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Real Estate


Some tenants are really, truly awful

Sure, renting in Toronto can be a soul-sucking spiral of doom, but being a landlord isn’t always that great, either. This week, the Toronto Star ran a lengthy story on one Nina Willis, a “tenant from hell,” who has been evicted from at least six homes in the past seven years. Apparently, Willis, who says she has done nothing wrong, either stops paying rent or writes cheques that bounce, and then delays eviction by complaining to the Landlord and Tenant Board about shoddy maintenance, harassment and discrimination by the landlord (she’s lost every case). Landlords say they can’t guard against rent skippers like Willis because the Privacy Act prohibits the board from providing reports on bad tenants, meaning when they hand over the keys, they don’t know what they’re in for. It all makes owning income properties sound like a headache—not that that’s stopping people from doing it. [Toronto Star]

  • Sonia

    I’m a landlord. I read this story, and while this tenant sounds like a headache, she’s no where near close to the worst. This is just a tenant who doesn’t pay rent, and even if it takes time, you can usually evict someone who doesn’t pay rent. Frustrating? Sure. A financial hardship for small landlords? Absolutely. But not the worst of the worst.

    The big problems are the tenants who DO pay rent but are otherwise terrible, because you are very, very limited in your ability to do anything about it. So you are stuck. And then other tenants in your building complain. And there is nothing you can tell them.

    Don’t get me wrong, there are some awful landlords out there. But from the other side, well, 95% of all tenants are just fine but that 5%… wowza.

  • landlord j

    sonia you obviously didnt read the article but skimmed it. This women didnt just not pay rent as you say. she complained and harrassed the landlord and the system. she gamed everyone. She changed locks and rented out rooms!!!!!! That is far more than just not paying rent! And by not paying rent the landlord is out thousands, tens of thousands, he cant even afford the place anymore, its lost. When she shows signed cheques to the board to get actions quashed just to have the cheques bounce; the misery starts all over again for the landlord. There is a good movie about how these pros operate, its called Pacific Heights and I have a feeling that this Willis woman, The Tenant from hell, has it on bluray.

  • landlord j

    btw if a tenant is bothering others you can evict them for that reason. Interfering with others enjoyment….whether they pay the rent or not.

  • Leeanne

    Please delete the above post. It’s a marketing gimmick posting a link. It’s frankly an embarrassment.

  • Debra

    The problem was caused by changes to the landlord and tenant act
    The other sad reality is this women was only taken advantage of the
    Gaps in the act
    Now her credit is ruined , she will never buy a house , she didn’t wim either , Some insurance companies won’t give her insurance with bad credit , even some employers won’t hire her if they check her credit rating
    More and more employers are looking into credit rating
    Who really lost is the tax payer , she was collecting welfare who supplied her with the rent money but she chooose to keep that money
    That’s a tax free money grab

  • Catherine Archer

    The Metro Tenants Association has just labelled the stories in the Star as ‘hate speech’. People trying to run a small business are The Enemy according to those people. They have not heard of respect.

  • Ty

    My tenants from hell. A warning to all landlords. Shocking video.

  • Ty