Real Estate

CBC: Toronto landlord accuses tenants of fraud, forgery and not paying thousands in rent

  • Last Updated:
  • Mar 13th, 2022 9:24 pm
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CBC: Toronto landlord accuses tenants of fraud, forgery and not paying thousands in rent

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/ ... -1.6380812

Ontario’s Landlord Tenant Board will hold a second eviction hearing today
CBC News · Posted: Mar 11, 2022 10:17 AM ET | Last Updated: March 11

Toronto landlord Mohamed Camara rented out his two-bedroom condo 11 months ago and says the two women who are his tenants haven't paid rent for the past seven months. He is going to the Ontario Landlord and Tenant Board for a second eviction hearing on Friday. (Oliver Walters/CBC)
A Toronto landlord's months-long quest to evict two tenants he accuses of fraud, forgery and non-payment of rent is heading to an eviction hearing Friday at Ontario's Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB).

It's Mohamed Camara's second attempt to evict the two women in three months.

According to documents filed with the LTB, Camara says he's owed $13,000 in back rent from two tenants, at least one of whom he says used questionable ID to rent his downtown condo.

Camara says the two women named on the lease — who he believes are sisters named Shasteven Reid and Shi-Ronni Tynes — have paid no rent in seven months, have refused to let him enter to inspect his condo even after he'd given proper notice, and presented him with what he believes to be falsified identification, job references and credit reports.

He says police are investigating his allegations, but Toronto police would not confirm that.

Situation 'beyond frustrating,' landlord says
"It's beyond frustrating," Camara told CBC Toronto. "I expect there'll be a number of repairs … plus lawyer fees; it's unbelievable. It's much worse than a case of rent not paid. It goes beyond that."

Camara says he estimates his total loss so far is about $22,000.

Ontario minister of housing looks at strengthening protections for landlords
Camara first tried to evict the two last December, and was told by the LTB that he'd won. But within days, the women appealed and the board temporarily rescinded the eviction order.

The women told the LTB that they failed to attend the virtual hearing due to internet problems.

A new hearing is scheduled for today.

Camara says his nightmare began a year ago, when he put his unit at 36 Lisgar St. up for lease. He says his real estate agent and an agent for Reid and Tynes came to an agreement effective April 1, based on stellar credit reports, personal and professional references and healthy-looking pay stubs.

The women agreed to a one-year lease at $1,900 a month for the two-bedroom unit.

Landlord says he was denied access
All went well at first, he says, but by July, their payments were late, and by August they'd stopped paying at all.

That's when Camara applied to the LTB for an eviction. It's also when he says Reid began denying him the ability to inspect his unit on 24-hours notice, as the law allows.

"To always be on the right side of justice, we have avoided entering into any type of confrontation," Camara wrote in a March 1 letter to the LTB. "Since renting the property in April, we had been denied to enter my own property."

He says between November 2021 and March 7, 2022, he tried to enter the unit five times.

He only gained access once, with the help of a building employee — and that was only because Reid wasn't home at the time, he says.

"It's not only the money. They are not taking care of the place," said Camara. He said the building employee who once entered the unit to do a repair "told me that it doesn't look good inside at all."

By September, Camara had enlisted the help of his real estate agent, Frederick Oyekanmi, and paralegal Barrington Lue Sang — who has extensive experience in landlord-tenant disputes — to begin double-checking Reid's and Tynes's documents, Camara said in a letter to the LTB.

Reid had provided a letter of reference from a person named David Samuels, who identified himself as the owner of Canada Design Build. The phone number on his reference letter does not appear to be operating.

CBC Toronto received an email from Samuels's address that indicated Reid had worked for him, but he said that after she had a baby, she "was not feeling good so she stopped working in late 2021."

Tynes's job reference came from a company called General Care Nursing. The phone number listed on its website is no longer operable.

No records for companies in references
CBC Toronto could find no provincial records for either Canada Design Build or General Care Nursing.

In an affidavit sworn by Oyekanmi, the agent wrote: "I was notified by the landlord, Mohammed [sic] Camara that … he had visited the work addresses provided by the tenants, only to discover the location is just a postal address and no real company existed."

According to Camara's filings to the LTB, Lue Sang queried the driver's licence number provided by Reid with Ontario's Ministry of Transportation and discovered that no such licence exists.

Camara says he has still neither seen nor spoken with the second person whose name is on the lease, ShiRonni Tynes.

CBC Toronto reached out to Reid but she declined to speak on the record.

In his sworn statement, Oyekanmi wrote that "on or about September 2021, I sent an email to the tenants advising them that we are going to report to the police for fraud." He said he later received a call from an unknown number, and that the person claimed to be the mother of one of the tenants. Oyekanmi said she accused both him and Camara of harassing her daughter and "claimed that the real estate representative provided them with the forged documents." He said she offered no proof of this.

