Courtenay landlord says evicting problem tenants should be easier

WatchA couple who are residential landlords in the Comox Valley say they're fed up with nightmare tenants in one of her rentals but also the red tape they've had to go through to evict them. Dean Stoltz has more.

A couple who are residential landlords in the Comox Valley say they’re fed up with nightmare tenants in one of her rentals but also the red tape they’ve had to go through to evict them.

Anetka and Greg Drodz say their home has been trashed and practically dismantled by tenants but after months of trying, they still might have to hire a bailiff to force the people out.

The couple went to the rental property on Urquart Avenue again Wednesday as they try to evict the occupants in one of the suites of their four-plex.

The original tenant moved in last year but he ended up leaving only to be replaced by people unknown to the landlords. That was the first red flag but was not enough to evict who is now living there.

“This person that moved in now is a roommate but since we had auto-deposit on our bank account they became our tenant once they paid us,” said Anetka.

They paid rent a couple of times and they automatically become our tenant,” said Greg.

Then during an inspection in May, they found the home they had newly renovated just a year earlier completely trashed.

“Multiple holes in the walls, bedroom doors set on fire, the bedroom doors have been removed the frames have been damaged, they’ve been replaced with smaller ones. All the bedrooms have deadbolts on them,” said Anetka.

Perhaps the biggest shock was that all was the carpet upstairs had been removed and the flooring downstairs was in the process of being taken out as well.

There is damage to the kitchen and they said pieces of it keep disappearing.

They say there could be upwards of $100,000 in damage. A 5th wheel RV is now parked at the back of the house hooked up to the building’s hydro but they don’t know who is living in it.

“We have to do the landlord tenancy process so we gave them their ten-day notice to move out and they haven’t moved out and then we have to file the dispute,” said Anetka. “So the first paperwork we sent to them was on June 1st and we didn’t have our hearing date until last week on Thursday.”

The board granted them approval to serve the tenant with 48 hours notice which they served to a woman who answered the door Wednesday but they say they didn’t know who that person is either.

They say under the current system if the occupants don’t leave they have to hire a bailiff to remove them that could cost thousands of dollars.

On top of that, they would have to pay to move and store the occupant’s belongings until they find a new home, they say.

“I wish the process would be a lot smoother, I wish if the landlord calls for help that they will actually help,” said Greg.

The provincial government told CHEK News in a statement that while the Residential Tenancy Branch cannot comment on specific cases, they urge landlords not to accept rent from someone who is not their tenant.

“Sometimes when a landlord accepts funds, even from a non-tenant, an implied tenancy agreement can be formed – for example, “hand-shake” agreements. This is not advisable; tenancy agreements should always be put in writing,” the statement reads.

The statement also goes on to say that when a landlord rents to a specific tenant, the tenancy must be ended through proper channels and when a tenant assigns or sublets the tenancy without the landlord’s permission, that is grounds to end the tenancy.

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Dean StoltzDean Stoltz

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