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Hamilton Landlord and Tenant Problems: Floods, Skunks, Coachroaches and More!

August 11th, 2013 · 5 Comments · Landlord and Tenant Problems, Landlord legal issues

 Hamilton landlord tenants confrontation

Neighbours noticed a large amount of abandoned belongings, including furniture and clothes on a Hamilton road this month.

Along with the junk were signs reading: Danger Due to Cockroaches and Landlord Refuses to Restore our Hydro.

According to a story in the Hamilton Spectator, the belongings were owned by tenants living in the two-story rental property that uses that same lawn.

What’s Going On?

Unfortunately, it’s another unnecessary landlord-tenant conflict in large part because of the bad rules government landlords and tenants in Ontario. We see this all the time in this province, under these laws.

The tenants are named Tyler McFadden and Julie Lamarche. 

The couple said their rent is $1,000 a month, utilities included. McFadden’s 16-year-old son also lives with them.

They claim their landlord has not undertaken her responsibilities to maintain their rental unit.

What are the Problems?

Some of the problems they claim include:

1. Gas to the unit was shut off on July 8, restored July 26, and now only available intermittently.

2. A leaky roof

3. Blocked plumbing pipes

4. Cockroaches, fleas and ticks

5. Skunks and racoons in the attic

6. The ceiling full of holes

Property standards, the Electrical Safety Authority, and bylaw officers have ordered the landlord to repair the house.

The land registry office lists Althea Hall, 64, as the owner of their unit, which is at 791 Lawrence Rd. Records show Hall purchased the property in 2003. The property is currently listed on MLS for sale for $249,888.

According to tenant Lamarche the house is “… nothing but a nightmare.”

McFadden said “We feel our whole world, our home has been crushed and we can’t get out from under it.”

The House Is For Sale

The landlord is attempting to sell the house and it is listed on MLS.

How Can We Avoid These Types of Problems?

No one should live in an unsafe or poorly maintained house and we sympathize with these tenants and hope they soon find new and better housing for their family as soon as possible.

We also hope they realize that the current laws in Ontario discourage investment in residential rental housing…and that is part of the reason they are having a hard time finding a new rental.

Let’s look at it from the landlords’ perspective

There’s a good chance she simply cannot afford to maintain the house any longer. This could be why she is selling it.

Does the government have a program to help small residential landlords (who supply a lot of affordable housing in Hamilton) an interest free loan to help this landlord pay for the repairs she might not be able to afford?

Secondly, in Ontario tenants get what is called “security of tenancy”.  This means that after a fixed term lease ends, tenants don’t have to move…even if they agreed to do so in the lease!  They can stay on a ‘month by month’ basis and there are strict criteria for a landlord to evict them. It is a long and expensive process.

Let’s say the laws changed in Ontario and suddenly a ‘lease was a lease.’  When the lease ends these tenants would have to move out…solving their problem living in this particular property. They would have to move.

Meanwhile, the landlord would have time to show the unit to prospective buyers without people living in the unit and without constant pressure to spend money she might not have to satisfy their demands. 

Instead of confrontation the tenants would be out of the property (as it’s not the current landlords’ fault they cannot find a new rental property) and the landlady could either take time to repair it or simply sell it.

The Ontario Residential Tenancies Act hurts both tenants and landlords and is often the reason for unnecessary confrontation and hardship for tenants and landlords.

It’s Time To Change the Ontario Residential Tenancies Act For Hamilton Landlords and Tenants!

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