Landlord's house destroyed. Tenants criminally charged
Ms. Rich now believes that should have been her first clue things were going to go terribly wrong.
"I knew they weren't doctors and lawyers and such, but they were very polite," she said.
But, since renting the home to a family of four which eventually grew to include eight or nine people and a menagerie of animals --- including an array of birds housed in an antique display case owned by Ms. Rich, from which the glass was removed, replaced with some sort of wire --- she's found out from other landlords that tenants who might eventually be trouble "over-do the politeness."
It wasn't long before Ms. Rich felt there were problems, enough that she began eviction proceedings. She says she first served the tenants with notice in January, 2008. But, in large part because of stipulations of the Residential Tenancies Act, getting them out became a protracted exercise.
After appearing before the Landlord and Tenant Board multiple times, she was finally successful in getting them out --- but it took 14 months. The house was finally vacated March 31.
And what Ms. Rich and her husband, Pete Gareau, found when they were able to get into the once-stately century home is enough to lead them to believe they were more than justified in their many attempts to evict.
Walking in the front door of the Hwy. 2 home, the smell of animal urine and feces is over-powering. Windows, which Ms. Rich said they just fixed a few months ago, are broken and filthy. A torn playpen, with an unused toddler training diaper in it, sits alone in a room. In carpeted areas, stains and stench remain, presumably from the many dogs and cats Ms. Rich says were living in the house. The animals' presence is even more evident in the side yard, where landscaping has been torn up, and huge piles of animal feces dot the ground. In both the back room and the adjacent barn, garbage is piled high --- never was any garbage placed at the curb, Ms. Rich said.
But, the most disturbing remnants of the tenants is found in the blood-stained garage. There, it seems, a deer was butchered, much of it left behind. Entrails have been stuffed into a recycling bin; deer hide is stretched on the floor. A table and garage sale sign are coated in blood.
A blood-stained machete hangs by the door. There's an orange tarp covering something, but Ms. Rich is afraid to lift it and find out what.
The Ministry of Natural Resources was called in to investigate. Because the deer had a broken leg, it's believed it was road-kill, so from the ministry's perspective "there's nothing to indicate anything illegal had been done," spokeswoman Jolanta Kowalski said.
Beyond the deer mess, there is an array of broken appliances -- among them a number of stoves that appear to have experienced some sort of explosion and a dryer, a marijuana bong inside -- in the garage.
Every light fixture and even many of the light bulbs in the house have been removed. Each of the two toilets has been rigged to run continuously --- which will be Ms. Rich's problem since water bills can't be put in tenants' names.
"I'm terrified to find out what the water bill is going to be," she said.
Even the mirrors have been removed from bathroom walls. Sand was dumped into the toilets.
"Every single door frame" in the house is broken, Ms. Rich said, pointing to one cracked frame.
"They're 150-year-old door frames," she said. "They've been here 150 years. It took these people a few months to destroy them."
Beyond that, the house is largely empty -- another problem, since it was rented furnished. Ms. Rich called Durham Regional Police, alleging the tenants were packing her items onto a moving truck.
In all, it's a far cry from the "before" pictures, taken prior to the tenants moving in, Ms. Rich has.
The matter is under investigation, DRPS spokeswoman Nancy van Rooy said.
The experience has been draining --- mentally and financially, Ms. Rich said. She's not sure what it will cost to make the century home inhabitable again, but expects it to run into the tens of thousands of dollars.
"We bought this house as an investment, thinking somewhere down the road, it could have some commercial potential," she said. "It's gut-wrenching to go through this whole process."
Ms. Rich said she and her husband wound up in front of the Landlord and Tenant tribunal several times as they attempted to evict. On occasion, they were asked to make repairs to the home. Each time, they left unable to evict, something Ms. Rich blames on the act governing landlord and tenant issues.
"The Residential Tenancy Act of 2006 --- it's been changed, and a lot, not for the better," Ms. Rich said.
The experience has left her feeling as if "landlords have no rights," she added.
It's not a feeling she'll repeat.
"We will never be landlords again," Ms. Rich said.
http://newsdurhamregion.com/news/clarin ... cle/123419
I found this internesting: The tenants were criminally charged.
[QUOTE]Jennifer Crosbie, 28, of Oshawa, and Russell Breathat, 35, of Clarington, are charged with occupant injuring a building, and theft over $5,000.[/QUOTE]
http://newsdurhamregion.com/news/clarin ... cle/124224