Real Estate

What to do with basement tenant not paid rent in 6 months

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  • Aug 29th, 2018 8:21 pm
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[OP]
Newbie
Feb 6, 2012
62 posts
21 upvotes
SCARBOROUGH

What to do with basement tenant not paid rent in 6 months

Hi all - wondering if anyone have any insights or experience with this on how I can proceed with this...
Since the basement is illigal i'm guessing cannot go through the landlord and tenant board?
So am i really stuck with this person staying for ever and not paying rent?
He only paid first and last so far...and keeps post phoning meeting, phone calls, and payment with over 50 excuses now.
Also barely at the unit saying he always works ..and some signs he does come at night late.

Thanks!
Last edited by microsysn on Sep 25th, 2018 2:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
37 replies
Deal Addict
Apr 27, 2017
1753 posts
1170 upvotes
Calgary
microsysn wrote: Hi all - wondering if anyone have any insights or experience with this on how I can proceed with this...
Since the basement is illigal i'm guessing cannot go through the landlord and tenant board?
So am i really stuck with this person staying for ever and not paying rent?
He only paid first and last so far...and keeps post phoning meeting, phone calls, and payment with over 50 excuses now.
Also barely at the unit saying he always works ..and some signs he does come at night late.

Thanks!
Have you been writing him up for his failure to pay? You need to document each communication to build the case to get him out.
I don't know how you'll get your 6 months rent from him but getting him out should be the priority at this point.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Oct 9, 2008
5681 posts
2235 upvotes
Thornhill
I hope the measly first and last months payments you received was worth it because if the tenant knows it's illegal he can put you through hell. You're already potentially liable for a bevy of financial repercussions with the city and CRA alone since you've been operating an illegal rental unit and now you have to deal with a dead-beat renter on top to try to resolve this issue.

If an illegal rental unit is found by inspectors, the landlord must legalize the unit or stop renting it. Under the Ontario Landlord and Tenant Act, landlords are allowed to evict their tenants in order to legalize a unit. In order for you to evict the tenant 'cleanly' you have to rat yourself out...

As far as I'm aware, even though your unit is not legal, you and the tenant both have to follow LTB laws and regulations. This is something you should seek further clarification from a property manager.
Deal Fanatic
Mar 15, 2005
5481 posts
1028 upvotes
Basement "Illegal"l as in zoning or you took cash and don't declare the income to CRA?
Deal Addict
User avatar
Sep 23, 2014
1927 posts
561 upvotes
Toronto, ON
Nothing much I can do either in your case...if you live in the same house the best bet would be to buy him out.
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Sr. Member
Aug 6, 2014
830 posts
296 upvotes
Ottawa, ON
since it's illegal i'd just rip up any written agreement you have with the guy, and then just kick him out of your house like you would any other intruder. when the cops come, tell them everything in the basement is your stuff and you just came back from vacation or something and found him squatting in there. press charges. if he produces his copy of the lease just say it's totally fake and he must have photoshopped it. make sure to then shrug your shoulders and say something like "identity theft i guess, i dunno lol". the courts almost always work in favor of the richest party, you'll be fine.
Deal Addict
Jan 8, 2006
1504 posts
695 upvotes
fisher44 wrote: since it's illegal i'd just rip up any written agreement you have with the guy, and then just kick him out of your house like you would any other intruder. when the cops come, tell them everything in the basement is your stuff and you just came back from vacation or something and found him squatting in there. press charges. if he produces his copy of the lease just say it's totally fake and he must have photoshopped it. make sure to then shrug your shoulders and say something like "identity theft i guess, i dunno lol". the courts almost always work in favor of the richest party, you'll be fine.
But if the tenant has registered OHIP and Driver Licence on this address. Couldn't this act can backfire?
Deal Fanatic
Dec 6, 2006
5137 posts
1463 upvotes
Toronto
fisher44 wrote: and he must have photoshopped it. make sure to then shrug your shoulders and say something like "identity theft i guess, i dunno lol". the courts almost always work in favor of the richest party, you'll be fine.
Gona backfire if turns out the tenant is richer than OP!
Deal Guru
User avatar
Mar 9, 2007
13891 posts
8987 upvotes
Think of the Childre…
1. Write a formal letter to him, pay or else face eviction. Set a deadline date. Remember to save a copy for yourself.
2. If he still doesn't pay up, throw his stuff outside the curb.
The end.
microsysn wrote: Hi all - wondering if anyone have any insights or experience with this on how I can proceed with this...
Since the basement is illigal i'm guessing cannot go through the landlord and tenant board?
So am i really stuck with this person staying for ever and not paying rent?
He only paid first and last so far...and keeps post phoning meeting, phone calls, and payment with over 50 excuses now.
Also barely at the unit saying he always works ..and some signs he does come at night late.

