Landlord Can’t Evict Problem Tenant

by Chris on July 30, 2012

Late rent payments, unauthorized pets and urine-soaked carpets proved insufficient reasons to evict a tenant.

The troubles started for one British Columbia landlord with the first rent payment. Four months later, the rent was late again.

Meanwhile, the tenant brought in unauthorized pets, but refused to pay a pet deposit as provided in the lease agreement.

Because the rental property was on the market, the lease provided that the tenants would not interfere with property showings. More than 13 potential buyers toured the property, but the condition of the rental appeared to deter these buyers from making an offer.  In fact, the realty firm gave the landlord an agent activity report which indicated numerous complaints concerning an offensive urine odour.

The landlord served a One-Month Notice to End Tenancy for Cause, and the tenant disputed the eviction.

At the hearing, the tenant denied still owning the authorized pet; he said he had removed the animal from the rental.  Additionally, he denied that the carpet is stained or that the unit smells of pet urine.  Instead, he claimed that if there were stains or smells, they were there when he moved in. 

The landlord did not have a move-in condition report, and was unable to counter those allegations.

The dispute resolution officer found that two late rent payments is insufficient grounds for an eviction — the landlord must wait until there are three late payments to evict.  Further, the officer found that the disputed condition of the property was insufficient grounds to boot the tenant — although, the officer did caution the tenant that he has a responsibility to mop up any pet accidents.
 
Unfortunately for landlords, a situation like this is not uncommon, and it underscores the necessity of careful tenant screening. That includes a fully completed rental application, verified by tenant screening reports, and a conversation with the applicant’s current and former landlords which can reveal patterns of bad behaviour, and help determine an individual’s tenant-worthiness.

Careful screening of rental applicants is the key to minimizing income loss.

This post is provided by Tenant Verification Service, Inc., helping landlords reduce the risks of renting with fraud prevention tools that include Tenant Screening, Tenant Background Checks, (U.S. and Canada), as well as Criminal Background Checks, and Eviction Reports (U.S. only).

Click Here to Receive Landlord Credit Reports.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this post in not intended to be construed as legal advice, nor should it be considered a substitute for obtaining individual legal counsel or consulting your local, state, federal or provincial tenancy laws.

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