The difficult tenant we deal with today, the impossible tenant takes a bit longer


The difficult we do today. The impossible takes a bit longer.

I believe the above quotation comes from the military.

During the last couple weeks we have been receiving a number of calls from landlords who are faced with problem tenants. The reasons vary from non-payment of rent to tenants who cause damage. Most of the callers wanted to explore their legal options for how to to evict the tenant. In each case, after having explored the facts we have given the following advice:

Begin by trying to get the tenant to leave without using your legal remedies!

If you are selling a property that has tenants in it, you should take special care to work collaboratively with the tenant.

The Ontario laws governing landlords and tenants (and many other jurisdictions) are very sympathetic to tenants. If you really want the tenant to vacate the premises you do NOT want to run the risk of “losing” at a Landlord Tenant hearing.

Therefore, I suggest:

1. You keep channels of communication open with the tenant.

2. You try to work with the tenant to identify the conditions under which the tenant would be willing to leave.

3. You must be prepared to forgo some back rent or other amounts that are owed to you.

Be patient! Be calm! Be courteous!  Be collaborative in your approach!

At the end of the day, the tenant will vacate the premises. It’s just a question of being smart about how to achieve this.



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