Posts Tagged ‘legal help’
Not even the surprise attendance of a harmless-looking Yorkshire terrier could persuade a judge to exercise leniency on Tuesday in Canmore small claims court.
Provincial court Judge Les Grieve stood his ground when a former tenant pulled the male pooch, named Boo, from inside his coat and tried to claim innocence regarding his landlords’ badly soiled carpet. The proof, according to the evidence, had already trickled into the rug.
Grieve then awarded Cochrane landlords Bonnie White and Bryan Niles $19,182 in damages — more than half of it to replace the damaged carpet caused by the former tenants’ dogs repeatedly peeing on it. The carpet, he concluded, was so ruined that it had to be replaced.
Grieve ordered Sylvia Wilson, Lori Hersey and Michael Hersey to fork over $10,000 for the carpet, $1,800 for one month unpaid rent last April, $5,400 for another three months lost rent while the GlenEagles house was uninhabitable, and carpet cleaning costs and other repairs.
FYI – Please See the full Bill 112 here:
This bill has passed first reading and has gone to second reading.
The Bill makes several amendments to the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006, including the following:
1. The Bill increases the time limit for most tenant and some landlord applications to the Landlord and Tenant Board from one to two years. Tenants can go back in time two years to file a complaint.
2. The Bill requires a landlord who terminates a tenancy for personal use to compensate the tenant and expands the circumstances in which a landlord is required to compensate a tenant if the landlord terminates a tenancy for the purpose of demolition or conversion to non-residential use. Formula given for compensation.
3. The Bill prohibits a landlord from increasing the rent charged to a new tenant by more than the guideline and abolishes landlord applications to the Board for above guideline rent increases where there has been a significant increase in the cost of utilities. No new rent increases to market rent beyond the guideline when you have tenant turnover.
4. The Bill requires that the Board dismiss an application from a landlord who has been given a work order under section 225 of the Act or an order under section 15.2 of the Building Code Act, 1992 and has not completed the items in the work order or the order. Excuse for not paying rent.
5. The Bill requires a landlord to obtain a licence with respect to a rental unit in a residential complex containing six or more rental units in order to enter into a tenancy agreement or renew an existing tenancy agreement. Money grab for Multi-family 6+
Something that we should not ignore! This would not only radically change the rental industry affecting each and every landlord from the smallest LL to the largest corporation, it would demand the creation of a huge new bureaucracy policing the actions of all of us!
Find your Ontario MPP here: http://www.ontla.on.ca/web/members/members_current.do?locale=en
Make sure they know how you feel. Call them or put something down in writing, make sure that they hear their constituents point of view.
Please also make your feelings known to the Minister of Housing:
Hon Rick Bartolucci, MPP
Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing
Ontario Liberal Party
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
777 Bay Street
Toronto, Ontario M5G 2E5
By MICHELE MANDEL, Toronto Sun
The Bentley-driving, condo-trashing tenant from hell who likes to claim she’s a Persian princess is back before the Landlord and Tenant Board for the umpteenth time.
Call her Mojgan Amir-Davani — or by her other six known monikers: Mozhe Aamere, Mozhe (Mozhgan) Avanni, Mozhe Amerjhajar, Mozhe Sheena Mere, Mozhgan Amere Ghajaar or Amiri Mojgan.
Whatever her alias, her modus operandi is the same: She’s terrorized at least four high-end condo owners in North York, convincing them she’s a successful broadcasting executive only to turn into a destructive squatter who expertly plays the system for months of free rent before she’s finally turfed out and moves on to her next victim.
We first told her tale here in January, of frustrated landlord Jane Randall who rented her investment property to the dark haired beauty only to be stiffed with $12,000 in unpaid rent and thousands more in damage.
Claiming to be suffering from cancer and refusing to move, her dog’s feces spilling off her balcony, the carpets stained with blood and urine, Amir-Davani was brilliantly manipulative.
When Randall repeatedly turned to the tenancy board for help, she was told to wait. And wait some more.
Six months later, she finally left only to move down the street into a Hollywood Ave. condo owned by another small landlord who’s now going through the same horror story.
We’ll call him Frank because he’s too embarrassed to use his real name. Renting out his two-bedroom luxury unit for the first time, the 35-year-old scientist was counting on the $1,920 monthly rent to help pay off his student loans and mortgage.
He figured his realtor had found him the ideal tenant when she arrived in a chauffeur-driven Bentley to sign the deal in February.
She said she was newly arrived from California and provided a reference no one seems to have checked.
Within a few months, his kitchen was damaged by fire, tenants below were complaining about feces dripping from her balcony and her rent cheques began to bounce as hard as a rubber ball.
Amir-Davani didn’t respond to a request for comment.
During a recent inspection, a contractor told Frank it will cost $9,800 to repair the damage so far. He’s also out $2,000 in legal fees and at least $6,000 in arrears.
“It’s hard to sleep some nights,” Frank admits. “The financial cost is one thing. But then there’s the emotional thing: Is she ever going to be out?”
He’s turned to Harry Fine, president of Landlord Solutions and the paralegal who helped evict Amir-Davani from a Harrison Garden condo in 2007.
“I see it every week and my heart goes out to them,” says Fine of naive landlords scammed by professional squatters. “They don’t check references. They don’t do credit checks.”
She finally agreed to move by Aug. 7 as long as Frank waived her back rent and damages. Not surprisingly, the date came and went, with her still comfortably ensconced in his ruined condo.
