A landlord's nightmare: Tenants kept livestock in the house

Simon Andrew said his first impression of the new tenants in his home in Kingston, Ont., was they "seemed very respectable, nice people," but then he had to evict them after they brought farm animals into the house, leaving an estimated $30,000 in damage.

Landlord fills 2 dumpsters after ex-tenants who 'seemed very respectable' were evicted from Kingston home

Simon Andrew has bleached the walls of his rental property several times and hired a professional cleaner after the last tenants, who kept livestock in the Kingston, Ont., home, left his place 'covered in feces.' (Michael Cole/CBC News)

Simon Andrew said his first impression of his new tenants was they "seemed very respectable, nice people."

But shortly after moving into Andrew's three-bedroom, two-car garage rental property in Kingston, Ont. about two years ago, the tenants started bringing more animals into the house, he said, adding that they also didn't clean up after them.

The two-car garage was filled with garbage left by Andrew's tenants. That's straw under the discarded furniture at the bottom of the frame. (Simon Andrew)
This is the garage again, before the tenants moved in. (Simon Andrew)

"As far as I know, there was definitely a goat. There was definitely rabbits. There was what I presume are ... chickens. They definitely had quails in the house because I saw those ... [and] of course cats and dogs."

It took him about six months to evict the couple and their adult son in late September.

'It's like you're in a hazmat zone. It's like you're in a zone that is not fit for human habitation,' said Andrew. (Simon Andrew)
Andrew documented the state of the house after his tenants were evicted. He estimates it will cost him about $30,000 to get the smell of urine and feces out of his rental property. (Simon Andrew)

Ontario's Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB) approved the eviction order because the tenants didn't pay rent and they "wilfully or negligently damaged the rental unit by allowing their animals to urinate and defecate throughout the rental unit.

Simon Andrew describes the state of his property after his tenants had animals living in the home. 0:54

"The law did not protect me in any way whatsoever," said Andrew. "The law took its time and let everything play out, and I had my hands tied, so the law has to make exceptions for people who wilfully destroy property."

'I knew it was bad but I had no idea how bad it was. It was sort of a numbed, stunned sort of feeling,' said Andrew. (Simon Andrew)

The LTB would not comment specifically on Andrew's case.

"In most instances, the LTB hears these kinds of cases within 25 days of when the application was filed and issues a decision within five days of the hearing. That said, either the landlord or the tenant can ask for an adjournment to a later date," Whitney Miller of Social Justice Tribunals Ontario wrote in an email.

One of the bedrooms before the tenants moved in (Simon Andrew)
The mess after the tenants were evicted. (Simon Andrew)

Andrew said he didn't know the extent of the damage until the family moved out, and that he filled two dumpsters with the garbage his tenants left behind.

'It's like you're in a hazmat zone. It's like you're in a zone that is not fit for human habitation," said Andrew.

Andrew said he also had to bag up animal carcasses left on the property. (Simon Andrew)
One of two dumpsters Andrew said he filled with garbage left by his tenants. (Simon Andrew)

He hired professional cleaners, bleached the walls several times, and tore up his floors trying to rid the home of the smell of urine and feces. He estimated it will cost as much as $30,000 to make the necessary repairs.

Andrew found several photos left behind, including this shot of one of the tenants feeding a goat in another home. (Supplied)
Another photo left behind by Andrew's tenants. Andrew said this was not taken at his rental property. (Supplied)

The Ontario Society for the Protection of Animals said there is an ongoing investigation after it received a complaint in July "regarding several dead chickens on the property as well as a goat inside of the house," Alison Cross, spokeswoman for the OSPCA, said in an email.

Andrew said he will no longer rent his property as a long-term lease, and plans to explore short-term rental options that might give him more flexibility to evict anyone who damages his house.

Corrections

  • A previous version of this story said it took Simon Andrew seven months to evict the tenants, when in fact it took six months.
    Dec 01, 2016 8:11 PM ET

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