Real Estate

Potential Tenant Threatens to Sue

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  • May 4th, 2021 11:41 am
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[OP]
Sr. Member
User avatar
Feb 25, 2002
609 posts
103 upvotes
Upper Thornhill

Potential Tenant Threatens to Sue

Hey guys,
My brother-in-law needs some feedback, advice or consensus on this issue:
- tenant signs 1 yr lease with deposit $300
- background checks seems ok but agent couldn’t reach previous landlord
- tenant claims he’s a non-smoker as per signed contract
- on day he closes, he immediately lights up a cig. On our driveway
- he doesn’t bring any post dated checks as agreed on contract saying he wasn’t aware of this
- said it’s going to take 3 weeks for cheques to come in since he owns his own business. However on contract he says he works for a company with salary income
- bro immediate said, “He’ll NO!”, so he cancels contract
- tenant claims he’s going to sue because he has no place to stay and we need to cover his expensive hotel bills

My thoughts are since bro is going to return deposit and maybe give him $50 for his troubles, he has no grounds to stand on. He should go to the Board bc it’s going to take 6-12 months for hearing. I’m in GTA.

What do u guys think?
Feel the fear but do it anyway.
16 replies
Deal Addict
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Mar 30, 2010
3328 posts
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Greater Toronto Area
The "closing" has already happened. He's not a potential tenant anymore, he is a tenant.

This will now have to go through the LTB unless your brother can pay him off.

Should've done a better job with the background checks...
Last edited by dc200 on Apr 30th, 2021 9:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
<removed>
Deal Addict
Mar 2, 2017
1948 posts
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Toronto/Markham
Is the guy in the house now?
Realtor, Investor, CPA
Newbie
Apr 6, 2009
43 posts
27 upvotes
Nepean
First, does your brother share a bathroom and/or kitchen with this tenant? If it is shared, then RTA does not apply. 300 last month deposit seems really, really low. Unless it is a separate damage deposit, in which case it is illegal under RTA.

Second, if keys has already been exchanged for first month rent, then the lease is in effect, you will not be able to remove him.

Third, par RTA, post dated check can't be demanded, only if the tenant voluntarily provided them. What says in the lease does not matter as LTB will likely side with the tenant as long as the tenant pays his rent on time.

Does your lease have anything that says no smoking indoors? If the property shared with any other people, you may have a case on no smoking indoors, in the common areas, but you can't stop him smoking outside.
Sr. Member
May 29, 2012
541 posts
201 upvotes
Southern Ontario
If in Ontario can't demand post dated cheques.
I do remember reading that lying on an application if severe enough could be grounds to end tenancy, I can't remember where is read it.
Others are right though , he is a tenant now, you will have to go through LTB.
Could not let him in if he hasn't moved in already, change locks and call his bluff but this is risky tactic and could either make him walk away or give him more ammunition during lawsuit or LTB hearing, technically this is wrong and if he sued or went to LTB you could be in trouble for this
Deal Addict
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Oct 24, 2016
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ON
So you hired an agent to get a tenant? Let me guess, the agent got his commission and is out of the picture now. Did you put these questions to the agent? If he got a commission he shouldn’t have done such a lousy job on vetting a prospective tenant.

Also how are the background checks okay when it’s not even clear if he has a job or runs his own business. Or was it just a criminal background check.
Isn't it great to live in the 21st century where deleting history has become more important than making it.
[OP]
Sr. Member
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Feb 25, 2002
609 posts
103 upvotes
Upper Thornhill
RichmondCA wrote: Is the guy in the house now?
No, he’s not in the house and keys have been withheld.
It’s a self-contained unit.
Didn’t know about the post dated cheques technicality.

I’ll double check with agent to see if proper vetting took place.

Thanks guys for the replies. Doesn’t look too good for my bro.
Feel the fear but do it anyway.
Newbie
Apr 6, 2009
43 posts
27 upvotes
Nepean
CivicGSR wrote: No, he’s not in the house and keys have been withheld.
It’s a self-contained unit.
Didn’t know about the post dated cheques technicality.

I’ll double check with agent to see if proper vetting took place.

Thanks guys for the replies. Doesn’t look too good for my bro.
Don't quote me on this, but as I understand it, as long as the keys have not been given and the lease date hasn't started, it is not an LTB issue. You guys may want to check with a legal professional to confirm. Also return the deposit asap, any extra your bro want to work out with him can come later.

