A Calgary couple who rents out their basement suite has become victim to a midnight move-out — an increasingly common problem for landlords, according to a consumers' association.
Malcolm Eyjolfson said his tenants left unexpectedly in the middle of the month, skipping out on a lease agreement and leaving behind $1,200 worth of damage.
"We went in the suite and it was a nightmare," he said.
The place was covered in cat urine and had holes in the walls.The tenants also left behind truckloads worth of stuff that needed to be taken to the dump.
Eyjolfson said in the 10 years they've been renting the basement of their Dover home, this has never happened. In fact, he'd just given the tenants of eight months a reduction in the rent.
"We thought we were doing a good thing because everybody's struggling in Calgary to find places," he said. "And we just thought we were doing the right thing and, lo and behold, we get screwed over."
Increasing number of complaints
The Consumers' Association of Canada said they've received an increasing number of calls from landlords who have had tenants unexpectedly leave mid-month.
"I haven't seen this happening before like it is now," said president Bruce Cran.
He said it's partly due to the incentives landlords are offering, such as no damage deposit, or the first few months rent-free.
"I guess they're looking to fill their places so they're offering these incentives, but at the same time that creates an opportunity for somebody that's in a very tight spot to take advantage of the situation," he said.
Landlord Eyjolfson said they will be doing a more thorough background check with their next tenant, and they just hope it doesn't happen again.