What she didn’t know is that Fine arranged for her to be confronted by Frank, Randall, and her 2007 landlord when she arrived at her eviction hearing Aug. 9.
“Like a husband walking into a room to be faced by his three ex-wives who had been exchanging stories, the tenant walked into the hearing room Monday morning to find not one but three of her victims,” Fine recalls. “She was furious.”
A landlord and tenant adjudicator gave her until Aug. 31 to leave. But Frank’s hardly home free: As soon as Amir-Davani files an appeal — and she’s vowed to do so — he’ll be back waiting for yet another hearing and yet another eviction date.
“The legal system just takes forever and is so weighted to the side of tenants,” he complains.
Which makes even less sense when this notorious tenant has been the subject of so many eviction hearings.
“She’s been in the exact same hearing room and still it goes on? How does someone get away with that?” he sighs.
“She’s the tenant from hell and beyond.”
Being a Landlord in Ontario
I received in the mail yesterday my real estate broker’s regular newsletter. In it there is an article entitled “Becoming a Landlord – Do Your Homework”. The first sentence of the article is “Ontario may just have the strictest legal requirements for landlords in North America.”
In my opinion, the article ought to be re-titled “Becoming a Landlord – Have Your Head Examined.” I don’t know if it’s fair to say that Ontario has the strictest landlord laws, but I think it is very fair to say that the Landlord and Tenant Act is extremely tenant-friendly. My criticism is NOT with the existence of the LTA’s terms, rather it is with the inflexibility of the system. I will be the first to recognize that the legislation was put in place in response to actual examples of what slum-lords have done to tenants. I will also be the first to recognized that even with this legislation in place there are still slum-lords operating in Toronto and throughout the province (thankfully, none of them are my clients). I should also say that in the past I have represented both landlords and tenants in various matters and I do not have a bias in favour of one or the other. The difficulty is that the legislation which was enacted to avoid the abuses by landlords years ago swung the pendulum way over to the other side and now permits abuses by tenants. There is no fair balance. Some will say, “yes, that’s true, but it’s a policy decision made by the legislature that it is entitled to make.” I agree. But that doesn’t make it right and it is ultimately, then, a choice between two evils.
I should also point out that I am dealing with residential tenancies here, not commercial tenancies. So, this will affect small businesses, for example, where they purchase a building that has a main floor store front or office space and then an apartment or apartments in the floor(s) above.
The Ontario legislature’s desire to protect tenants from slum-lords the legislation has turned into a nightmare for decent landlords to get rid of problem tenants. Let’s give a few examples. The first area is rent. If the tenant fails to pay rent on January 1, the landlord must give a notice, if the notice is ignored, the landlord can bring an application to the Landlord and Tenant Board to have the tenancy terminated for non-payment of rent. The Board hearing might not be scheduled until April 1. At any point up until the start of the hearing, the tenant can pay the rent – and remember, we are only talking about January’s rent. If the tenant has failed to pay February and March rent by that time, a new application (or applications) must be filed. So, if a tenant wanted to be perpetually late, the landlord has to bring a series of applications and if the tenant pays at the last second, the landlord is precluded from kicking the tenant out. The legislation was put in place to avoid slum-lords from using the slightest delay in rental payment as an excuse to kick out a rent-controlled tenant and replace him or her with a higher paying tenant. The problem is that it is now open to abuse by tenants.
Another example, I have a client who is a superintendant at an apartment building. The client has a dispute with one of the tenants. One day, my client alleges and I personally believe him but it has never been fully decided at the LTB or in court, the tenant decided to throw a 4 litre bottle of oil off the tenant’s balcony and narrowly missed my client working many stories below. This type of conduct is completely reprehensible and ought to be a justification for immediate eviction of the tenant. An application for this relief was brought to the tribunal. The application was dismissed. Why? Because it was not a “continuing” event. The provision in the legislation was clearly aimed at situations such as tenants who play their music loudly or have parties all the time. The result is that the tenant would have to keep doing acts which endangered my client’s health or amounted to a nuisance for an uninterrupted period of seven days before the tenant could be evicted. Perversely enough, if the tenant does whatever the problem is for six days in a row, then takes a day off, and then goes another six days, then takes another day off, etc., etc. there is little that a landlord can do. Again, a provision in the legislation that is open for abuse by tenants.
A third example, in the most recent round of legislative reform landlords were precluded from being able to request that tenants permit the landlords to directly debit the tenants’ bank accounts for the rental payments. This is joined with the existing provision that landlords cannot ask for post-dated cheques. The only guaranteed obligation of a tenant, regardless of the nature of the tenancy, is that the tenant pays rent. Direct debits permit the landlord to more cost-effectively get paid. The argument against direct debits is that sometimes the tenant doesn’t have the money on the first. If that’s the case then (a) the tenant is in breach of the lease and that’s the tenant’s problem; and (b) if the tenant writes a cheque on January 1 hoping that it will be deposited on January 2 at the landlord’s bank and that by the time it makes it over to the tenant’s bank on January 3 there will be money to cover the cheque, the tenant is engaged in “cheque kiting” which is illegal – and something the law should not be encouraging.
I could go on. Suffice it to say, over the years I have had opportunities with friends and otherwise to invest in real estate which would make me a landlord, either directly or indirectly. In light of Ontario’s legislation, I have steadfastly refused. Those who are landlords are either braver souls than I, or maybe they should have their heads examined.
courtesy of Christoper A.L. Caruana