But the tenant can still sue your bro in small claims court if he has the time and energy.
Deal Guru
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Mar 23, 2008
12443 posts
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Edmonton
Be careful about how you (or your brother) proceeds. If the LTB finds you evicted a tenant in bad faith, they have the ability to levy fines against the landlord. I think the starting point for a bad faith eviction is around $2500.

AFAIK, the lease contract is valid when it's signed by both parties. Just like the tenant would be liable for the lease if they changed their mind, the landlord is on the hook for providing a unit once it's signed. If either party backs out without the agreement of the other, they can be on the hook for damages incurred by the other party. Whether the avenue is the LTB or Small Claims Court, the result is likely to be the same (although the LTB is more tenant friendly).

Did a bit more digging... Here's a comparable court case:
https://www.canlii.org/en/on/onscsm/doc ... ultIndex=1

In this case, the LTB refused to hear the case, ruling it was a breach of contract situation. The SCC backed that up. That's not to say that the landlord wasn't going to end up paying for damages to the thwarted tenant, though.

Now, in your case, your brother attempted to cancel on the DAY OF possession, not a couple weeks in advance. That may be enough to make a difference. But if you let him go through the LTB process, maybe he'll wear himself out.

And fire the agent.

C
Deal Guru
Feb 22, 2011
10595 posts
13217 upvotes
Toronto
You should call LTB and ask them when a person officially becomes a tenant.
Deal Fanatic
Jul 3, 2011
6001 posts
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Thornhill
Lying about employment/salary is probably the one solid plus thr RTA has for the lanlord. It is subject to eviction.

The tenant presuambly is easy to catch in his lie and it matters not if his cheque takes 3 weeks to come in, that's not how rent payment due on set days works.

But you're going to get your knuckles rapped for taking a deposit.
Deal Addict
Jan 15, 2017
4240 posts
3766 upvotes
Ottawa
CivicGSR wrote: No, he’s not in the house and keys have been withheld.
It’s a self-contained unit.
Didn’t know about the post dated cheques technicality.

I’ll double check with agent to see if proper vetting took place.

Thanks guys for the replies. Doesn’t look too good for my bro.
No, it doesn't look too good.

The Residential Tenancies Act defines a tenancy agreement as "a written, oral or implied agreement between a tenant and a landlord for occupancy of a rental unit and includes a licence to occupy a rental unit; (“convention de location”)". The question now is whether or not your brother has illegally evicted a tenant.

Seems like property vetting wasn't completed. Remember a self-employed individual can have a regular salary from their own business. It would be up to the Realtor in this case to confirm the salary and business details.

Best of luck. This could cost your brother a lot if the tenant decides to pursue.
Deal Addict
Mar 2, 2017
1948 posts
3487 upvotes
Toronto/Markham
skeet50 wrote:

Best of luck. This could cost your brother a lot if the tenant decides to pursue.

The alternative could cost him more.
Realtor, Investor, CPA
Sr. Member
Oct 2, 2017
789 posts
550 upvotes
how did he "close" with all those things missing?
I'll see you at the top, cause the bottom is too crowded
[OP]
Sr. Member
User avatar
Feb 25, 2002
609 posts
103 upvotes
Upper Thornhill
azmongold wrote: how did he "close" with all those things missing?
I couldn't really tell you. The agent said she did all the necessary screening. I told them to consult with a paralegal who specialized in Landlord tenant issues and I'm hoping their brokerage would pay for these costs.
Is it even legal to request 'non-smoker' tenant applicants only?
Feel the fear but do it anyway.
Deal Guru
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Mar 23, 2008
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Edmonton
CivicGSR wrote: I couldn't really tell you. The agent said she did all the necessary screening. I told them to consult with a paralegal who specialized in Landlord tenant issues and I'm hoping their brokerage would pay for these costs.
Is it even legal to request 'non-smoker' tenant applicants only?
Here's some reading for you:
https://smokefreehousingon.ca/wp-conten ... g-2010.pdf

But one of the things I think you (or your brother, or whoever) screwed up on is that it doesn't matter if the tenant is a smoker or not. What matters is not smoking in the unit. If the tenant is a smoker but smokes outside, your property and other tenants (if any) won't be affected. And until the tenant has affected other tenants or your property, kicking them out for that could very well backfire on you.

C
Deal Addict
Jan 15, 2017
4240 posts
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Ottawa
Your brother should have read this thread: eviction-professional-tenant-2424361/

This new landlord also hired a Realtor to find his tenant and it has turned into a disaster. I am not saying that hiring a Realtor to find a tenant is a bad move. It's like any other service that you contract out to another party - you have to know exactly what you are getting and in the case of a potential tenant, exactly how applicants are vetted.

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