One of the biggest complaints from tenants living in expensive cities is “renovations”. In summary, landlords are giving their tenants out under the guise of “renovating” so that they can raise the rent above the guidelines. I wrote about this in a previous post and today we’re going to see a real life example of someone who actually sued his landlord and won in a minor court!
I am sure the comments below will be full of thoughtful and civilized discussion. * pushes sharpened knives on the table and whistles nonchalantly *
So let’s hear it from “Mrs.I-Fought-My-Landlord-And-Won:”
1) How long have you been living with you?
From March 2016 – April 2018
2) Tell me something about your apartment (number of bedrooms, type of rental, etc.)?
We rented a 2 bedroom, 2 bath apartment in the North York area of Toronto.
3) Tell me about your experience with your landlord.
When we first rented the property, we worked with the landlord’s property manager and rarely interacted with the landlord. When we extended our lease after the first year, the landlord hired the property manager so we worked with him directly. We helped him collect mail that was sent to our address and his receptionist usually picked it up from us in the lobby. So we didn’t interact with him a lot unless he needed something.
Towards the end of our second year of renting, the landlord started telling us that his son wanted to move in again, and he also thought of selling, but then kept changing his mind. He also wanted to increase our rent by more than the rent increase directive, which we refused. Then he became quite rude and uncomfortable to deal with.
We told him we had no plans to move, but if his son moved back in we would need some time looking for a new place as I was supposed to be born in February 2018, which was about 1-2 months before that End of our 1 year lease. It would be really a challenge to look for places and move around during this time.
We started our search for a new spot in early 2018 and had to drive around Preggo Belly and everyone to find a new spot. Luckily we found a great apartment in Richmond Hill, a suburb of Toronto, and signed a new lease for May 2018.
4) How did you manage to take them to small claims court and win them over?
Throughout this ordeal I felt that the landlord was going to sell and that claiming his son was moving back in was just to evict us so he could renovate and sell. What exactly happened. We kept an eye on the property through Zolo and when we saw the listing we began the process of filing a bad faith lawsuit against the landlord.
We took screenshots of all the evidence we had to prove the landlord sold the apartment and proceeded to file with the Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB).
When it came to our court hearing, we presented our evidence to the judge and she asked us a few questions about the motion, such as: B. which claims for damages we want to assert. We were entitled to the difference between rent and moving costs for one year. She granted us that and scolded the landlord a bit.
So all in all, it was a relatively straightforward process. Just a lot of fear in this situation because it feels like you are fighting in a very unfamiliar area.
5) Does it make it difficult to get references for future rentals in court?
When we got our next rental the landlord never asked for references so it didn’t affect us.
6) Is there anything you would have done differently?
hmm .. haha maybe claim more expenses.
7) What did you learn from this experience?
I learned more about my rights as a tenant and how to deal with the small claims system. I also heard about the tenant helpline which was very useful for discussing tenant-related issues.
8) What advice would you give to other tenants in a similar situation?
I would tell other tenants to find out what their rights are and what they are entitled to.
9) Do you think the laws do enough to protect renters? Why or why not? Would you change anything?
No, because the fines are not high enough to discourage landlords from maliciously evicting.
In the end, he didn’t even have to pay $ 10,000, which is nothing compared to the profits he made from the sale of the property.
Even after a judgment against the landlord, the landlord may not pay and the tenant must take the following steps to ensure that they receive the money.
The landlord had to pay us on time for our situation, but hadn’t done so. In the end we had to seize the landlord’s wages from his bank. I’m a little fuzzy with the details now, but I remember leaving
to the BVG to first apply for garnishment wages. Then I had to take a copy to the landlord’s bank (which we luckily had because we kept a check he wrote us) and wait to see if we’d get paid. It was fun because that same week we actually got the check from the landlord, but it was too late. The garnishment has already taken place.
The reason I even knew how to do the attachment in the first place was because I browsed the internet and found a really helpful article about another man who went through a very similar situation. He broken down the process step by step which was amazing.
All in all, there isn’t much support for tenants and the responsibility rests with tenants to make sure they get what they deserve.
Wow, I learned a lot today. Apparently, if your landlord acts in bad faith, you can take them to court with no consequence for your next rental AND seize your landlord’s wages if they refuse to pay.
What do you think? Was the verdict fair? Has this happened to you before?
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