Thanks!

WOULD SOMEBODY THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!!
Deal Addict
User avatar
Aug 16, 2009
1491 posts
361 upvotes
fisher44 wrote: since it's illegal i'd just rip up any written agreement you have with the guy, and then just kick him out of your house like you would any other intruder. when the cops come, tell them everything in the basement is your stuff and you just came back from vacation or something and found him squatting in there. press charges. if he produces his copy of the lease just say it's totally fake and he must have photoshopped it. make sure to then shrug your shoulders and say something like "identity theft i guess, i dunno lol". the courts almost always work in favor of the richest party, you'll be fine.
This has to be the worst piece of advice I've seen on RFD all year.

If this is a professional tenant (which it sounds like he is) he will go to the LTB and they will rake OP over the coals. It's already a tenant friendly, if you do some scum landlord 'ish like what this guy is recommending you can guarantee that the LTB will rule in tenants favour and give him a ton of money for damages and inconvenience.

O, one more thing. fisher44 is telling you to lie to the police, so better save up for a criminal defense lawyer to handle the misrepresentation/obstruction of justice/fraud charge that would come your way.

Criminal code reference below to make it easier for you.
False pretence

361 (1) A false pretence is a representation of a matter of fact either present or past, made by words or otherwise, that is known by the person who makes it to be false and that is made with a fraudulent intent to induce the person to whom it is made to act on it.
Obstructing justice
139. (1) Every one who wilfully attempts in any manner to obstruct, pervert or defeat the course of justice in a judicial proceeding,
(a) by indemnifying or agreeing to indemnify a surety, in any way and either in whole or in part, or
(b) where he is a surety, by accepting or agreeing to accept a fee or any form of indemnity whether in whole or in part from or in respect of a person who is released or is to be released from custody,
is guilty of
(c) an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years, or
(d) an offence punishable on summary conviction.
[OP]
Newbie
Feb 6, 2012
62 posts
21 upvotes
SCARBOROUGH
Thanks everyone for your responses. Yes I do report income/expense with CRA.
When I meant illigal basement, i meant how it doesn't comply with fire code, and other standards.
It is a walk out basement with 2 exits..but not comply with the other list of requirements, which there is lots i believe.
I know 95%+ of people rent basement this way...so thought there would be a well known solution... but thanks to all of your inputs!

He is always saying i have the money, or will transfer it..but always in the future tense, and never actually do it.
I did give him a semi formal letter with the totals last friday and asking him to call me to setup a payment plan.
He messaged saying i didn't reply to his message..even though i did..and just goes in circles.

Anyways really appreciate all your insights into this!
Sr. Member
May 3, 2013
644 posts
207 upvotes
Toronto
microsysn wrote: Thanks everyone for your responses. Yes I do report income/expense with CRA.
When I meant illigal basement, i meant how it doesn't comply with fire code, and other standards.
It is a walk out basement with 2 exits..but not comply with the other list of requirements, which there is lots i believe.
I know 95%+ of people rent basement this way...so thought there would be a well known solution... but thanks to all of your inputs!

He is always saying i have the money, or will transfer it..but always in the future tense, and never actually do it.
I did give him a semi formal letter with the totals last friday and asking him to call me to setup a payment plan.
He messaged saying i didn't reply to his message..even though i did..and just goes in circles.

Anyways really appreciate all your insights into this!
Just because 95% of ppl do it doesn't make it right, unfortunately for you, you have a professional tenant on your hands. If I were you, I would invest a few hundred dollars to consult a lawyer for a concrete action plan to evict the tenant. Don't plan to get any money recovered, just evict the tenant and move on.

How did you qualify the tenant initially? Did you get references and check his/her employment? If you have time on your hands, call his/her employer to pester him/her a bit, no one likes their employer to know they are not paying rent.
Sr. Member
Dec 9, 2013
609 posts
491 upvotes
Toronto
Hello if you are in the city of Toronto, call toronto fire services (fire prevention) and make an anonymous complaint on your own property. This will give you grounds to evict your tenant, but you will have to make the basement unit to fire code (unless you remove the kitchen or a washroom). Good luck. PS make sure you have a working smoke alarm before doing this, as that is an immediate charge.

