Just talking about our Peterborough house situation today has made my eye all twitchy.
Been trying not to think about it too much because it stresses me out, but hubby’s right in that we can’t just ignore it and hope she’s not further demolishing our house. If you missed the story, you can catch up here – but the condensed version is that – before we learned that in Ontario LTB = Legalized Theft Board, the Sheriff’s Office just takes your money and doesn’t do their job, and that OW & ODSP will reward tenants for bad behaviour by continuing to give them their shelter allowance even when they’re not paying rent (and that once you DO get them out and get an order for your damages, that order isn’t worth the price of the piece of paper, never mind the stamp they use to mail it) ….
Anyway, before we learned all that (the hard way), we had decided that rather than continuing to run our Peterborough house as a rooming house we would simplify things by renting to a family. Simplify – ha! In theory, rooming house tenants are a pain in the butt, and tend to be dirty, and we were constantly having to go there to show rooms, solve issues between them, and so on….. renting to a family would cost us $$ – wouldn’t be able to charge as much …. BUT – in theory – wouldn’t have the turnover, and the parent(s) would be responsible for the home and be motivated to take better care of the place and all that good stuff.
So … we advertised it and found a tenant – a single mom with four kids, one of whom had a live in boyfriend – between the 2 of them they had enough shelter allowance to cover the rent and the mom PROMISED, cross her heart hope to die, PROMISED repeatedly, that she would take good care of our house. There was a problem with last month’s rent – as in they didn’t actually have the whole amount (surprise!) … but they really, really needed a place and she PROMISED and… yeah….
For awhile things went okay – we thought. The rent was paid, and aside from issues with the furnace and the hot water heater – both of which we were able to have dealt with by phone – all was fine. But then the boyfriend disappeared and along with him, half the rent… and every time I tried to arrange a visit to go see what was going on there were excuses and it was not convenient and blah blah blah…
I won’t rewrite the whole thing re: when I finally overrode the excuses and showed up – posted that on my other blog – but if a picture is worth a thousand words, here ya go:
This one picture represents the whole thing pretty well (but there are others if you want to see them).
Not only did she not take care of my house in ANY way, they have pretty much demolished it. A fridge and dishwasher are gone…. most of the walls, gone; windows, doors & fixtures, broken/damaged beyond repair. Thousands and thousands of dollars worth of damage …. probably more than they’ve paid in rent the entire time they’ve been there.
Legally, we could have called the police and had them evicted immediately. We retained the use of the attic, with access through the house, and the use of the kitchen – and if you share the kitchen you’re not covered by the Residential Tenancies Act – but she is a single mom with 4 kids …. I would feel really bad forever if we had done that.
We gave her some time to try to get some help to fix some of the damages – at least to clean up the mess of clothes in the basement (I bought her garbage bags and gloves, even) …. they did not.
Gave her some time to find a way to pay the rent – they’re still $400/month short which means that they are not even covering the expenses of the house at this point. She did not.
If they had made any sort of real effort to solve the issues, we were willing to work with them to try to retain their tenancy. But there have been NO efforts whatsoever that we can see. None. Stories & excuses, that’s all.
So now the deal is that she needs to be out by 31-Oct, and we have a signed N11 to that effect.
AT that point, if she’s not out, I WILL call the police and have them removed – and I won’t feel bad about it either…we have, I think, been more than reasonable given how much they’ve stolen from us, and the thousands more it’s going to cost us to repair everything.
In the meantime the plan was that we would get there every week – either hubby & I, or my daughter – to make sure things aren’t getting worse (they are, actually *sigh*) and to start getting some of the work done and so on….
Week before last, we met with a couple of real estate agents … really discouraging… took this past week off…
This morning, we talked and decided that we need to go down this week…. going to book appointments to get quotes re: replacing the windows, and probably replace the sinks and vanities in both of their bathrooms…. I need to get measurements re: replacing the shower stall doors, as well (smashed to bits).
Still aren’t 100% sure whether we’re going to be able to sell it, or if we’ll have to go back to renting it (God forbid!) but definitely need to get things cleaned, fixed, painted, repaired, replaced. None of which we can afford right now, of course… but what the hell can you do?
Sure hope lots of people in this area get bedbugs this year!!!! We need a major epidemic 🙁 And I need to get 4 courses to teach for next semester for sure…. preferably at 2 colleges, not just one. Unlikely though.
Basically, we need a miracle.