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Man sleeping in car says tenant owes more than $31,000 and won’t leave rental property

Just last year, Marco owned two houses under his name, but spent months sleeping in his car. All because the tenants who couldn’t be evicted aren’t paying their rent.

Marco, 33, lost his marital home to a separation agreement in January. He still owns income properties. Two suite home in Collingwood, Ontario. — but says his upstairs tenant hasn’t paid since June. Nothing downstairs since February.

“I pay all my housing costs, my mortgage, my property taxes, but I can’t afford the rent with the terrible financial situation I’m in,” he said. I am drowning.”

CBC News did not reveal Marco’s last name. Because he works as a fee-based mortgage specialist and fears it will affect his employment.

He filed a complaint with the Ontario Landlords and Tenants Board (LTB) against both tenants. But due to the backlog that formed during the pandemic, the arbitration process, once thought to take him only one to three months, has ballooned to about eight months. His year-long delay in fully addressing the controversy is becoming more common.

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“I’m at the bottom of my life,” Marco said. “I don’t understand how this could happen.”

The problem appears to be widespread, with tenants across the country refusing to pay rent, refuse to evict properties, or both. In British Columbia, the typical waiting period for disputes to be heard has skyrocketed from about a month to over four months. Nova Scotia is also reporting delays.

The backlog that has formed during the pandemic has ballooned a process that used to take just one to three months for Ontario’s Landlords and Tenants Board (LTB) to about eight months. (Kimberly Ivany/CBC)

In Ontario, as in many provinces, a renter can legally stay in a rented unit without paying rent until the dispute is heard and an eviction order is issued.

Asquith Allen, director of policy and regulatory affairs for the Ontario Federation of Rental Home Suppliers (FRPO), said this, combined with the backlog, often creates a favorable environment for tenants.

“More and more people are [Landlord and Tenant] The board is taking its time to file a lawsuit,” he said.

The emotional strain on property owners can be “devastating,” he said.

Marco says his basement tenant didn’t pay the full rent after he and his wife purchased the property in September 2021, asking for a partial payment instead.

Marco says tenants were already living in the property when he and his wife purchased it in September 2021. (Google Map)

Later that month, a city water pipe broke, flooding the basement. Marco says he offered to reduce his next $1,700 rent payment by $1,000, but the tenant continued to pay even less for several months, and in February he paid no rent at all.

A second-floor tenant stopped paying $1,900 in rent in June, he said.

Marco estimates he owes over $31,000.

“It blows my mind that people can get away with this,” he said. “If you steal that much money from the store, you’ll be charged.”

Tenants were already living there when Marco and his wife bought the house. He said they asked the sales agent for the last six months’ rental statements, but he was “distraught” and pressured to close the deal.

“We should have given it a clue,” he said. “I didn’t do enough due diligence.”

The tenant who rents this Abbotsford, British Columbia home has refused to pay rent for almost two years and destroyed it when an eviction notice was ordered. (Submitted by Morgen Yuan)

He hired a lawyer to try and expedite the case with LTB, but so far he hasn’t heard back. He has only received an automated response that his complaint has been filed and he is awaiting a hearing date.

“Once you get to the place you found it, you have to submit an application. [Landlord and Tenant] Board, you’re pretty much at their mercy,” Allen said.

A spokeswoman said the LTB is considering adding more hearings to address outstanding issues, but said there are “many considerations.”

Ontario Attorney General Doug Downey, who oversees LTB, declined an interview request. In a statement, a spokesperson said the government was making “significant progress in appointing additional adjudicators” to the LTB, but did not give details.

Elsewhere, in Abbotsford, British Columbia, a tenant has refused to pay rent for most of 2021 and the first half of 2022. When he was finally evicted, he demolished the interior of the house, cutting the roof support beams, stripping the drywall, and throwing about the insulation.

“I’ve never seen anything like it,” said real estate agent Morgen Yuan.

See | Evictions Homeowner Sleeps in Basement Because Tenants Won’t Move Out:

The Ontario family lives in a basement due to delays in tenant and landlord trials.Publish

A family in Ontario is forced to live in a basement after being unable to evict a delinquent tenant due to a long waiting list for a state court.

Yuan said the police said they would not prosecute because the rental issue is outside their jurisdiction.

In Brampton, Ontario, Hassan Khan, his wife, and one-year-old sleep on one mattress in the basement of their home. Mr. and Mrs. Khan rented the space during his six-month stay in India.

The last time the tenant paid the $2,400 rent in full was in December. They then made partial payments and stopped completely in May.

Khan is stuck paying for housing so they can’t afford another place for themselves.

They also can’t afford to do much, he says. The family spent most of the summer in their backyard, driving to Toronto’s Pearson Airport a few times to watch planes take off and land.

“We do things that don’t require spending money,” Khan said. “I sympathize with the feelings of my children and my wife.”

When a landlord files a complaint with an LTB, “you’re pretty much at their mercy,” says Asquith Allen of the Ontario Rental Home Suppliers Association. (Kimberly Ivany/CBC)

Six months after he filed a complaint with the LTB, the LTB expedited his case for failing to prove that Khan was experiencing “significant financial difficulties.” refused the request to

“[The tenants] Laugh when I threaten to go to eviction,” he said.

Go Public asked the tenants, a couple in their late 40s, why they stopped paying rent.

“We have some problems,” said the husband. He recently claimed he lost $90,000 in business investments, accusing him of having only sporadic jobs.

The man swore to pay. However, according to Khan, he only paid one quarter of the rent in September and October.

Ontario Ombudsman started an investigation The LTB delay occurred in January after receiving 110 complaints from property owners, tenants, advocacy groups, MPPs and other stakeholders. Since then, he has received 1,700 more complaints.

A spokesperson told Go Public that the investigation is in the “final stages,” but no release date has been set for the report.

Marco, on the other hand, says that life outside the car is tough.

“It’s very difficult,” he said. “My mental health is deteriorating.”

He hopes to one day get back what he has borrowed, evict the tenants, and move into the house himself.

He also vows never to rent to a tenant again.

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Man sleeping in car says tenant owes more than $31,000 and won’t leave rental property

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