CBC Toronto has spoken to representatives for the real estate agent who worked with the women. They denied that the agent provided any questionable documents to the women.

Camara says he's owned another rental property, in the Sheppard-Don Mills area, for about a decade and has never had any problems with tenants before. But this experience is causing him to think twice about investment properties.

"I will be extremely careful if I continue. If I continue, then my reference check will be 10 times much more extensive than this one was. And I thought that we did a very good job in obtaining all the information and documentation."
18 replies
Deal Addict
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Apr 12, 2013
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Moon
Surprised this is coming from CBC
Koodo, Public Mobile, Lucky Mobile Customer
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Some big no no's.

"Camara says the two women named on the lease — who he believes are sisters named Shasteven Reid and Shi-Ronni Tynes — have paid no rent in seven months, have refused to let him enter to inspect his condo even after he'd given proper notice, and presented him with what he believes to be falsified identification, job references and credit reports."


Oh wow that's terrible. I mean not victim blaming. However I just wanted to point out some best practice

falsified identification - some googling and theres actually official government websites that teach you how to recognize a fake ID. It list all the security features. Every province list them.

job references - Google and start corroborating where they claim to work compared to info on the internet. Including calls.

credit reports - gotta pull these up yourself. One creative way "can I watch you sign into it on your laptop/phone and pull the credit report?". You can't photoshop that!


But these kinds of squatters... I suspect just spam applications. Then hope for someone to fall for their fake ID/references... or not bother checking at all.
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Dec 3, 2013
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This is exactly why when tenants get mad when I won't accept their own credit reports, and I tell them that I will run my own and they tell me "no the info I am handing you should be good enough" their application goes straight into the garbage. To many things can be faked. You can buy fake references, letters of employment and credit reports openly on Facebook marketplace or in tenants groups for $400-$500. You can even create your own if you can Photoshop well enough.

It's also why I will never use a realtor to handle my listing. You don't know if the realtor did their due diligence until it's to late.

Every tenant who complains when a landlord asks for these things and thinks it's ridiculous should be forced to read stories like these.

You need to do your own research and treat everything that's handed to you as suspect. Unfortunately due to the sheer costs and financial burden of getting tenants like these, it's what has to be done these days
Newbie
Oct 10, 2018
26 posts
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first mistake is to be a landlord in ontario/BC. landlord is viewed as evil and treated as such

second is to be a landlord in canada. landlord is viewed as evil and treated as such

third is... you get the idea
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Sep 8, 2007
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It’s why I don’t use agents to rent out my units. For 2 reasons 1) it’s not a big revenue stream for an agent, so there’s an element to just get it rented out and off the plate. 2) I need to see and generally get a vibe off the prospective tenants. There are subtle clues that don’t come across on paper or a phone conservation.

Also all supporting documentation needs to be vetted and researched as to authenticity, Too easy for pros to fake this stuff.
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cartfan123 wrote: It’s why I don’t use agents to rent out my units. For 2 reasons 1) it’s not a big revenue stream for an agent, so there’s an element to just get it rented out and off the plate. 2) I need to see and generally get a vibe off the prospective tenants. There are subtle clues that don’t come across on paper or a phone conservation.

Also all supporting documentation needs to be vetted and researched as to authenticity, Too easy for pros to fake this stuff.
I used a friend agent to lease my condos. He requests, verifies, contacts the potential but owners have a final say after reviewed the info. Last condo, there was a guy, he provided the requested paystubs, etc. I still vetoed him, he claimed he was making $120,000 as blind installer for BlindsToGo. His documents were (too) good, I was asking the agent BTG, pays that much to installers?! I used services from BTG recently. Bottom line, it’s too good to be true.
...
[OP]
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angrycanadiandud wrote: first mistake is to be a landlord in ontario/BC. landlord is viewed as evil and treated as such

second is to be a landlord in canada. landlord is viewed as evil and treated as such

third is... you get the idea
100%. Canada is a scammer's paradise.
[OP]
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Feb 29, 2008
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cartfan123 wrote: It’s why I don’t use agents to rent out my units. For 2 reasons 1) it’s not a big revenue stream for an agent, so there’s an element to just get it rented out and off the plate. 2) I need to see and generally get a vibe off the prospective tenants. There are subtle clues that don’t come across on paper or a phone conservation.

Also all supporting documentation needs to be vetted and researched as to authenticity, Too easy for pros to fake this stuff.
This is why people ask me to help them rent out their condos. Many agents just want to get the rental out of the way and use the opportunity to sell the property down the road. I've seen such lazy, lazy work from agents. When you find a good agent. appreciate them, give them business. It can work if you find an agent you trust.
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Worriedone wrote: This is exactly why when tenants get mad when I won't accept their own credit reports, and I tell them that I will run my own and they tell me "no the info I am handing you should be good enough" their application goes straight into the garbage. To many things can be faked. You can buy fake references, letters of employment and credit reports openly on Facebook marketplace or in tenants groups for $400-$500. You can even create your own if you can Photoshop well enough.

