is issuing a warning to other Alberta landlords.
What is her Warning?
She doesn’t want anyone else to make the same mistakes she made and face the horrible mess she now faces.
Who is Sending Out the Warning?
The Landlords name is Pat Nielsen.
Nielsen says she rented her home to a couple of tenants for two years.
During the first summer, Nielsen took notice the two tenants were not properly taking care of the property.
She saw the tenants never mowed the law or cleared all the weeds growing in the yard. She would always have to ask them to keep up the property and it would take them a long time to get around to actually doing it.
What Did She Do?
Nielsen saw history repeating itself this Spring. Weeds were overgrowing the property and the lawn wasn’t being cut.
She decided “enough was enough” with these two tenants. She issued them an eviction notice. She made it clear she wanted both of them gone from her property within a month.
Did the Tenants Leave After a Month?
The tenants pleaded with her for more time. Eventually Nielsen gave in and decided to give them up to 90 days to move out. This meant they would have to vacate by the end of July.
What Happened Next?
Earlier this week, she posted a 24 hour inspection notice after their cheques bounced. This wasn’t the first time their cheques bounced.
Nielson says she went to the property and the tenants were gone. They had left a mess that was out of this world.
The mess included old equipment, rotten boxes and trash outside.
Inside was even worse.
There were cat feces, empty food containers, dirt in the carpets, clothing and damages to the property.
The landlord contacted the police. The officers showed their sympathy but told her they couldn’t do anything because she failed to complete a “Move-In Report.” This is an inspection that is required to be done under the Alberta Residential Tenancies Act.
A Moving In and Moving Out Inspection Report?
Service Alberta’s Mike Berezowsky states that according to the Alberta Residential Tenancies Act, landlords and tenants much both complete a Move In and Move Out inspection report.
According to Berzowsky:
“If there isn’t an inspection report done when a tenant moves it, if there’s a dispute later on it makes it more difficult if there are some problems.” He continues, “Say, for example, the landlord wants to seek some compensation to damages to the property, well, there’s no evidence of what kind of state the property was in when the tenant moved in.”
What is Nielsen’s Warning to Other Landlords?
Nielsen confesses not getting that inspecting report done was a huge mistake. She hopes other landlords will learn from it.
She wants all landlords to hear her message: “Please don’t make the mistake I made because this is what can happen: that you can find a tenant that can just wreck your whole place.”
It Looks Like There Should be More to Her Warning
Even if she had done the “Move In Inspection” it may not have helped her.
In order to collect money from Tenants from Hell you must be able to find them and take them to court.
Even if you win, you may not collect a cent. Tenants with bad credit ratings or without stable employment are nearly impossible to collect from.
So How Can a Landlord Truly Protect Themselves?
One way is by doing a credit check on a prospective tenant before handing over the key.