D'Amico's affidavit says that recently she discovered that the tenants "have a history of initiating frivolous appeals to obtain rent-free housing," citing court disputes about unpaid rent with Hitti's former landlord.
Judge Matlow ruled that the tenants' most recent appeal "raised no bona fide question of law" and that "it was totally devoid of merit, vexatious and an abuse of process." He awarded court costs of more than $13,000 to D'Amico.
Harry Fine, the lawyer representing D'Amico in the case, told The National Post: "The law is so imbalanced in favour of the tenants the small landlord doesn't have a chance. Every small landlord case is a nightmare. They get into the business because their Realtor says a property has income potential but they forget that it is a business - and a highly regulated business."
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. (CMHC) says that each province and territory has different rules, but generally as a landlord, you can ask potential tenants questions that do not infringe on their rights. You can ask where they work and how much they make. You can ask how many people will be living in the unit, and get their names. You can ask if they have pets and if they smoke. You can also request written permission for you to get a credit check and ask for references.
You may not ask about their race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, sex, age, marital status, family status, handicap or if they are receiving public assistance, says CMHC. You may not ask them if their family will be visiting them, or for their social insurance number.
CMHC says that in many areas, information about financial data that was previously available in a credit bureau report is no longer available, and suggests using the Rent Check Credit Bureau.
Perhaps most importantly, landlords should use the references that are provided, especially from former landlords. You should ask if rent payments were made on time and if there were any problems with the tenant. CMHC advises going back two or three tenancies if possible.
Check with the tenant's employer to make sure the information you have been given is accurate. If you can, check court records.
There are also a number of landlord advocacy organizations that can offer help. The Ontario Landlords Association website includes links to provincial and local landlord groups across the country. Another site to check out is Landlord Solutions.
Copyright© 2013 Realty Times®. All Rights Reserved
Copyright © 2013 Realty Times®. All Rights Reserved