It's also why I will never use a realtor to handle my listing. You don't know if the realtor did their due diligence until it's to late.

Every tenant who complains when a landlord asks for these things and thinks it's ridiculous should be forced to read stories like these.

You need to do your own research and treat everything that's handed to you as suspect. Unfortunately due to the sheer costs and financial burden of getting tenants like these, it's what has to be done these days
My first thought when I read the article yesterday was yet another ill informed landlord who does not exercise the due diligence needed to be a landlord. The easiest thing in the world is to produce false docs today. And here's the thing - any landlord that asks the tenant to provide a credit report is sending a clear red flag to the tenant of how easy it is to screw over this landlord.
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Jan 15, 2017
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Yet another story of what not to do when you are a landlord.
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JayLove06 wrote: This is why people ask me to help them rent out their condos. Many agents just want to get the rental out of the way and use the opportunity to sell the property down the road. I've seen such lazy, lazy work from agents. When you find a good agent. appreciate them, give them business. It can work if you find an agent you trust.
Very true. I trust my agent, he provides logical, make sense advises. We have mutual respects, we are into long term relationship. Last Lunar New Year, we bought him collectible Year of Tiger cognac, he waived his rental fee.
...
[OP]
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skeet50 wrote: My first thought when I read the article yesterday was yet another ill informed landlord who does not exercise the due diligence needed to be a landlord. The easiest thing in the world is to produce false docs today. And here's the thing - any landlord that asks the tenant to provide a credit report is sending a clear red flag to the tenant of how easy it is to screw over this landlord.
This is true, but the landlord hired an agent, did they not? I mean, put that on the agent. That's wha they're being paid for. Also, we never seem to put full blame on the offender. We need better security for landlords. We've been screaming about this but all we get are more predatory laws which just give more power to scammy tenants or non-scammy tenants who take advantage of the lax laws.
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Feb 7, 2018
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The worst part of this story is how both the renter and owner used agents and nobody checked things out…

I feel like this is something you could sue the renters agent for - they clearly didn’t do due diligence on their tenants.

Anecdotally, in-laws have rented their properties out through agents and have already had 2 deadbeat renters across their 3 properties.

I’ve had no issues with my either of my tenants over 4 years now, but I’m ruthless at vetting. Simple google searches saved me multiple times, one lady stole money from a school board up north, another guy didn’t have a drivers licence and I found out he was on bail from a DUI and wanted to rent a 3k condo. Bottom line, shitty tenants fall through the cracks because people don’t do due diligence. Even if you use an agent, double check everything.
Member
Sep 14, 2009
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When I rent out my own condo or friends’ condo, I double/triple check everything and scour any intelligence I can on the internet.

It only takes a few seconds.

Google the address 36 Lisgar and you’ll see why it’s not really victim blaming. Just stay the hell away from notorious addresses like this.

Landlord shouldn’t even purchase this property to begin with.
Deal Fanatic
Jul 3, 2011
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Pro tip...

when a prespective tenant needs or is willing to take the place in under 30 days be wary, be very, very wary.
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licenced wrote: Pro tip...

when a prespective tenant needs or is willing to take the place in under 30 days be wary, be very, very wary.
Yes, that's a huge red flag. Even if I have a unit vacant and ready to be moved in, I won't even advertise it as available until 60 days out. I'll keep it empty. I want to avoid the "can I move in in 2 weeks crowd"

Very rare does someone have a legit need to move in in less than a month
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Vetting for the win...but if I ever got squatters... I'd be googling on best ways to get rid of em ...im sure theres lots lol.
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JayLove06 wrote: This is true, but the landlord hired an agent, did they not? I mean, put that on the agent. That's wha they're being paid for. Also, we never seem to put full blame on the offender. We need better security for landlords. We've been screaming about this but all we get are more predatory laws which just give more power to scammy tenants or non-scammy tenants who take advantage of the lax laws.
Trust and then verify. When the landlord hired the agent, trust the agent to do a good job and then verify. Ask the agent for proof that employment was verified. Ask for the notes of who provided the verification. What that verification was. Ask to see how other aspects of the tenant search was verified.

Of course we put blame on the offender. Many set out to purposely take advantage of landlords. Some landlords though have to wear some of the blame as they make it simply too easy for these offenders. Luckily this landlord has involved the police now. But this is not the first thread of a landlord hiring a Realtor to find a tenant and then getting burned badly by the tenant. Landlords need to understand fully the risks of properly vetting all potential tenants. It's the very thing that they must get right every single time.

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