Well paint me green and put me up in a garbage can. You can call me Oscar, if you really want to, but I’ve had enough. Here comes the grouch, with gusto.

I wrote last week about trying to find a new tenant. I still don’t have one, and the current, soon to be former, tenant is making me crazy. I guess I didn’t tell you why I need a new renter last week, so here it is.

Just the facts:

My current, soon to be former, tenant had a one-year lease, ending in July 2012.

On November 2nd, that tenant announced via text message that she wants to break the lease and move out.

I need to rent out my basement suite to pay my mortgage. 

This is the worst time of year to find a new renter in my area. I started advertising immediately.

In that same string of text messages from November 2nd, the tenant said she needed to pay rent late.

She told me she should have November rent for the following Monday.

I took pity on her and agreed to break her lease with a small penalty.

The tenant asked me to meet with her and her parents to sign the lease-breaking papers.

I agreed. Then I waited to hear from her on the evening we set our appointment.

Then I heard nothing and could get no response for over three days via phone, text, and knocking on the door.

Finally, I slipped a formal letter under the door telling her how to resolve the situation.

Then I waited 24 hours, still advertising for a new tenant but not knowing when I could offer possession.

Rent for November was never paid, so the next day I served an eviction notice.

I received a text message stating that she would be out by the end of the month and could not pay November rent.

I have yet to reach this woman by phone or in person. Believe me that I have tried.

Ten minutes ago I knocked on her door repeatedly. She is in there watching television.

She is currently doing laundry on my utility bill and has not paid rent. She’s on her third load tonight.

Provincial law states that I cannot force her from the premises for 14 clear days after serving eviction notice.

Officially, she must be gone by noon on the 25th, but in the meantime, she continues to use my power and water, and will not speak to me.

I made the mortgage payment for November, but I have zero extra money this month.

I will have to borrow money from my parents to pay December if I don’t have a replacement tenant by then.

To recap: there is a woman in my basement apartment that I cannot legally get rid of for more than another week. It is illegal for me to change the locks, punishable by a $5000 fine. She has not paid rent and will not speak to me about paying rent. I have spent hours on local classified sites, and sending emails and making calls, because my soon to be former tenant decided to not to pay her rent or honour her tenancy contract. I have had zero luck in finding a replacement tenant. I’ve been sick to my stomach for days from the stress of this crap.

At all times throughout this ordeal, I’ve obeyed the tenancy laws and maintained my composure. There has been no shouting or screaming or waving my hands in the air.

On the inside, though, I look like a demented cheerleader. Trust me on this.

copyright 2011:

11 Comments Add yours

  1. That was a very succinct vent! Good for you to handle things all on the up and up. I hope you don’t get completely screwed in the process. Good luck!

    1. Thanks! I’m trying my best to maintain civility, but my blood is simmering quietly away…

  2. lexy3587 says:

    Sue? I’m pretty sure that you can sue for no rent paid. and hten her parents can cough up the rent for november, and you can fully within yoru rights, not give her back the last-month-rent cheque. I’ve only ever been the renter – my parents handled the situation with the people living in our basement apartment at their house – so I don’t know everything. But i’m pretty sure you’re within your rights to sue.
    i wish you luck with getting yourself a new renter quickly! You’re handling all this better than I would (i’d be that woman sobbing in frustration and curled up on the couch)

    1. I have looked into lawsuits. What will determine my next steps is how much money I end up losing. I won’t sue just for the sake of suing, unless i have to cover my losses.

  3. Leslie says:

    Stomp!! Leave loud music on! Play fetch with Sherman in the house! Be a general pest to the ignorant person living downstairs! You may not legally be able to do anything yet, but you can enjoy making her last week as uncomfortable as possible without uttering a word to her.

    1. Oh Leslie, I am more tempted than you would believe. I’ve decided to stick to the high road, since I don’t want to be difficult or obnoxious. My final decision has been to maintain my normal respectful treatment of my tenant, because I refuse to be brought to the level of this person who is screwing me over, which reflects poorly on me at the end of a day.

      There were definitely times I thought about taking up clog dancing this week, though.

  4. tamara says:

    This situation totally sucks. I’m glad you served the notice immediately and will be rid of her in a week. It varies from province to province, but I don’t think you can get someone out in as little as 2 weeks in B.C.

  5. tamara says:

    I stand corrected! It’s 10 days here.

    1. Well, I can tell her to be gone in 14 days, and believe me that I’m counting down eagerly, but whether she is actually gone at the end of that period will be another thing. I’ve got my fingers crossed that the move out and never come back will be smooth and quick.

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