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Ontario Landlords Be Careful Who You Choose To Be Your Ontario Tenants

September 13th, 2012 · No Comments · Ontario tenants


The Rules and Laws Are Unfair

The Ontario Landlords Association says tenancy laws in Ontario are tilted too much in favour of tenants and that some are taking advantage of the situation.

Ontario Superior Court Justice Ted Matlow recently called for changes to the system in an Ontario Divisional Court ruling.

Justice Matlow said:

“My recent experience sitting as a judge of the court to hear motions has convinced me that there is a growing practice by unscrupulous residential tenants to manipulate the law improperly and often dishonestly, to enable them to remain in their rented premises for long periods of time without having to pay rent to their landlords,” he wrote. “It is a practice that imposes an unfair hardship on landlords and reflects badly on the civil justice system in Ontario. It calls for government, the Landlord and Tenant Board and this court to respond.”

As an example, Judge Matlow used the case of landlord Melissa D’Amico, who bought a small building with a commercial unit and an apartment. She lived in the apartment for a few years and but then moved out “into a cheap rental property as I wanted to use the unit to generate some income. This is the only investment property I own,” she stated in her affidavit to the court.

She rented the unit on October 11, 2011 and signed a lease with tenant Rony Hitti and Anastassia Adani and Hitti’s company, Toronto Bespoke Inc. The rent was to be $3,600 per month.

The tenants never paid any rent. Twice in the ensuing months there were eviction hearings, and twice the tenants delayed eviction by giving D’Amico bad cheques. At the time of Matlow’s ruling, the tenants were still in the unit and owed about $25,000 in rent.

D’Amico’s affidavit says that recently she discovered that the tenants “have a history of initiating frivolous appeals to obtain rent-free housing,” citing court disputes about unpaid rent with Hitti’s former landlord.

Judge Matlow ruled that the tenants’ most recent appeal “raised no bona fide question of law” and that “it was totally devoid of merit, vexatious and an abuse of process.” He awarded court costs of more than $13,000 to D’Amico.

The paralega representing D’Amico in the case states: “The law is so imbalanced in favour of the tenants the small landlord doesn’t have a chance. Every small landlord case is a nightmare. They get into the business because their Realtor says a property has income potential but they forget that it is a business – and a highly regulated business.”

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