Just some advice from your friendly (a) fire marshal

Edit: I also do not see the benefit of illegal basement units as 1) if your insurance company doesn't know of the illegal unit and something happens, you wont have insurance coverage 2)its unsafe for you and/or your tenants 3)many times professional tenants will "blackmail" the owner as they know its illegal and 4) if anything happens to your tenant, you are liable and will be charged. Make it safe for you and your tenants, not worth the risk.
Sr. Member
Aug 30, 2008
903 posts
181 upvotes
ON
microsysn wrote: Thanks everyone for your responses. Yes I do report income/expense with CRA.
When I meant illigal basement, i meant how it doesn't comply with fire code, and other standards.
It is a walk out basement with 2 exits..but not comply with the other list of requirements, which there is lots i believe.
I know 95%+ of people rent basement this way...so thought there would be a well known solution... but thanks to all of your inputs!

He is always saying i have the money, or will transfer it..but always in the future tense, and never actually do it.
I did give him a semi formal letter with the totals last friday and asking him to call me to setup a payment plan.
He messaged saying i didn't reply to his message..even though i did..and just goes in circles.

Anyways really appreciate all your insights into this!


...payment plan? :lol:

Man, you're way too soft. You should've threatened them with eviction by month 3 if they weren't paying. No wonder they're not paying at month 6.

Next time sit at the steps and change the damn locks or something.
Deal Fanatic
Jul 3, 2011
5825 posts
2972 upvotes
Thornhill
Did RFD let in a bunch of new members? I can't believe what I read in here until posts 10 and 12.

It doesn't matter if your unit is illegal, the tenancy is covered under the Residential Tenancies Act and you can start the eviction process accordingly. You're better off to start sooner rather than later because it sounds like the only recourse you'll get is eviction.

Contact the Landlord Tenant Board. They will help you to get the ball rolling.

re the illegal unit. If it's brought to the city's attention they can demand you retrofit it accordingly (pass fire code) and meet approval for an accessory unit or remove it's ability to be a self-contained unit.
Sr. Member
Apr 2, 2009
851 posts
231 upvotes
This nonsense about the city finding out about an illegal apartment, is just...nonsense. If the city or fire department was interested in getting rid of the illegal basement apartments all it has to do is proactively search MLS or kijjij and find hundreds of them with a click of the button. They don't do that because they just don't care unless it is brought to their attention in some way or another.

The city will act on an illegal apartment if it is forced to, ie a complaint being made etc. If you go to the LTB for eviction you will end up with some sort of monetary penalty as well as most likely paying moving costs & accomadations plus compensation to the tenant.

Your have 2 options :)

1) evict the tenant and face the consequences in which case it will be brought to the attention of the city and you will have to retrofit the apartment
2) pay the tenant to move and hope he takes it
Banned
Apr 27, 2016
88 posts
13 upvotes
I have really hard time understanding this "pay a tenant" to leave option.

How do you pay a tenant to leave? You pay him in advance? Than who's to say he just doesn't keep the money.

Pay him after he moves out? Why would you? Didn't he just screw you out of rent? What's your legal obligation to pay him anything, even if it is stated in the contract.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Sep 19, 2002
3866 posts
2663 upvotes
Vancouver
nonresidentfortaxpurposes wrote: I have really hard time understanding this "pay a tenant" to leave option.

How do you pay a tenant to leave? You pay him in advance? Than who's to say he just doesn't keep the money.

Pay him after he moves out? Why would you? Didn't he just screw you out of rent? What's your legal obligation to pay him anything, even if it is stated in the contract.
There's a Chinese saying, "You're in the light, they're in the dark."

You negotiate with them to leave within a specified period, usually within 24-48 hours. Meet and pay them once it's shown they've moved out completely. Feel free to scam them out of the previously negotiated payment. You're the one that has to deal with property damage and further loss of monthly rental income. They have a ruined credit rating, an unknown address, and probably a history of breaking the law.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Aug 16, 2009
1491 posts
361 upvotes
licenced wrote: Did RFD let in a bunch of new members? I can't believe what I read in here until posts 10 and 12.

It doesn't matter if your unit is illegal, the tenancy is covered under the Residential Tenancies Act and you can start the eviction process accordingly. You're better off to start sooner rather than later because it sounds like the only recourse you'll get is eviction.

Contact the Landlord Tenant Board. They will help you to get the ball rolling.

re the illegal unit. If it's brought to the city's attention they can demand you retrofit it accordingly (pass fire code) and meet approval for an accessory unit or remove it's ability to be a self-contained unit.
And what exactly what so difficult to understand about my post (#10)? I was repling to another RFD member who advised the OP to call the police under the false pretense that a random stranger had somehow broken into his house and was squatting. This of course would be a lie and expose this already burdened landlord with further problems.

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